"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aim for quality population

The government should create a policy that aims to have a quality population, Senator Richard J. Gordon (Independent) said.

Speaking at the national conference-workshop for the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the senator said that what is important is not the issue of reducing or increasing the country’s population but ensuring an educated, skilled and responsible citizenry.

“The Philippines remains apathetic to one of the biggest problems in our country today—the untrammeled growth of population which creates a quantitative rather than a qualitative population,” Gordon said.

“It is important that we come up with a population policy. We have to provide choices for our people. Our government should be able to provide quality education and health care services to our people and uplift the level of development of the country’s citizens,” he added.

Gordon stressed that the country’s population development is the responsibility of both the government and the citizenry.

He maintains that a couple should have the prerogative to have as many children as they want but the government would only shoulder the public expenses of up to the second child; beyond the second child, the couple will have to pay for pregnancy, public school, medication and other public expenses.

“We aim for a quality population. You can have as many children as you want, it is your choice, but you have to pay after your second child. We have to accompany everything with responsibility and proper information,” he said.

“The reproductive health bill is not the only answer to problems involving the country’s population growth. We have to utilize the present problem of our population and make it a qualitative population by supporting initiatives that will create new incentives for our people to be able to get better chances so that they will have better choices in life,” he added.

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