The CBCP and its primitivist crusade against reproductive health

According to Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, “the Church needs to intensify its information drive on the [Reproductive Health] bill”. This is his “solution” to bolster the Church’s primitivist position on reproductive health in the face of mounting evidence that the Philippine public (in a rare but spectacular demonstration of modern thinking) is giving their men-in-robes the middle finger if we are to believe the latest “survey” that “69 percent of Filipinos supported the RH measure” and that “80 percent of Filipinos were aware of [it]”.

The lack of the ability to reflect in an institution that is supposed to be an authority on reflection is quite ironic. Castro fails to consider how (1) his organisation exercises unmatched access to key fear factors that drive Filipinos’ behaviours, (2) applies a tentacle-like influence network that permeates every quaint tradition and ritual that pervades Filipino life, and (3) commands a war chest of treasures and political clout that makes and breaks kings.

So if you will, please run what you just said by us again, “Father” Castro…

the Church needs to intensify its information drive on the [Reproductive Health] bill

Excuse us padre, but beyond the awesome resources, influence, and zealotry that the 2000-year-old Roman Catholic Church brings to bear in “educating” its “flock”, what in terms of additional intensity in this “drive” do you further propose?

I think the truth that can’t be handled by these ironic guardians of what we were made to believe is the “truth” is that we are in the midst of a quiet revolution. Indeed, Filipinos have, for some time now been casting a revolutionary vote against the primitivist dogma that has figured mightily in their impoverishment over the past 400 years. That the Goliathesque power applied by the Church to propagate its teachings for centuries had failed to arrest the onslaught of enlightened thinking creeping into and diluting its virulent dogma is a testament to the headway being made by this quiet revolution we are seeing.

Folks, think of the tithes you drop into the collection baskets of the Sunday services you religiously attend as a kind of a tax in return for the “spiritual” services you receive. Then think, please:

Is there anything spiritual about this “crusade” being waged by your “Church” against the Philippine Government’s efforts to implement a sensible Reproductive Health program in our society?

Think.

Please.

It's time we did!

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About benign0

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65 Responses to The CBCP and its primitivist crusade against reproductive health

  1. ProRHBill says:

    Excommunication is no good they are now planning to impeach the President if the bill passes! Either that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Take your pick

    • UP nn grad says:

      With 69% of people supporting RH (survey says), iImpeaching Noynoy for Reproductive Health will fail. Maybe a riot in Hacienda Luisita with casualties and Noynoy going against Supreme Court decision… that can impeach Noynoy.

  2. bokyo says:

    in the latest news,there are studies that shows 1,305 cases of HIV that were reported from January to October of this year alone, which means 5 people are contracted by HIV everyday. The Church has been steadfast on its stand on “irresponsible sex”, but to prevent usage of contraceptives to curb the population increase and spreading of AIDS/HIV is an overkill. 

    The Church must draw a line somewhere because preventing the RH Bill to be passed has a major drawback. It must not ignore the fact that somewhere in the philippines, someone can contract the virus unknowingly. 

    • Aegis-Judex says:

      And that is where Il Papa’s words of wisdom viz. condom use comes ( :green: ) in handy.

    • killem says:

      using condom to prevent the spread of AIDS are myth. Those country with a large number of AIDS infected person openly promote and distribute condoms. (US, thailand and africa). and yet they still have the one of the largest number of infected person.

      I just wonder how effective condom is in preventing transmission of HIV. how come when it comes to drugs there must be a series of clinical trial and actual test trial for it to be approved for public consumption or use, but with regards to condom use, there is no such actual test, all we have is a clinical test confine with a controlled environment suited for the success of the test.

      Finally, i was a volunteer in a international organization, there was study back then that the most effective way to prevent HIV transmission is abstinence or one partner sex, the far third is the use of condom, but guess what they promote the least effective simply because their other advocacy was supported by the condom co. and one of their largest donor………

      • outoftheblue says:

        Killem, 

        Finally, i was a volunteer in a international organization, there was study back then that the most effective way to prevent HIV transmission is abstinence. 

        – This is true. 

        Even the site forums.poz.com which is being moderated by experienced volunteers supports this. 

        http://www.poz.com/archive/2005_Aug_348.shtml

        “Abstinence is the only 100-percent way to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted infections”. 

        The Pope did not say anything about condom use being approved by the Vatican. He said that the infected partner who used a condom somehow thought of having mercy by making a step to reduce the risk of infection. 

        http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=39269

      • Twin-Skies says:

        [using condom to prevent the spread of AIDS are myth. Those country with a large number of AIDS infected person openly promote and distribute condoms. (US, thailand and africa). and yet they still have the one of the largest number of infected person.]

