September 2010

The Moral Dimensions of Family Planning

President Aquino’s recent announcement that he would be pushing forward with the reproductive health (RH) bill has set off a firestorm of reactions from various sectors, including the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), a representative of which has threatened Aquino with excommunication.

What follows is the text of a keynote address delivered by former First Lady Imelda Marcos on January 7, 1974, at the First Asian Regional Conference on Family Planning. Pro Pinoy is posting the speech in the hope of stimulating discussion not only on the current controversy, but also on the history of population control in the Philippines. It may be of interest to note that Mrs. Marcos, a Catholic who led the move toward population control during the Marcos regime, has yet to be excommunicated.

The Moral Dimensions of Family Planning

It is my pleasure to keynote this Asian Regional Conference on Family Planning of the Medical Women’s International Association. I can think of nothing more appropriate and timely to usher in World Population Year 1974 than a regional conference on family planning. Allow me therefore to welcome to Manila our neighbors from the Asian region and our distinguished guests and speakers to this inaugural activity of our world population year program. I hope you will find your stay both fruitful and pleasant.

The Malthusian solution to its own nightmare was—after abstinence—war, famine, and pestilence. We know now that this is no solution at all, as war, famine, and pestilence are the consequences of the population explosion.

Our modern technological civilization has, therefore, devised the technique of planning and control.

We are moved, as B. F. Skinner has said, to depend on our strength, which is technology. Thus population planning and control originated as a proposition from among the rich nations of the world, nations which have benefited and are benefiting most from technology.

Some cynic has said that population planning and control is advocated for the poor peoples by the world’s rich in order to preserve their stability and insure their comforts. For if the world’s poor were to increase beyond measure, the rebellion of the poor will explode and imperil the security and well-being of the world’s rich.

And, going farther, not us but the philosophers of the technological civilization have pointed out that a shift in the thinking of rich nations can, without great effort, convert their resources and technology for feeding, clothing, and housing all the peoples of the world. The expenditure in arms and space technology could have been, it is said, redirected to the welfare of all mankinds [sic] on earth.

For developing nations like the Philippines, the planning and control of population is of fairly recent awareness. For nations such as ours have experienced the painful reality of economic growth being cancelled out by a high rate of population increase. Our rate in the Philippines is among the highest in the world. It is for this reason that we have taken the Western proposition for our own fundamental end—that of survival. As President Ferdinand E. Marcos has emphasized again and again, we need to depend on ourselves.

And so we pursue our population programme with enthusiasm and vigor, aware nevertheless of traditional ways and mores of our people.The main thrust of our programme is education, basically the re-orientation of our people to the complexities of modern life. Only in the Philippines do you find a tri-partite cooperation among the government, the private sector, which includes the religious organizations, and international agencies concerned with population control. We have adopted the technique in order to avert diffusion of time, effort, and resources.

Education, not just pills and other palliative measures, is the crying immediate need. Government alone cannot succeed. The help of the private sector, specially of the religious organizations, is most critical.

In a week we inaugurate the Population Center building where such cooperation of hte private with the religious, government, and international organizations involved in population control will be formalized and housed.

We must say that for the most part it is the Filipino male in the Philippines who holds the key to family planning. Traditionally, the Filipino looked to the child-bearing of his wife as a matter of prestige or male pride, while both husband and wife looked to many children as an assurance for their old age. And so children were born in expectation of a form of bondage, for in exchange for their rearing they should take care of their aging parents.

I hold no strong brief against this attitude. It is one of the charms and proof of compassion of Filipino family life. But it is anachronistic in an age of social security.

We need to understand now that we bear and raise children because we love them, not for any economic or selfish reason.

Thus, if there were in the West political, social, and economic considerations in advocating population control for the poor peoples of the world, for us, in the Third World, the primary consideration is moral.

Large families living in squalor strain the moral sense. Our experience of greed, graft, and corruption has largely been the consequence of large or even many families. Numbers have ethical implications: the qualitative change in the moral perceptions of a man who proceeds from three children to ten or more is rather evident. Aggression comes from pressure and population pressure, indeed, arouses the aggressive instincts of men.

But more than this negative moral sanction is the positive one. To plan, to abstain properly, or to take measures breeds discipline and manifests maturity. Though we may learn that creature comforts await us at the end of the discipline, we are more exhilarated by the fact that we accept the responsibility for our own lives, that every step we take is the result of ethical deliberation.

