Cracking Population

Calling to mind the situation of the country, one would think that it is all because of poverty. Poverty pulls every part of this country’s heart and soul down. Tracking what causes poverty, most will think of overpopulation.

True enough, about four babies are born every minute in the Philippines alone, and its annual growth rate is currently 2.3%. Its population is also four times its population about fifty years ago. And, it is also one of the densest countries in terms of population in the whole world.

Overpopulation, like all other things has its pros and cons. The good thing about the increase in population is the possible increase in production of goods, and also a “stock” of human ingenuity. Even with these positive effects, its negatives overshadow them completely. An increase in population will decline the standards of living in most families. Most will have problems when they have more mouths to feed, more tuition fees to pay for, and more trash to dispose. In the end, these problems will affect the future generations. Children will be seen selling flowers on the streets for their food and education, and trash will be seen almost everywhere. Because of the increase, the government would also have a hard time providing these families with health and educational support.

No wonder poverty is crippling this country from economic growth, right?

Wrong! When one would think about it carefully, poverty does not stop if we find a way to control population growth. The only way to stop the increase in population is to decrease poverty, not the other way around. This can be seen in our current society. Some people believe, especially when they experience poverty that having more children will help improve their economic situation in the future. This will then lead to further increase in population. As Karl Marx reasoned, “rapid population growth is a consequence of economical and social inequalities, not its cause.”

It is true that overpopulation cannot be stopped in the modern day Philippines, but poverty can be decreased. The social and economical inequalities can be decreased by a significant amount if the government will impose stricter policies in tax paying and prevent corruption. To us citizens, we could do our part by simply being a good citizen, pay the right dues to the government, and be properly informed about family planning. With these possible improvements, there will be better health and educational support from the government. This will give more children the chance to have their education, and will soon increase the standards of education of the schools, give way to economic growth, and so on. This will then lead to a series of chain reactions that will control the growth of the country’s population since poverty will be minimized.

At the end of the day, it must be pointed out that solely increasing or decreasing population growth does not spell the development of this country, or any country for that matter. There is also a need for greater initiative, a more equal distribution of both wealth and power, and a more efficient use of the resources as the remedy to the country’s underdevelopment. With these, modernization and development will soon come, a rapid decline in fertility will then follow, and ultimately, the increase in the standards of living will be evident.

Javeson Limchutick