Washington Sycip wrote an article about overpopulation a long time ago, at least a decade ago, and it was the article that set me off to the path of enlightenment regarding the ills of our country.
I don’t know if I can still get a copy of that article, but its one that stuck to my mind. The specific figures he used then are hazy to me now, but the general idea I could never forget. In that article, he discussed overpopulation, and used Thailand and the Philippines as an example.
As per Mr. Sycip, the story of both countries goes something like this: In 1970, both countries had around the same number of people. The figures I got from the internet said that the Philippines then had 36.5 million people, while Thailand had 36.25 million. Very close figures, with a gap of only about 250k people.
Three decades later, though, by the year 2000, that figure has drastically changed. The Philippines had grown to 75.7 million people. Thailand had also grown, but at a much more modest rate, growing to only 61.4 million people. The population gap between the two countries had ballooned to 14.3 million.
Only 8 years later, that gap had grown even more. The Philippine population then stood at 96 million. Thailand? 65.4 million. The gap is now at 30.6 million, about twice it was less than a decade earlier.
The 2008 figure show the FAILURE of the Arroyo Administration, and the Catholic Church, to reduce the populationg growth of the country.
Filipinos ask, “why are we poor?” The answer is complex, and varied. However, we do know that a fast population growth rate contributes a lot in terms of increasing, or worsening poverty in any country.
Thailand is not perfect: Pre-marital sex is very prevalent, and it is a country known more for its hospitality industry, among others. One sometimes get the impression that it is competing with Amsterdam on which country is the most liberal when it comes to sex. LOL
However, we do know that Thailand has a much better economy that us. Higher GNP, higher per capita income, etc. People there have a generally much better QUALITY of life than Filipinos in general. This is partly due in part of their ability to control the growth of their country to more manageable levels, that will allow better economic opportunities for most of its inhabitants.
As for the Philippines, where are we heading? We are heading, to OBLIVION. Take a good, hard look at other overpopulated countries like Bangladesh, or Mexico. One of those models is what the country will look in a couple more decades, if the population growth issue is not addressed.
(Source of Population figures: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_pop-people-population&date=2008)