The boons of population discipline will take, at least, a generation or two to be felt and enjoyed by all. But the spiritual well-being that comes from the knowledge of self-abnegation and planning is immediately felt. Thus, we say that family planning leads to other forms of planning—to economic, social, and even political planning.

We are at present involved in making a new society, a society that is compassionate no less than disciplined and progressive.

We are aware that family planning is one of the pillars of the new society, undertaken not because we want to protect the wealth of the few against the explosion of the poor, bunt undertaken because we do not want to condemn unborn generations to misery and servitude.

We want children because we love them, and because we love them, we want, as far as possible, the best for them, spiritually no less materially. But too many of them will surely diminish our love and deflect our attention: too many of them will strain our moral capacities. This I feel is the moral dimension of family planning in the Philippines.

On this note, I welcome all of you to our country and may your seminar prove fruitful, may your discussions bring forth new insights and new ways of promoting the great moral change that will protect mankind from unregulated fertility.

To all of you, thank you.

DBM – “Guardian of public expenditure” to get a 19% budget cut

Malacanang
A September 28, 2010 press release prepared by the Department of Budget Management

DBM Secretary Abad: Reforms to roll-out towards “WALANG CORRUPT, WALANG MAHIRAP”

The Department of Budget and Management’s very own budget will decrease by P180.7 million or 18.8% to P780.9 million under the proposed Reform Budget of 2011. But even so, the institution vows to faithfully perform its role as “guardian of public expenditure.”

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad even said the DBM will play a key role in fulfilling the promise of the Aquino government, which got an overwhelming mandate in the 2010 national elections, of people empowerment through honest and participative governance.

“Like other agencies, the DBM has had to postpone expenditures on many of its priority projects so funds can be freed to augment vital social and economic services. Nonetheless, we are committed to rolling-out important public expenditure management reforms in line with President Aquino’s platform of kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” he said.

The DBM budget decrease in 2011 is mostly due to less capital outlay for next year, to P31.62 million from P231.3 million. He said capital expenses of the department for next year will only be for budget improvement projects, particularly the purchase of information technology equipment. The budget for personnel services will also decrease to P351.3 million from P355.3 million this year.

Meanwhile, maintenance expenditures increased to P397.9 million from P375.00 million, with provisions for the internationally-acclaimed Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS). Abad said the PhilGEPS will make possible, for the very first time, electronic bidding services in procurement by the 1st quarter of next year.

Abad added “we welcome this public debate on the national budget, and even the criticisms. This only means that the people, more than ever, recognize the national budget as important to their lives and that they want to take part in this process. I hope this public discourse is not just seasonal, and that it is maintained even after Congress approves the budget,” he said.

Read more

Dear Mr President, we need more precautions against disease

A ProPinoy reader shares her views on Philippine government hospitals and universal precautions to prevent infections and communicable diseases:

As i visited a relative of my niece at the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City,we were not told by staff about patient’s condition before ,there was only a small star by the door.Nothing that says ISOLATION or any Precaution.

When consultant arrived we were told pt might have TB which they haven’t concluded with positive Sputum test,they said all 3 was neg.they did CT scan of the lungs,and still not confirmed if patien has TB ot CA of the Lungs.

First of all people got exposed to patient,room no Negatve pressure,Doctor told me room is not Laminated.how would you assure that we’re not exposed to TB.The next day we came back there was a box of mask worth 2000 pesos and sign outside about Isolation and limit visitors.

if i did not say anything they will not have this signs and precautuions for Isolation.i just want them to know that i was uncomfortable about that incident,especially it’s National Kidney Hoaspital,your transplant patient’s is at risk for this kind of contamination.I am also a Registered Nurse and a concerned Citizen.

~ Rebecca Mirasol

What do you think?

Send your messages to our government to [email protected].

Philippine Senate adopts resolution to live stream Legislative proceedings

From the Official site of Philippine Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan:

Press Release
September 29, 2010

Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan lauds the move of the Senate adopting Resolution No. 53, as amended, authorizing the livestreaming of selected proceedings in the plenary as well as hearings and meetings of senate committees. Pangilinan is the principal author of the measure.

“We welcome this development and this will be a major step towards accountability and transparency in government, both of which the Aquino administration espouses.”

A feasibility study and pilot testing will be conducted initially within the Philippine senate website. This will ensure cost-effectiveness of recording and livestreaming proceedings.