        If they’re so ineffective, then why are they recommended as part of any proper AIDs prevention program, as organizations such as Avert have reported?

        http://www.avert.org/teens-condoms.htm

        [This is true.

        Even the site forums.poz.com which is being moderated by experienced volunteers supports this. ]

        From your own source:

        “Safer sex practices, including correct and consistent use of condoms for vaginal or anal sex, can reduce the spread of HIV and other STIs.”

        I do believe you’ve just been caught quote-mining. While POZ states that abstinence does work, they’re not outright claiming the ineffectiveness of condoms, and are in fact noting its responsible use as part of STD and AIDs prevention

        [The Pope did not say anything about condom use being approved by the Vatican. He said that the infected partner who used a condom somehow thought of having mercy by making a step to reduce the risk of infection. ]

        And why the frak should I take the Pope’s opinion as a voice of authority?

        If there’s anything I learned from the Vatican, it’s that they’re quick to trot out their apologists and the minute their members say anything contradictory to their dogma, but are also quick to capitulate on quotes that support it:

        http://www.badscience.net/2010/09/the-pope-and-aids/

        So where was their indignation when he previously remarked about the ineffectiveness of condom use? Even Edward Green, one expert that the RCC claims was supporting their stance:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2009/03/aids_expert_who_defended_the_p.html

        Quoting part of the interview:

        [William Crawley: That’s a serious ideological difference between yourself and the Pope. He doesn’t think that condoms should be used, even in the case of married Catholic couples where one of the partners is HIV-positive.

        Edward Green: Yes, well, I don’t agree with that. And, I have said that I am not a Catholic, and I am not talking about condoms in any sort of moral-ethical sense. I am talking about what has been found to work and not work. So, yes, the article I mentioned by Hearst and Chen is very clear that condoms work in certain types of situations and certain sub-populations and condoms have had a positive national impact in certain concentrated epidemics. So, yes, I don’t agree with the Pope across the board. ]

      • krainierd says:

        Yes many people may agree that abstinence is a great way to prevent the spread of HIV. But we should know that there are many ways to get infected and not just through unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV positive. If by some mistake, blood transfusion was made, the infected cannot have sex anymore with the one he/she loves? that just plain bull…

  3. peste says:

    There’s one priest who regularly says the mass in our parish. He’s a very zealous anti-RH Bill advocate. He labels this piece of proposed legislation and the mindsets behind it a demonic anti-life phenomenon. He goes on to detail how the pill causes cancer and infertility because of hormonal imbalance. He says that the condom allows microbes to pass through. He says the IUD injures the womb. He says vasectomy and tubal ligation cause cancer because the sperm and egg can’t get out. He uses medical terms to impress upon the churchgoers that he did some research.

    He also claims that the pharmaceuticals are pushing for the Bill because of the financial gains they will get from it, to the point that they are bribing a DOH undersecretary (who quit in disgust) billions of dollars.

    I guess this is what they mean by intensifying their information drive.

    • peste says:

      He usually inserts the abovementioned assertions in his homilies and opening remarks at the start of the mass. Last Sunday, he made his usual rant at the end of the mass, extending our stay by an additional 10 minutes.

      I felt like doing my version of Celdran’s “DAMASO” but was too chicken to go ahead. I think a similar stunt would have to be done again to drive home the point further, but in ways that would let the perpetrator(s) escape.

      • Chorvaqueen says:

        He’s probably using 1970’s data. Some moral fags came to our highschool to warn about pre-marital sex, and guess what the brochures are citing sources dating back to 1970’s.

        40 years of stagnant reproductive health technology, right.

        You know, why not raise a [citation needed] signboard whenever this priest of yours speak ill of the bill blindly. 😉

      • peste says:

        Nah, it would be obvious that it’s me.

        I was thinking something along hijacking the computer that’s connected to the projector. Mess up the files and the next time they flash what was supposed to be song lyrics, there’s that DAMASO sign again. Or play a tape/CD in the sound system. Provide minutes of silence to make your escape before the actual recording wreak havoc.

      • jmp says:

        you don’t have to do a “Damaso.” If he does this at the end of mass, just leave. Who knows, your courage might start others to follow suit. Unfortunately if he takes the hint and does his rant before the mass …

      • krainierd says:

        Please…the church is just hypnotizing its churchgoers into what ‘they’ think is right…i would recommend for you to watch ‘zeitgeist’ and see what they say about the ‘Jesus’ which is the main character of the Catholic church…just plain storytelling to manipulate people into their bidding and not take any consequence of the effects, in this case, overpopulation…

  4. Homer says:

    I agree that there’s a quiet revolution going on, and my gut feel tells me that the bill is going to be passed early next year. I will let the chips fall where it may when the time comes, as the Church finds itself less influential than before. It’s about time! The sooner, the better!

