Saturday, October 02, 2010

Looking at the RH Bill Objectively

by Mila D. Aguilar

The recent ruckus raised regarding the Reproductive Health Bill, whatever its variation or version, has confused the issue to the delight of its invisible original proponents. To bring the issue back on its feet, firm on the ground it actually stands on, may I humbly show the following figures from the old revered CIA World Factbook, which recently received a beautiful makeover AND 2010 estimates as well.

The first figure is our population: 97,976,603 by July 2010 estimates.

You might howl: terrible! But wait, here’s another one for your delectation: our total land area is: 298,170 sq km.
If you use your math, that would mean 328.59 people PER SQUARE KILOMETER, or 3,043.27 SQUARE METERS for every Filipino.

Does it look like we’re jostling each other out of space?

Of course, population control proponents can very well say we will, if we don’t make our people stop doing babies.

Let’s look at another figure, then:

The CIA World Factbook, latest version, says that our population growth rate is 1.957% (2010 est.). In the chart of national population growth rates, we are number 63.
The country with the highest growth rate is the United Arab Emirates, with 3.69% -- 2.74% above ours. There are 12 countries in the 3% and up category.
Countries 13-62, 49 in all before us, are in the category of 2 to just below 3%.

We are the first country in the category just below 2%. In our category of 1.96% (Philippines)-1.05% (Argentina), there are a total of 65 countries.
In the category of 1% (Seychelles) - .01% (Norfolk Island), there are a total of 71 countries.

In the category of NIL growth, 0 to -7.8, there are a total of 36 countries.

In other words, out of a total of 233 nations of the world, 107, or almost 46% -- approaching half of the countries of the world -- are in danger of not reproducing at all!
On the other hand, only 62 out of 233 nations or 26.6%, less than a third of the nations of the world, may be said to be over-reproducing.

The rest of the world, 65 countries in all or 27.89%, are in a more comfortable margin of reproducing just enough manpower to take over its future! We are in that batch, albeit with the highest population growth rate -- in that batch.

Couldn’t that be another way of looking at world population data with the latest CIA figures?

Now here are even more shocking figures:

Our birth rate is 26.01 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) We are number 64 there. But do you know what our infant mortality rate is? It’s 20.56 deaths/1,000 live births, of which we are number 102 in the world. So how many of those 26.01 births actually survive the world?
But let’s look at another, even more telling figure: our total fertility rate. Can you guess that the 2010 estimate of number of children born to every Filipino woman is:

3.23 children born/woman (2010 est.)?
Your guess was 6, right? No, it’s less than 4; it’s 3.23 children born per Filipino woman.

So what is all that ruckus about the Reproductive Health bill for? Do we even need it? Haven’t our horrorable senators and congressmen checked the CIA World Factbook yet? Has Carlos Celdran?