“Livestreaming will enable our countrymen to participate in governance and be informed of how their elected officials do their duty to country and fellowmen. IT also brings our OFWs closer to their countrymen as they can easily access the proceedings wherever internet is available.”

This is great news!

Is he or isn't he?

Sometimes I will, then again I think I won’t. Sometimes I do, then again I think I don’t. — Chuck Berry

Overheard at the cantina…

“The President and Justice Secretary de Lima are on a collision course,” said Ben.

“Why?” Pepito asked.

“Because the President asked his executive secretary and his legal adviser to review the IIRC’s [Incident Investigation and Review Committee] findings and to make their own recommendations.”

“But he can do that, the IIRC’s findings are only recommendatory,” Pepito pointed out.

“Yes, and it will look like the President is protecting some people if the IIRC’s recommendations are not followed through.”

“What do you want him to do?”

“He can tell de Lima to act on the IIRC’s recommendations even if he does not totally agree with them. Tell her to prove her case in court, that way he won’t be suspected of protecting friends,” Ben replied.

“On the other hand, he can fire her if he does not like the report. All Cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the President,” said Pepito.

“Firing her will cause more problems.”

“Why?”

“Because the secretary of Justice is the only Cabinet member who is supposed to be above politics. Her job is to make sure everybody obeys the law, from the President all the way down to us. She’s not there to absolve the President’s friends or persecute his enemies,” Ben explained.

“But de Lima’s statements are bordering on insubordination,” Pepito argued.

“Yes, and if she’s fired, the public will ask: Did she fail to administer justice effectively, fairly and equitably, or did she just fail to do as the President wished? That’s going to be a public- relations nightmare.”

“Well, every other Justice secretary did as told,” insisted Pepito.

“And that’s why we have no respect for the law. It has always been enforced capriciously.”

“Maybe the President was not satisfied with the report,” Pepito shifted.

“I read the IIRC report, and its findings are straightforward and indisputable: There is a manual of operations for hostage situations and no one followed it. There is a code of ethics for news broadcasters and they did not follow it.”

“Going by the book does not always guarantee success.”

“True, but if everyone had followed the manual, then we would be talking about improving procedures and techniques instead of arguing over personalities to blame for the tragedy.”

“Mayor Lim got melodramatic over that,” Pepito said.

“Lim displayed his outdated mentality,” Ben replied, adding, “A blogger pointed out that ‘de Lima is becoming an archetype for the kind of law-enforcement official that adheres to procedure, a stickler for doing things by the book, in this case the manual for handling such crises. Mayor Lim, on the other hand, represents an opposing archetype that would rather dispense with the rulebook in bringing about justice. He represents the kind of justice you would expect from the Wild, Wild West. His archetype is the cowboy who makes his own rules as he goes along— a sort of nonchalant attitude that flaunts at procedure in order to get the job done.’”

“I think Lim is results-oriented,” Pepito countered.

“I don’t care how you see him, I don’t live in Manila. My concern is the President can he bring himself to doing what is right no matter who gets hurt in the process?”

“What led you to asking that question?”

“The President’s statement to the press, ‘One thing we have to watch out for is if these people who have been with us when we were still in the harassed opposition and who joined us in our struggles…if all these people who are close to us are removed and replaced by those who are not as close, the next group could already be our enemies.’”

“But the President has a legitimate concern,” said Pepito.

“Friends and enemies are not the issue here, we are not in Dodge City.”

“Well, what is the issue?”

“Accountability. And whether the President is serious about it.”

TG TV : Anak ng Jueteng!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgDDQtZ3UKA[/youtube]

The Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman and freshman Senator TG Guingona spoke about the First Hearing on Jueteng and explains the role of being a legislator and its relation with the executive branch.

What is TGTV?

TGTV is a weekly youtube video of Senator Tg Guingona. TGTV advocates greater transparency through showing the Public what really happens inside the Philippine Senate. The Public are also encouraged to participate by asking TG Guingona anything you want to know about him and his job as a senator.

Freshman Senator

TG Guingona said that being a freshman senator he was aware of being junior or a newbie. He also shared that he is very accommodating and gives everyone a chance express themselves. TG Guingona is a newly elected senator, and it is his first time to be a Senator of the Philippines. He was part of the Liberal Party’s Senatorial slate (SLAMAT LORRD) and known for his famous line “galit ako sa buhaya”.