  5. The Lazzo says:

    Y’see, this is why I’m an atheist. People like these exemplify what religion really stands for in an increasingly globalized world – a backwards, tribal group mentality that was probably much more effective within the feudal walls of a kingdom than a world where the only borders are geographical features (which you really can’t do much about) and lines on a map.

    I hope this bill drags us (kicking and screaming if need be) into the 20th century.

    Yes, I said 20th. Because it’s only the first real step to go to the 21st.

  6. outoftheblue says:

    Condoms and contraceptives are already out in the market and available to all. The RH bill drives to make it compulsory for all employers and companies to provide them to employees. We will be forced to use fraction of the country’s revenue to buy contraceptives instead of just those who prefer to use them using their own nickels. 

    HIV, AIDS, and STD spreads because of irresponsible sexual behavior. Of course, rape victims, blood transfusion, IV drug use, and inheritance from infected mothers are exceptions. HIV transmits itself by using hosts such as blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. The condom acts as an effective barrier but again, it is not a 100% fool proof. Like what the CDC says, it is effective when correctly and consistently used and if it does not break. 

    Syphilis, Herpes and HPV are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Condoms protects the penis but not down to the base. There is already a vaccine for HPV. I’m not sure about syphilis and Herpes.

    The human body has limits. One cannot just have sex anytime. Sex is really a good thing but when abused, then we have problems. The root cause of the problem is having sex with people you do not know, having sex with people you don’t care about, or having sex just for personal satisfaction and not really for intimacy. 
    I am hoping for more dialog between the government and the church. Each side has a good intention and let’s all hope that it comes to a compromise. 

    • Maki_Alam says:

      It’s good that you know these things. Unfortunately, most of the country doesn’t. Hence, the need to educate the masses.

      The RH bill is all about the right to information and informed choice, ESPECIALLY for the masses, because they’re the ones who need it most. Contraceptives are already available, sure. But if you have a largely ignorant population who wouldn’t know what to do with these contraceptives if their lives depended on it, then what’s the point?

      It’s very suspect, the way the church would rather leave their flock in the dark than allow them access to information regarding their own reproductive health. It’s not as if the RH bill is going to shove contraceptives down people’s throats. People could always choose NOT to use contraceptives in the end. The important thing is they now have a choice. What is the church so afraid of?

    • Jay says:

      The human body has limits. One cannot just have sex anytime. Sex is really a good thing but when abused, then we have problems.

      That is not the point.

      The root cause of the problem is having sex with people you do not know, having sex with people you don’t care about, or having sex just for personal satisfaction and not really for intimacy.

      One word: responsibility.

      Like what the CDC says, it is effective when correctly and consistently used and if it does not break.

      Hey, the chances are better than say, NOT WEARING CONTRACEPTIVES! There are also spermicides, morning after pills and such in terms of birth control. As of HIV, knowing your partner is the first ounce of prevention there!

      We will be forced to use fraction of the country’s revenue to buy contraceptives instead of just those who prefer to use them using their own nickels.

      As opposed to using the money for anti-wang wang, among other things the current admin has hastily invested in? If contraceptive use comes with the education to use it, as you explained below as well, then it is money spent well. Because contraceptives are useless without the education and discipline to know when to use it, regardless of money.

      The government is open for dialog. The church on the other hand… well, you’ve seen their response for the most part. So how can it be a dialog exactly when one person wants to have a conversation while the other avoids them?

  7. Population says:

    Although I think that the church is really misguided on their arguments, I for one beleive that the current RH Bill is just a law which will have little impact on our country. The problem of this country is not exactly overpopulation, but low-quality population. I don’t really believe in the idea that the country faces overpopulation: meaning that the available resources and landmass are not enough to sustain the current population. The real problem is the distribution of “available” resources and land. The government should know what programs they should focus on, such as programs that promotes “quality” population (education and health), and programs that will increase and properly distribute resources.

    I just want to emphasize this again: Overpopulation is not the real roblem, but Low-quality Population is.

    • benign0 says:

      I can agree with this. Not overpopulation, but a continued increase in numbers with hardly a proportionate increase in quality and economic output per capita. This means that population growth needs to be slowed down in order for efforts (if any) to increase the quality of the current crop of people to catch up.

    • bokyo says:

      They say that we are overpopulated because Manila itself is too congested. Distribute the people equally in all over the archipelago and we’ll find that we have enough lands to cover. it’s just that there are too many unproductive (or inefficiently utilized talented) people congested in one or two places, add up the factors of poor governance, ineffective housing programs, education and health quality, and national stability.

    • Jay says:

      The problem of this country is not exactly overpopulation, but low-quality population.

