SO IT SEEMS
By 2020, only condoms will be available to Filipino couples who want to limit the number of their children through birth-spa-cing and birth-control because by then it will be the only contraceptive available in the market.
In June 2015 the supreme court issued a temporary restraining order stopping the Food and Drug Administration from granting and renewing certificate of product registration of contra-ceptive products.
High court’s ruling is contrary to efforts of family planning advocates to encourage couples to limit the number of their children through the use of contraceptives, including birth-control pills and use of intrauterine devices for women.
In issuing the TRO the SC justices seemed to be unconcerned with the country’s exploding po-pulation which is the primary cause of the perennial shortage of classrooms every opening of classes in public elementary and high schools.
Our country’s over-population is also one of the major causes of the unending lack of em-ployment opportunities, forcing many college graduates and unemployed Filipino men and women to seek jobs abroad.
Despite our country’s relatively small land area of only 300,000 square kilometer, about the size of the state of Arizona in the United States, the Philippines is the 12th most populous nation in the world.
Figures in the National Statistics Office show that our country’s population is 105 million, based on the last population census taken in 2010. With the passing of seven years since then and with a yearly population growth rate of 1.9 percent our country’s actual population at present should be between 112 million and 113 million.
Why should the sale and marketing of contraceptives be regulated? Availability of birth-spacing and birth-prevention devices should be unhampered to slow down, better yet, stop the population explosion.
While condoms are more affordable and effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies, many couples, especially men, do not get the satisfaction that they desire in having sexual intercourse with their partners.
So, to make the efforts to control the nation’s rapid population increase, ma-nufacture, sale and distri-bution of contraceptives should be unrestricted.
If we have our way, contraceptives should be available even in sidewalks and sari-sari stores.
Furthermore, contra-ceptives of all kinds, including birth-control pills, should be distributed free to poor couples.
The Catholic Church only recommends to its followers the use of natural methods in family planning and preventing unplanned pregnancies, but it is not easy to follow, especially by young couples because it means total abstinence from sexual intercourse during unsafe periods.
For men who are away most of the time and are only home during weekends or once a month, absti-nence from intercourse with their partners is impossible to follow.
Our friend and newspaper colleague Jesus Dureza, presidential adviser on the peace process, is optimistic that the peace negotiations will succeed.
There will probably be ceasefire after the peace talks but we doubt if it will last long. For one thing, the leaderships of the commu-nist rebellion execute their command to the New People’s Army, the armed wing and extortion arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NDF by remote control.
The CPP-NDF lea-ders, particularly CPP founder and rebellion supremo Jose Maria Sison and several others have long been living in exile in the Netherlands and with the Dutch government pro-viding their subsistence needs.
Sison and other CPP-NDF lea-ders in exile have lost control of their men in the field. Proof of Sison’s lost of control of his follo-wers is NPA’s non-observance of the truce jointly agreed upon by the CPP-NDF and the government.
In our humble opinion, there is no point in having truce which, as events in the past have shown, don’t stay long. If we have our way, the military, including the police, should launch an all-out war against the rebels until no one is left standing.
That’s the only effective way to end the decades-old communist rebellion.
It’s good to learn that a lawmaker is pushing for the revival of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for senior high school students or those in Grades 11 and 12.
Deputy Speaker Romeo Abu who represents a district in Batangas in the House of Representatives is confident the bigger chamber of Congress will pass the bill that will make the ROTC a mandatory course for students entering Grades 11 and 12 under the K-12 curriculum.
The proposed law will introduce basic military training to prepare college students for national defense or civil-military operations.
Previously, particularly during my college days, ROTC was mandatory for first year and second year college students as it was part of the school curriculum.
No student is allowed to graduate after finishing a four-year course without completing the two-year basic ROTC course.
If implemented efficiently, Abu said, the ROTC “would have the potential to produce an entire generation of young Filipinos who will be proud of their heritage and ready to serve their countrymen.
If House Bill 1513 which he authored is passed into law, Abu said, those who finished their college courses and ROTC courses will have “the equivalent of first level civil service eligibility and a prospect for second level eligibility if the student pursues Advance ROTC.”