Artificial birth control is often taboo in this staunchly Roman Catholic country. Yet with a birth rate that is one of the highest in the world, sustainable population growth is becoming a burning issue, especially as millions of poor people struggle to feed themselves at a time of high food prices.
This year’s global food crisis, which saw prices of basic commodities such as rice soar beyond the reach of millions of poor people, created shock waves in the Philippines where over 40 percent of the population live on $2 or less a day.
Spooked by a precarious political and economic situation, some lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that will compel the central government to promote artificial family planning rather than solely focus on natural birth control methods supported by the Church…
“The lack of an unambiguous population policy reflects a lack of seriousness in promoting long-term economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Ernesto Pernia, a professor of economics at the University of the Philippines, and one of the 27 signatories.