      It goes hand in hand. Increase the numbers of people also decreases the numbers the government has to pay and develop these people, especially when it comes to government services such as public schooling, welfare, etc. The same for food, though the issue on that is more on logistics end of things than the amount since rice is apparently cheaper to import from other mass producers like China/Vietnam. Hence its harder to even distribute resources especially when the same inept government has not developed the supply chains well enough. More resources and time wasted means more money wasted PER INDIVIDUAL!

      This also affects families as well, considering its easier to support and invest on 2-3 children especially with a crappy economy and high cost of living than say 5-8 children and force everyone to scrape off the bottom.

      And honestly, look at a picture of Manila in ’75 compared to now, which also correlates the amount of population and density in that city. If the government can (but won’t) work on dispersing these people and help develop other booming cities, then maybe the population density issue especially in Manila can be fixed. Which then their other problem is also one regarding logistics.

      Either way the nation loses since a foundation for logistics has yet been implemented to go with the growing number of people that can’t be supported with the current infrastructure. Instead of the 90 million floating in a well, made flotilla in the pacific, they are floating on a rusty, used, cruise ship.

      • krainierd says:

        We may debate on whether the Philippines has overpopulation or not. In this point in time, I think it is overpopulation due to the fact that there is irresponsible parents who just wanna have sex (probably the husband in most cases) which is unprotected…And has not enough means to raise their child(ren). And those same parents or even their children blame the government for not having enough resources to support them…shame on you!

  8. Hyden Toro says:

    The Roman Catholic Church is a Dinosaur in our modern Information Technology Age. Widespread information has already lessened their hold on the mindsets of the people…

  9. Hyden Toro says:

    It’s like the fight for Enlightenment during the Dark Ages. People during that time were subjected to too much control of the Church. Inquisition took place, on people who disagreed with them. The Heretics were burned on the stakes…This kind of mindset creeped into our Information Age time. Because, we allowed these people to control our lives. They took our money; they took our lives; we gave awayto them our future ….Who are they anyway?…Men in Robes, claiming themselves to be representatives of God? This is the reason we have: (1) Suicide Bombers; killing themselves and the infidels, to get to Paradise. (2) Sexual Predators in the form of Priests; who exert authority over children. (3) Religious Fundamentalist; frightening people about the damnation of Hell. The so-called: Fire and Brimstone preachers. (4) Religious leaders, commanding their followers to vote for incompetent leaders.

  10. jankev says:

    The government have already done its studies hence the RH Bill. Instead of intensifying their information drive the church should conduct their own evaluation on the potency of their proposed methods to see for themselves. Instead, they did nothing but clouding the issue. I don’t know if they’re lazy or they just don’t want to face the truth. This church is a lost cause.

    • outoftheblue says:

      The church’s proposed method of family planning is the billings ovulation method. If focuses on fertility and not on contraception. 

      Pills manipulate the hormones of women. It thickens the lining of the uterine wall and mucus to make it difficult for sperms to get into the uterus. This manipulation of hormones have resulted to various side effects. Instead of preventing conception it actually makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to ovulate. 

      • Twin-Skies says:

        Could you cite a study where in an NFP-only policy actually worked?

        Preferably one from a respectable science journal – links to interpretations of said study from Catholic Church-affiliated cites will not even be considered (we’ll just point and laugh).

      • peste says:

        I don’t think that was his/her point. It doesn’t matter for them if it works or not, just that it’s the morally right thing to do. It didn’t work because of human failing.

      • Twin-Skies says:

        [I don’t think that was his/her point. It doesn’t matter for them if it works or not, just that it’s the morally right thing to do. It didn’t work because of human failing.]

        Their “morally right thing to do” includes excommunicating medical teams for performing life-saving surgery 😦

        http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

      • peste says:

        I know of a news article involving an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor who performed the abortion got excommunicated. I have been taught back in high school by a Jesuit novitiate who also happens to be an MD that if the pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the child if carried up to full term, it was better to abort to save the life of the mother. The example he used was that of an ectopic pregnancy. Now, in hindsight, he was just a novice back then, and what he used may be an ethical concept that might not be aligned to Catholic morality. But as far as I know is that these are still gray areas; these are the frontiers of ethical/theological/philosophical/etc debate.

    • krainierd says:

      Maybe they can recommend their long time solution for having sexual urges…eat a papaya…lol

  11. Angelace says:

    That’s nice. I Googled it and i’ts great for …as you mentioned – family planning – but what about promiscuous persons? What about pre-teens and teenagers whose sex education is the uh kasi anak eto yun…may bulaklak…saka uh..may bubuyog tapos yun na…? Are they getting all the information they need to make a personal choice for themselves what to do with their sex lives? Isn’t that what the RH Bill was about? To inform and to present all options currently applicable so that an individual can make their own informed choices? And then to make those options available?

