I always read posts from the anti-RH Bill camp that say children are treasures and the more the parents have the more it is likely for them to get out of poverty. Manila ex-Mayor, Lito Atienza even said in one of his many TV interviews: “the more, the merrier and it’s not right to claim that the poor who have big families are not happy”. Well, that’s just bullshit.
Sure, there are real stories of real people who had a big family and got out of poverty. But that’s just because of chance. Seriously, among the millions of poor Filipino families who have an average of 6 – 8 children, how many of them finished college education? How many of them have a decent paying job? How many of them can send their children to school? How many of them can pay for their hospitalization?
I can share a real story.
My maternal grandparents (now both deceased), believed in such bullshit. They had 11 children and 10 survived to become adults. Not all of them finished their high school education and only my mother finished college. During the times of plenty, they bought clothes and shoes in Marikina city. But most of the time, money was hard to come by and it was hell. My grandfather, overwhelmed by frustration, took it out on some of his children. Food was always rationed and my mother knew it all too well for she was the one in-charge of taking care of her siblings.
About half of my mother’s siblings remained poor. They live in a compound and I tell you, I feel the population boom whenever we go there because there are a LOT of children. In as short as 8 years, they were able to add 60 people to the country’s population. 60 innocent faces during Christmas who get ecstatic to receive a toy worth 20 – 30 pesos that we bought in Divisoria.
The majority of them don’t have the means to send their children through college. They are counting on us, their relatives who have a little money to spare, to help them. In short, they are a liability.
I have my own life to live and my own future to worry about. But I can’t help but feel stressed out with thinking what the future holds for my babies (cousins, nieces and nephews). One of them is now a freshman in high school. In three years, what will become of him?
It’s annoying, really. It’s stupid. If they can’t afford to live a decent life, if they have enough common sense they’ll know that they shouldn’t add one more mouth to feed. But look what we have here, we got priests and anti-RH Bill advocates cheering them on and telling them they’re doing a great job in multiplying like rabbits.
And what’s with this mentality that children are supposed to get their parents out of poverty? Babies didn’t ask to be born and it’s the parent’s responsibility to provide for them without asking for anything in return.
I accept that in every issue there are people who agree and disagree with it. That’s a given. And I have loads of respect for those who oppose the Reproductive Health Bill because they argue that there are more effective ways to combat poverty. However, I despise those who promote STUPIDITY. It’s one thing to be passionate about what you’re fighting for. It’s another to tell lies and spew bullshit all over the net. It’s not helping. Not. One. Bit.
Author’s note: this essay was published on on Friday, 02 September 2011 at 15:19 on my facebook profile.