The most important is Archbishop Cruz attended

He shared that he was able to convince Archbishop to attend the hearing and it was the most important thing. TG Guingona shares that other witnesses are required to attend but Archbishop was invited. This means that Archbishop has the right to reject the invitation but He chooses to attend the hearing, and the best part is Archbishop Cruz was able to reveal the names.

What is the role of a legislator?

In this video, TG Guingona elaborated the role of a legislator. He clarified that the role of senator is to create, amend or ratify laws. After then they will create a report and will proceed to hearings. The Legislators will pass their report to the executive for further investigation. It is then the executive branch who will execute the law.

Why Jueteng is an important issue?

TG Guingona explained that Jueteng is important not only because of illegal gambling issues but it can also be a source of corruption. Payola from Jueteng can be used to bribe their constituents thus removing the basic right of the people to freely  choose right and efficient leaders.

What to expect next?

Tomorrow will be the next hearing session and Senator TG will invite DILG Robert Robredo, USEC Rico Puno (who was accused of receiving payolas), PNO Chief Raul Bacalzo and the former PNP Chief Jesus Verzosa. He will also invite Romualdo Quinones and Ferdinand Rojas, officials from PSCO who were also accused. BIR Representatives and Anti Money Laundering council will also be present for the hearning tomorrow.

If you have any ideas that you want to collaborate with Sen. Tg’s new media department you can email Arraine – [email protected]

Bitin, nga

Conrad de Quiros wrote, “Still, Bitin”:

The Hamletian indecision is scary. As indeed P-Noy’s constant need to rely on the people he has surrounded himself with, not least his “alter ego” who is always in Malacañang and who followed him all the way to the United States, reposing them with the power he alone should wield as the elected president of this country. Don’t you just wish some of the dust from GMA’s relentlessness would settle on him, driving him to pursue to the ends of the earth, the way GMA moved heaven and earth, sky and wind, to get a photo-op with Obama the goal of making this country, if not an Enchanted Kingdom or a First World country by 2020, the best that it can possibly be? Don’t you just wish some of the rust from GMA’s megalomania would rub off on him, making him believe, which he really should believe having become president with the force of Edsa behind him and having the potential to become one of the best presidents this country has ever had with the power of Edsa in front of him, he can tug this country all the way to the Promised Land?

It’s a study in contrast, which still makes me feel:

Bitin.

Indeed. Bitin nga.

photo credit: Jay Morales

4 booboos in 24 hours

In his September 28 Philippine Star column, former Senator Ernesto M. Maceda cites four mistakes that he claims members of the Aquino cabinet committed within 24 hours, claiming that “signs of incompetence are piling up”. He also warns that there are hard times ahead for the country.

With regard to the President’s recent US visit, he questions the move to hire a PR firm, saying:

President Aquino confirmed that a US PR firm has been hired to help him on his US visit. He didn’t give the cost but admitted it was “kind of huge”. In an effort to justify the expense, he said the PR firm helped get the $434 million from the Millennium Development Fund. It was also claimed that the PR firm helped get the New York Times and Wall Street Journal interviews. Based on my experience as Ambassador, you don’t need a PR firm to get those interviews. The Philippine Mission to the UN can easily arrange that. And definitely, the $434 million MDF grant was due to compliance with so many requirements accomplished earlier. The US PR firm has nothing to do with that.

World Bank says RP needs to move up the value chain

Over at BusinessWorld:

along with other countries in the East Asian region, needs to reinvent itself and move up the value chain to achieve rapid growth, the World Bank states in a new book.

In The Day After Tomorrow: A Handbook on the Future of Economic Policy in the Developing World launched yesterday, the Washington-based institution said implementation of key reforms would allow countries in the region to go back to the high growth rates achieved over the past three decades.

It noted that expected lower growth in the United States, Japan and Europe — due to high public debt burdens, continued rehabilitation of bank balance sheets, increased risk aversion and policy uncertainty about proposed financial reforms — meant developing countries would face slower export growth, costlier international finance and a difficult trading environment.

“The most important question confronting East Asian policymakers is whether, despite these conditions, their economies can resume the rapid growth rates they achieved over the past three decades. We believe the answer is ‘yes’ — but it depends on key structural reforms in countries and at the regional level,” the World Bank said.

The Philippines’ current fiscal position is the clear and present danger in the short term. Arrest the leak, stabilize tax collection then slowly curb corruption is really the predominant goal. At least in the Philippine setting. Yes there is global slowdown, but that’s more opportunity, a chance for the Philippines to reform its economy and jump on when the trend starts to go up again.