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CBCP opposes 4 population-control bills

Manila Times

Saturday, February 05, 2005

“RECKLESS and irresponsible.” That was how the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines described the act of four congressmen who filed separate bills seeking a radical policy on population control to spur economic development.

Jo Imbong, executive secretary of the CBCP legal office, said the bills were not rooted on reality and were unconstitutional.

“The life of the law is reason. That is why the Supreme Court has always held that any act, law, or regulation which is unreasonable or arbitrary is invalid, because it amounts to a denial of due process,” Imbong said in a letter to the House Committee on Women.

She pointed out that the bills’ data and claim of a “runaway population growth” are belied by statistics and trends in world population.

United Nations data showed a growth rate of 1.61 percent; National Statistics Office, 1.99 percent; UNFPA Statisticial Profile of the Philippines, 1.9 percent; and The World Fact Book, 1.88 percent.

“These rates of growth do not constitute rapid population growth,” she stressed, citing reports that across the globe, people are having fewer and fewer children and that fertility rates have dropped by half since 1972.

Imbong also cited the failed two-child policy of Singapore, which is now facing a demographic crisis that already threatens the island state’s vibrant economy.

“The path of irresponsible legislation is dreadful. If an act is made legal, it will be perceived as moral. If an act is perceived as moral, it will become a norm. If it is observed by all as a norm, then it is too late,” Imbong warned. “By then you will have changed the culture. That is not just irresponsibility. It is the ultimate breach of public trust.”
--William B. Depasupil  

 

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