, 2012 (BULLETIN) Chaff from the Grain By FORMER PRESS SECRETARY HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA - (“Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.” — T.S. Eliot)

When we stand too close to the trees, we cannot see the forest, and beyond.

When we get mired in the humdrum business of daily living, mundane matters, parochial concerns, obsessive politics, and materialist motives, the pursuit of vision and glory, which every nation and people aspire for, tends to fade away into the backburner consciousness of people.

Be that as it may, as President Benigno Simeon Aquino III delivers his Third SONA on his accomplishments in the last two years focusing on his triumph against corruption with the impeachment and ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona and the detention of former President Gloria Arroyo, higher GDP and impressive agricultural gains made, President Aquino is reminded that the Philippines can be the idyllic and a better place to live in, and assuredly more fun if only there were not so many underage, underfed, uneducated, and unemployed Filipinos.

It can be surmised that the achievements of the administration, according to President Aquino, such as the poverty-mitigating Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, the campaign against smugglers and tax evaders, PNP’s claim of lower crime index, increasing foreign investments, enhanced public works activities, and work-in-progress on the peace negotiations with Islamist and communist insurgents, are credible and validated.

On the other hand, these accomplishments must be taken pari-passu (sic: without partiality) in the context of television’s constant assault on the senses with the escalating culture of violence, kidnapping, carnapping, human trafficking, drug addiction, mounting HIV cases, robberies, and crimes against property.

In both circumstances – positive government accomplishments and deteriorating law and order environment – the common thread is the burgeoning population explosion that has ballooned from under 20 million 50 years ago to 90 million, and counting.

The finger of suspicion and malaise narrows down to population congestion.

Meanwhile in the process of feeding and employing this growing demographic crisis, the pristine rain forests are gone, the lovely coral reefs are dead, and the marine aquatic resources and fishing grounds are depleted.

Hence, unabated population growth is the common malaise of the many problems facing the nation.

As noted, countries, whether with large landmass or modest manageable population, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and others have all succeeded in containing or decelerating their population growth and birth rate, except the Philippines.

The passage of the RH Bill into law is a good start.

The passage of the reproductive health bill will not only be a lasting legacy of President Benigno Aquino but will also be a historic breakthrough in the secularization of the State from the influence of religious groups.

Moreover, a declining population will restore the equilibrium between what we are capable of producing, and what we reproduce.

The RH bill is a conflict between modernism and medieval religious hangovers.

You be the judge

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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