Amid fears of a rice shortage, it is inevitable that attention should turn once again to population control / family planning. After all, the reasoning goes, with fewer mouths to feed, there would be more food to go by for everyone. And, not surprisingly, the Catholic Church gets the blame for spoiling government efforts to promote modern contraceptive methods.
Excuse me, but now that we have dragged the Church into the fray, the government suddenly becomes trustworthy and competent enough to manage a multimillion-dollar population control program?
Modern contraceptive methods, which must be invented, tested and paid for, cost real money. No wonder, then, that a recent UN study shows that the Philippines needs about $2 million a year from 2007 to 2010 to provide contraceptives for free or at subsidized prices to the poor.
Put this huge amount of money in the hands of the same government that wasted P728 million of fertilizer funds? The same government whose job it is to make sure there is adequate rice on the table of Filipinos, to begin with? Why this sudden trust in the government? Is it because the $2 million per year (a total of $8 million in four years) is so small an amount as compared with the $329 million the government wanted to spend on a ?flawed? national broadband network project?
We can argue all day long on the morality of modern contraceptives, but to propose that government handle the program and its funds is just about as wise as asking the wolves to guard sheep.
DOMINIQUE GERALD M. CIMAFRANCA (via email)