    At age 10, I finished reading my parent’s medical Encyclopedia so I know how the body works when it comes to sex. My parents were also open on the discussion on sex. I thought everyone was like that. So at age 13 it came as a shock that my classmates idea of safe sex is coke +mentos (though I suppose the resulting buzz as demonstrated in Youtube and Mythbusters will have killed any ardor at that point).

    Not everyone was or is as informed as I am on this as I have already notice that Filipinos do not actively seek out knowledge (tambay lang). So did my knowledge made me a whore or infidel or whatever colorful descriptions the Church and it’s fanatics throw to those who support the RH Bill? 

    Am I the exception? Or would this be the typical result if everyone is informed about the ramifications of sex? Both good or bad? Right now, I still meet 30 year olds thinking that they won’t get pregnant if they have their period (and a few others that ended up with babies due to this maling akala). 

    So really, if I understood the RH Bill correctly, it seeks to provide access to all options available and provide information on Sex and everything that surrounds it and then make those options available for choosing per individual. The more the topic is suppress the more it will be human nature to try it. It’ll be a trapeze act with the participants having no previous training and no safety net. And not only that, you can’t even stop them from performing that darn trapeze act in the first place.

    • Angelace says:

      Tsk, I am missing a paragraph…either way I did not turn out messed out because I know all these stuff or had access to this. If anything, it was those that were not informed that ended up with children out of wedlock and then somoe while I stayed a virgin until I got married.

    • bokyo says:

      good thing you were aware of sex information at the young age. Filipinos have a too conservative culture that keeps the truth deep inside.

      As they say in Facebook “Akala mo Maria Clara yun pala Maria Ozawa” 😀

      It’s not just the usage of contraceptives that the RH bill promotes. I wonder why the CBCP is so steadfast that this bill promotes abortion when in fact one of its provisions is to prevent it.

      • Jay says:

        I wonder why the CBCP is so steadfast that this bill promotes abortion when in fact one of its provisions is to prevent it.

        Which is funny because apparently Sin of the CBCP then helped co-author the Anti-abortion section of the Filipino Constitution, which was suppose to help, uh, prevent abortion. Without any provisions from the government or the church as an institution. It was just there to say Abortion is not allowed, it is illegal, end of story. Not surprising many were complete suckers for this, like many other things that are written vaguely like this in Catholic dogma.

        Meanwhile the RH bill gives actual provisions AND awareness to the abortion issue in hopes of curbing the numbers and figures that even the Law then couldn’t help prevent! I think people complain because they aren’t part of the equation of an ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure.

  12. outoftheblue says:

    Back then, media was better. You won’t see too much of shows that showcase their talents’ bodies. We did not have magazines such as FHM. No internet that provided easy access to resources that have sexual content. Back then, our awareness of sex came at the proper time. At school, we were taught about sex education when I was in second year high school. Of course, most of us got excited and curious then. It is very exciting indeed to discover what the body can do. 

    The church is pushing for awareness of the consequences and responsibilities in engaging in sexual intercourse. It is encourage that parents be the primary educators. Schools can discuss the science but it is the parents who should discuss the morals. 

  13. Jack says:

    Age of consent in Vatican is just 12 years..shocking…lowest in the world ….They do worse things in Vatican. Religion all over the world is artificial to control humanity, religion will always take an opposing view of science and vice versa, unfortunately science is also controlled…we already have free energy technology.

    Both science and spirituality was created to divide humanity..Human beings are singular….there is no difference between Science and spirituality. If you are spiritual, you will be scientific also automatically.

    • Hyden Toro says:

      @Jack…I’m a Technical Man; educated in Science and Technology. However, I enjoy also reading and being educated by the Holy Books of all Religions. We cannot still explain the creation and existence of natural phenomena; and of our scientific discoveries. The more we learn about how the universe work…the more we grow faiths in a Divine Source, or a Divine Creator…whatever we call him…this is the beauty of acquiring knowledge thru Science…Mysteries of the Universe are being unfolded infront of your eyes…holier than the masses and chants in Christian Churches…or pilgrimages to Holy Places, like Mecca…or being washed away of our sins in Ganges Rivers…To me; Science and Religion can go hand-in-hand…

      • Aegis-Judex says:

        Wasn’t that what St. Albert Magnus was trying to prove? Or was it St. Tom Aquinas?

      • Hyden Toro says:

        It was St. Albert Einstein. the formulator of the: Theory of Unified Fields, and the Theory of Relativity…What Sir Isaac Newton had started. St. Albert Einstein, completed it by these Theories…Science and Religion, are sisters-and-brothers . They can co-exist, and work together…Only, those ignorant Priests and Bishops; and people with ego-centric intelligence; are the ones telling us: they are incompatible…

      • Homer says:

        “Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds”.

