Planned Parenthood Inc., (PPI) in the U.S. A. gestated under the very concept outlined in the Reproductive Health Bill (RHB): to address maternal health, poor sexual education among Filipinos and uncontrolled childbirth. PPI is now the number one abortion provider in the U.S.
RHB is a ‘Trojan’ horse that will morph into a full-pledge PPI once approved in Congress. RHB is a subtle form of ‘lex taliones,’ the principle that holds only the fittest survives in the jungle. Progress is about jettisoning the unproductive sector of the society who put too much stress on the limited resources of the mother earth so they can be allocated to those who can afford them, the rich.
The rich politicians who are preaching that RHB will address the people’s welfare are political swindlers. They tried to railroad the passage of RHB in order to limit the population of poor people who are competing with the resources that should be preserved for the rich. But because it is too blatant to admit this as chief reason for passing the law, the politicians would sugar-coat it with lofty ideals like, maternal health, family size, sex education, and free if not affordable oral contraceptives and condoms.
There are certain people at the opposite side of this debate, myself included, who believe that education to drill into the minds of the Filipinos the concept of responsibility is needed, (not necessarily sex education). That wealth misallocation, corruption, inefficient monopoly industries (Meralco, Nawasa, LWUA, LRT, shipping and sea transportations), and diminishing domestic labor demands are the chief malaise of the country. But because addressing some of these problems is disruptive of the existing power structure, no one from the ruling class would dare address these issues.
It is not also true that the poor families living in esteros and on the river banks are the reasons for the flash floods of Metro Manila, (MM). It was the rich illegal loggers that wasted our forestland, the rich manufacturers of plastic bags that clogged the sewage lines of MM and the failure of urban planners to develop a metropolis capable of diverting massive amount of water to the sea.
But because the poor have no access to the corridors of power and no money to underwrite a media campaign to advance their cause, they are muted on the sidelines and they get blamed for every conceivable misery of the country.
The RHB proponents employ the media conglomerate to sell the ‘merit’ of the RHB. They engaged in ‘selective framing’ by interviewing a couple with plenty of children who spoke in front of TV camera favoring RHB, but this couple is not a representative of the poor who have less children and are not in favor of RHB.
RHB proponents and their captive media would pan out their TV cameras to show poor people scavenging for food from garbage sites, but they will not show you how the powerful allocate the largesse of the government, its contracts, franchises and licenses to favored friends and relatives.
During Marcos time, population control was imposed on the poor people while he was busy stashing out gold bullions from Central Bank and Yamashita’s treasure troves, IMF loans/aids, negotiable instruments and historical relics to Swiss and US banks.
Today, politicians who are captive of lobby money from pharmaceutical cartels would push for the passage of RHB with ‘patriotic’ speeches highlighted with spreadsheet that maternal morbidity is on the rise due to childbirth. But did they not contribute to this problem by using their PDAF to buy loyalty of those who can cheat for them during elections instead of putting the money to basic health care of their constituents?
Next time you see politicians talking, watch their body language for effective understanding.