The Problem of Overpopulation in the Philippines
By Jose Angelo Cuyegkeng
Amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often ignore the people we pass by. We overlook the thousands of people we encounter along the streets everyday. Upon closer inspection, these thousands of people are those who clog the lines to different modes of public transportation, litter the streets and corners of the city and congest the halls of malls and office buildings. Evidently, the world is experiencing a problem of overpopulation. Considering its large scale, a problem like this begs our immediate attention.
There are many factors affecting this problem on overpopulation such as poverty, hunger, lack of job openings, lack of proper education, etc. – many of which result from another. Regardless of what the true cause of the problem is, it all boils down to the creation and sustenance of life. Some studies claim that a baby is born every eight seconds and somebody dies every thirteen. Others might contest that a baby is born every three seconds. Although these studies may vary, the fact of the matter remains that the natality rate far outnumbers the fatality rate. This implies that there is an excessive number of people living in the world today. While there are many proposed solutions to this crisis that may have a high rate of effectivity, such as the use of contraceptives and certain policies limiting the progeny of a couple, they are not highly encouraged or implemented here in the country.
Being a mostly Catholic Christian nation, the use of contraceptives and other similar solutions preventing the creation or sustenance of life are against our morals and values. Even though these products of science could greatly affect the condition of our population, as Christians, we are taught that life, beginning at the earliest moment of conception, is sacred. We are taught that, from this beginning, the ending of life is unethical and unjust.
While this is still a subject of contention among religious sects and scientific groups, I think that the time spent arguing could be used to provide an alternate and more accepted solution. I am not saying that religion or science is a problem but rather religion and science are essential parts of the solution to this crisis.
I believe that proper education and information dissemination are the best alternatives for our country right now. As of the moment, there are no evident efforts to spread word regarding this problem. However, if welfare groups and government bodies approach this subject with the education of people, especially those belonging in the lower classes, in mind, more and more people might be involved in this ongoing concern and, thus, be able to act accordingly. With religion’s guiding principle on the importance of life, science does its part by providing the statistics and necessary background information in order to put people into perspective on what is happening around us now.