        -Albert Einstein

        These are the words on an old poster of A.E. which hung on my wall for many years. It still rings true today. Einstein is one of my fave people in history…and showing us that priests and bishops are ego-centric, ignorant, and super-mediocre in their tunnel-visioned universe, the question begs to be asked: Do we have to dismiss scientific facts in favor of the doo-doo dogma that the Catholic Church preaches. I already answered that for myself a long time ago.

      • Homer says:

        “Great spirits have always encountered….”

        That’s the exact quote. I prefer to get it right when it comes to Mr. Einstein. 😉

    • Jay says:

      If you are spiritual, you will be scientific also automatically.

      Not necessarily. Sure many of the European scientists before the 1800’s had religious allegiances to Catholicism and such, but remember that religion does not discriminate from an inquiring mind to that of a someone who is ignorant of their surroundings.

      Which is ironic considering there are mathematical things in the world that exist that reinforce the nature of God. It is a mathematical law because in any form of application, the answer would come out the way it is suppose to, much like the general assertions that the sky is blue during daytime. So it is something you can certainly put your stock in your faith to and be rewarded with nothing but the hand of God. Which is far less can be said for the religious kooks and leaders who claim to talk to God on a regular basis and entail that their conversation had something to do with human made issues.

  14. benign0 says:

    Filipinos as “assets”: a highly-questionable assumption used by “pro-life” advocates

    The venerable Abe Margallo in his FilipinoVoices.com article House Bill 5043, quo vadis (whatever the hell does “quo vadis” mean, anyway?) makes another one of those typically irresponsible rah-rah assertions about the issues of population and reproduction — the sort that fuels primitivism in already hopelessly backward Philippine society. The cornerstones of his thesis are the following ululations:

    (1) Filipinos are “assets”, so the more such assets we produce, the more value is delivered to the society.

    (2) The reason Filipinos remain poor despite their being an “asset” is that they lack “opportunit[ies] to work and earn income”.

    (3) The “economic elites” have not done their “duty” to invest more of their resources into creating said “opportunities” for the masses.

    Guess again, gramps. Here are some reality checks for you…

    * * *

    Assets need to be developed.

    Margallo’s biggest assumption is that Filipinos are “assets”. But then assets, in the real sense, are such because of their ability to provide an acceptable return commensurate to their intrinsic value. This value is a function of scarcity and income potential. Obviously, Pinoys fail epically in the scarcity aspect as there is enough of us to fill nursing homes around the world twice over. This leaves us with income potential.

    What builds income potential?

    Consider education as one such input investment into the enhancement of Filipinos’ collective income potential. Given a constrained amount of funds, every additional Pinoy born (to the scandalous tune of a growth rate of more than 2 percent per annum), presents a reduction in the per capita density of investment in public education; that is, runaway population growth spreads thin already meagre resources available to educate each pre-adult Filiipino with public funds.

    Successfully leading a horse to water does not guarantee that it will drink.

    The hollowness of the assumption that Filipinos are intrinsically valuable “assets” puts to question whether providing the “opportunity to work and earn income” will necessarily result in a sustained delivery of productive economic output over a long term.

    Reduced investment density per capita reduces the rate of development of said asset and therefore reduces the ability of said asset to deliver productive economic return even with ample opportunity staring it in the face. Margallo’s pom pom waving simply fails to account for the reality of the need to develop assets before they can be expected to yield a decent return.

    National prosperity is a two-way street.

    This blame-the-capitalists emo-ism does not take into account the average Filipino schmoe’s personal accountability for securing their own future. Let’s not forget that the average savings rate of the average Pinoy schmoe is among the lowest in the region. Sure incomes are low. But that does not excuse not saving and re-investing said savings into secure assets — such as in savings accounts or other durable assets (in contrast to non-durable consumables like celphones, karaoke machines, and Tommy Hilfiger knock-offs). The Filipino Chinese managed to accumulate enough to re-invest spectacularly under the same conditions back when they were taho and balut vendors. That they made it and the natives did not says something about our character as a people, and theirs.

    * * *

    It’s simple, really™ — though not for the small-minded.

    [This blog is based on a comment I made on FilipinoVoices.com which as of this writing remains under moderation.]

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    • peste says:

      Quo vadis? – “where are you going?” Whatever. Quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.

      To add, this assertion may still be valid back then, but there are ways on how the human “resource” is “exploited,” which we now discourage. Slavery comes to mind.

    • Twin-Skies says:

      @Benign0

      I read margallo’s article as well, and he misses one other important point: Our population is only viable as an asset if they’re trained. By trained, I mean properly educated.

