A Humane Population Policy?
Philippine population policy is the primary domain of the Filipino family.
By population policy here, I mean the natural human freedom of a husband with his wife within the institution of the Filipino family not only to plan for a sensible number of children but also to safeguard the intimacy of their conjugal love.
The transmission of human life and security of the order of our generations is not a power that ordinarily lies within the purview of the Responsible State.
That we are now concerning ourselves as a nation entire with this looming State regulation (the RH Bill) as regards to our population policy is worrying because it indicates an erosion of Filipino family values.
Furthermore, I do not believe we can effectively arrest this erosion of values and secure the Filipino family as a social institution fundamental to the life of our nation by dumbing it down further with a contraceptive mentality.
My fellow Filipino compatriots, I am not against poverty alleviation in our Country.
In fact, I consider poverty alleviation to be a significant social justice issue that we must as one Republic whole work to address in the near term as a pressing national security concern.
In this way, I completely understand the desires of our fellow compatriots who are proponents of the RH Bill.
But I will not accept short-term gains for longer-term losses that will only serve to stunt our near-infinite potential as a nation.
It is quite easy to accept a contraceptive mentality: Therein lies its allure.
But the straight path is a mountain road. It is not an easy road to take. It demands sacrifice.
It is also not a simple road to take. It is an ascendant way. It requires a certain strength.
It's summit usually disappears beyond a cover of clouds. It requires a certain trust.
And there are storms and high winds all along its length. It demands a constant vigilance of heart.
Is this not our path, my honorable compatriots? Though some might say this is but a similitude it still mirrors what can not otherwise be described in words.
The proponents of the RH Bill, may God bless them all, are mistaken in the thinking that a contraceptive mentality which only transfers the intellectual burden of the "population problem" to the poor will serve to either adequately address their needs or sufficiently redress their legitimate grievances.
It is the poor who are the least equipped of all to effectively adapt to the challenge of introducing the necessary safeguards to arrest the decline of the institution of the Filipino family.
In any case, is our nation actually in the grip of a "population problem"?
The proponents of the RH Bill would point out that we do. Because it is from this "problem" that they tend to legitimize their argument.
But I shall beg to disagree with them. It is the underdevelopment of our human capital that is the real problem here.
There are of course, vested economic interests involved here as well. But these interests too may be directed toward a path that is mutually beneficial to both the Common Market as well as to the Nation if only our Responsible State act to protect these longer-term national interests like our human capital.
Is the RH Bill really a better alternative over the slow but certain revival of proven national traditions inherent in every Filipino families, young or old, rich or poor, even in the face of an intermediate surge in population?
Perhaps in a perfect world, where all our citizens are empowered in their hearts and minds to make the right choices, the debate on population policy would be simple - we would all be one in the spirit of the divine command to subdue and fill the earth with living life.
But we do not live in a perfect world.
Let me tell you now, my fellow Filipino compatriots, that our human capital is at stake in this debate.
The most precious resource that this Country has is its people. Our population - our particular character, youthfulness, strength and nature as a people - is a resource more precious than gold.
This is an important consideration I should like to point out to you: The highest value that we should move to safeguard here is the individual freedom to choose rightly; our authentic human freedom.
This freedom is underpinned by a properly formed conscience.
As such, freedom of conscience is the freedom to seek its proper formation through a complete moral education. Freedom of conscience here is not a freedom to justify what should otherwise be wrong. Nor is freedom of choice a freedom to arbitrarily choose between good and evil acts.
Different individuals are naturally in different stages of moral formation. It is these natural differences in the socio-spiritual development of our people as individuals that complicates the debate on the RH bill and is basically a question of moral education.
In my own view, we are faced with a choice (economic as well as spiritual) through this debate on the RH Bill between moral education as an integral component of a good and competitive system of education for our nation and the wholesale introduction of a contraceptive mentality.
Having said all of that, I should now affirm to you that I am not for the RH Bill at all. Inasmuch as its provisions shall contravene the spirit of the beliefs I have stated here, I stand against it.
I am not saying that couples should NOT plan for a sensible number of children.
But to do it wisely, in the context of the totality of their marriage relationship, respecting their inherent dignity as husband and wife as well as the natural constraints which they themselves possess which they have received from God.
A contraceptive mentality is consistent only with a disposable, material view of life. The damage being suffered by our environment and the damage that will be inflicted to our culture arising from a blind acceptance of this contraceptive mentality have at their source the same error.
We should instead place the bulk of our worthwhile investments in the furtherance and development of our human capital through good governance, good advocacies, and a complete and competitive system of education.
It will get worse before it gets better, my honorable compatriots. This however, in my own view, is the greatest good - not a wholesale contraception of the poorest of our population.
The easy way out is usually not the right way forward.
We should never use our laws to bind what good there is.
I am personally against spending a single centavo of public funds on artificial contraception or contraceptive education other than Natural Family Planning (NPF).
Rather, I would put the burden on private advocacies that seek to promote these means (other than NPF) and shift the tax burden against those contraceptive practices that go against the life-affirming practices ingrained in our national culture.
I am not against making these other means available to the public - for as long as these means are not abortifacient or downright illegal - only because to make them illegal only removes them further from the necessary control of our Responsible State.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! God bless us all.
The Principle of Totality:
The LORD makes all things whole.
The LORD makes all things one.
For God is a God of relationships.
He called Man to be one with Woman
and He joined them by their hearts
so that they would be one flesh.
He then made their happiness whole
through the union that joined them in love
by the children that made it complete.
(openness to the transmission of life)
The Beginnings of Human Life:
Life begins at conception: At the moment of conception, Man becomes a soul and the body comes to life.
The 4th Cause - Benignity:
It is not life per se that is the problem here but how we treat life: It is the strong that makes these problems persist not the weak.
There are nations (mostly belonging with developed Countries) in our world today who are suffering because of this lack in vitality (i.e. their populations are aging out) so that we are not left wanting in those lessons we can not afford to learn ourselves.