Population Must Be Number One On The Philippine Government's Checklist.

2091 words - 8 pages

Population, poverty, and education have formed complex cause-and-effect relationships in the past few years. Issues involving these three components continue to be the root of all debates here in the Philippines. Issues were raised regarding which component the government must focus more to stabilize the economic status of the Philippines. This is what the first part of the paper seeks, to show that population must be number one on government's checklist.Population and education problems became a big issue in the Philippines during the late 1990s. It had been debated whether better education will lead to a lower population growth rate or a lower population growth rate will increase the quality of education. In an article of The Philippine Star, Jerrold W. Huguet said that the government must focus start on resolving education-related problems since there were studies which showed that educated women have fewer children (Rimando 18). However, studies of the Commission on Population (POPCOM) showed that the government has not been able to cope with the increase of the student population each year (Jaymalin 4). This continuing increase of the student population prevents the government from providing a good quality education for all (A. Cruz 4).Population and poverty issues have also been controversial. Issues were raised regarding the role of population in order to reduce poverty. In an article by Luis Teodoro, he said that lowering the population growth rate may not be a solution to poverty. He also said that "high population growth rates seem [...] to be only a part of the poverty syndrome" (9). However, recent studies made by POPCOM show that population and poverty are always interrelated, and that the rise in the whole population always results to an increase of the population below the poverty line ("Rapid" 12). According to POPCOM, although the poverty level of the Philippines went down, from 44% last 1985 to 33% at present, this decrease can not be accounted of because the people who lie below the poverty line increased (Orbeta 16). Also, a large fraction of the Philippine population today are from the age 1-15; therefore, it implies a large dependency ratio and a large need for publicly provided services such as education. In an article on Manila Bulletin last May of 2002, Bacani admitted that it is harder to reduce poverty when there is an increase in population ("PCCI" B-1). Compared to other countries, our population growth rate, as well as our poverty level incidence, is still high ("Population and Poverty" B2).From the statements above, one can therefore conclude that in order to reduce poverty and improve the quality of education, a strong policy is needed to slow down the population growth rate of the Philippines. This paper seeks to alarm the government of the current situation of the Philippine population, that it is growing at a rate of 2.36% a year which translates to three babies born every minute, and encourage them to implement...

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