      The problem is quite obvious when you take a look at most of our public schools – they’re short on books, classroom space and teachers, which cuts into the quality of education most of our younger generation will receive.

      http://www.squidoo.com/educ8

      • benign0 says:

        Indeed, that is precisely the point I try to bring across. I believe it was the commentor who goes by the handle “Population” who commented a while back that “The problem of this country is not exactly overpopulation, but low-quality population”.

    • krainierd says:

      I agree with you benign0 that for every child born, the per capita decreases for education especially for public education…And with the measly growth the Philippines has, it is spread over so many that the government can’t support the demand in the long-run without risking other budgetary items or borrowing to finance the needs of the public.

  15. Blasphemy! says:

    just checking on Yahoo news and here’s what I found:

    Pope Benedict XVI praised the efforts of Filipino bishops to fight the promotion of contraception and corruption in the country

    “I commend the church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death, and in defense of the integrity of marriage and the family,” the Pope told Filipino bishops at the end of their visit to Rome last week, according to the Archdiocese of Manila website.

    According to GMANews.tv, the Pope also said the Filipino bishops are “rightly concerned that there be an ongoing commitment to the struggle against corruption, since the growth of a just and sustainable economy will only come about when there is a clear and consistent application of the rule of law throughout the land.” He added that the bishops’ “charitable action on behalf of the poor continue to be greatly appreciated.”

    The Pope also urged the Catholic Church to spread the gospel through media and social communications. “It is important that the Catholic laity proficient in social communications take their proper place in proposing the Christian message in a convincing and attractive way.”
    _________________________________________________________________________

    At this rate these fanatics Egos will grow and spread it around their followers and starts kissing ass

    • Hyden Toro says:

      The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, lives in the Vatican Palace. Served by retinues of servants like an Emperor. The Pope does not know people having : (1) to survive and live, along a garbage dump. With the refuses of the garbage dump, as your source of livelihood. (2) to miss a meal, or to eat only once a day. Because, no one shares with you a meal; including Priests and Bishops of the Catholic Churches. Who have a large three-meals-feast everyday. (3) to survive from day-to-day in a below the poverty line existence…Why would we deduce our experiences and put our futures on these people, who are paid well and eating well, by spreading and twisting the truths in their religions?

      • defenderinred says:

        The pope alone is just about one person. Yes, he lives in the Vatican. Served by multitudes. But remember, he is the pope. He did not demand for this. When he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he filed for resignation twice but was denied by the late Pope John Paul II. He’s not living as a king and he did not even aspire such a life. 

        Becoming a priest is a long process. They study for years. The formation includes immersion in various places especially for religious priests such as the Franciscans, Jesuits, and the Passionists. Part of the formation is immersion. At one or several points during the immersion they have to live with poor families so they can not only understand but also experience poverty. Our Philippine Jesuits have members who are assigned in Tala, where lepers stay. Some are even based in Smokey Mountain and in Payatas. All of these are part of a priest’s formation. I’m sure that the pope has gone through a similar and may even be a more challenging immersion. 

        Priests, just like us, are human too. Subject to errors and failure. But one failure alone is not a reason to say that the whole church itself is a blinding institution.

        The church’s role is to ensure that human life is being lived to the fullest. It’s not that they are trying to control everything. They will call out what needs to be called out. If something is harmful to human life and morals then the church will make a stand.

         Judge not they say. It is very easy to judge the church and it is unfair. Have we really listened to the church recently? Do we know all of the activities they have? Or do we just easily judge them because their intentions contradict the way we want to live our lives?

        When making a point. The most credible way to prove it is to stand your ground and go for what you are for. It is a poor tactic to attack the opposition instead of just reasoning more on what one stands for. 

      • Maki_Alam says:

        “Priests, just like us, are human too. Subject to errors and failure. But one failure alone is not a reason to say that the whole church itself is a blinding institution.”

        Only one failure? You’re being very kind. The Catholic church has a looong history of oppression. Yes, priests are human, too. But they’re supposed to be agents of God here on earth, which makes their crimes and failings that much more unacceptable. And they have the gall to preach about morals and the so-called sanctity of human life when they have been coddling countless pedophiles among their ranks for the longest time.

        I’m sure there are good priests, too, but I’ve lost my faith in the church as an institution. As far as I’m concerned, the Catholic church is a living, walking contradiction. Perhaps they should read their bibles again, especially what Christ says about hypocrites.

      • Twin-Skies says:

        [Priests, just like us, are human too. Subject to errors and failure. But one failure alone is not a reason to say that the whole church itself is a blinding institution.

        The church’s role is to ensure that human life is being lived to the fullest. It’s not that they are trying to control everything. They will call out what needs to be called out. If something is harmful to human life and morals then the church will make a stand. ]

        Priests raping children are not an isolated matter. Recent investigations indicate they’re part of a more systemic process of hiding the offenders:

        Priests, just like us, are human too. Subject to errors and failure. But one failure alone is not a reason to say that the whole church itself is a blinding institution.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8576268.stm

      • Jay says:

        Priests, just like us, are human too. Subject to errors and failure. But one failure alone is not a reason to say that the whole church itself is a blinding institution.

        Somebody forgot plenary indulgences and the church’s use of religion in political ends to harness the land past the age of the Romans.

        I understand humans on an individual level. But when you get to a collective of humans who believe in a dogma and doctrine, an institution, it becomes a different story. Especially with what they say but doing something else entirely different.

        It is a poor tactic to attack the opposition instead of just reasoning more on what one stands for.

        It is a poor tactic to defend a point that itself has no real basis and instead use pandering to sympathy with the use of empty rhetoric as opposed to using facts. It is actually a great tactic to attack something with a factual basis that the majority won’t accept because it is deemed unfit or unjust in religious bearings to culture and society.

        If you need to be taken to school again, give me a ring. I’ll have the school bus ready and the other instructors of AP ready.

    • krainierd says:

      As if the Pope will be the one to feed all those hungry people in the Philippines especially those who are marginalized…Please! And right now there is a global food crisis that is looming due to various natural calamities happening worldwide causing mayhem to agricultural products…SO who will feed these people especially when food prices are zooming up to the roof? The Pope? that’s a crap!

  16. Artemio says:

    “The Filipino Chinese managed to accumulate enough to re-invest spectacularly under the same conditions back when they were taho and balut vendors. That they made it and the natives did not says something about our character as a people, and theirs.”

    I remember a response to a comment on an old article of his, in which the venerable Abe Margallo seemed to have justified the relatively marked success of the Filipino Chinese over the locals as due to a custom of preferential treatment they give their fellow Chinese since the early days, which over generations have a cumulative effect which resulted in a sort of unfair advantage their descendants are now enjoying.

    I wonder whether he had considered the custom of hard work, diligence, prudence, business savvy, etc–i.e. the ‘Confucian ethic’ in which the Chinese are better known for.

    • benign0 says:

      Plus the fact that it is their prerogative to give preferential treatment amongst themselves — which if I am not mistaken, Pinoys also encourage one another to do in their little communities in other countries. One can argue that if the Chinese do give “preferential treatment” to one another, why then didn’t Pinoys compete as a collective and also develop the same sort of solidarity that had proven to be collectively beneficial to the Chinese? That’s just Margallo being such a big crybaby about communities that compete instead of pretending to be prayerful and “virtuous” all the time and then expect “blessings” to magically fall on their lap.

      • Twin-Skies says:

        Isn’t that called the crab mentality, benign0?

        That is, whenever we see somebody prosper more than us, instead of using their success as an opportunity to learn how to be successful ourselves, we instead conspire to bring down the top guys out of a misguided sense of resentment and envy.

        Greetings btw – it seems that your post is being visited by several Pro-Lifers, so I’ll be hanging out here until I get tired of squashing their assertions 🙂

  17. Hang Man says:

    Y’know if this is really a big deal to the CBCP then why not encourage people to leave their unwanted babies in THEIR doorstep

    The benefits

    1. they are in safe hands of religious people, just take a look at what happened to Santino (“May Bukas pa” telenovela)

    2. No worries about food our daily Tithes will sustain them

    3. they will automatically have an occupation when they grow up *winks* (say hello to convents)

    that will get them to realize how hard it is to raise a child

  18. let's rejoice! says:

    Miriam questions IQ of Church leaders opposing RH bill

    Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Friday criticized local officials of the Roman Catholic Church for opposing the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill currently pending in Congress. In her keynote speech delivered at the Centro Escolar University in Manila on the occasion of Human Rights Day, Santiago questioned the intelligence of Catholic Church officials who oppose the RH bill and the use of artificial birth control methods such as condoms and pills. “Bakit ang mga pari? Matataas ba ang mga IQ nila? [What’s so notable about priests? Do they have high IQs?]” she said. Santiago, who authored the Senate version of the measure, also said that it is “very, very dangerous” for Church officials to claim that they know what God wants for Filipinos. “For me, it is very, very dangerous for any person to say, ‘I know what God wants.’ Really? May cellphone ba siya [Does God use a cellphone]?” she said in the same speech.

    Goodness she is so Badass! in your face ANTI-RH BILL Supporters!

    • Jay says:

      apparently the church knows what God wants through their Vatican developed prayer-matic 2000. When enough bishops pray, their collective energy is used to transport signals to the metatron who then translates it to whatever language God understands, which is not english by the way. Because it has once been mentioned that God always appears to humanity via the metatron because humans cannot handle the awesome, omnipotent power of God.

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