RH Bill – Pay the Price by Nelry Aducal

I have pretty much kept everything to myself ever since my curiosity has made me become an active citizen of my country. I am not saying that I don’t want to interfere in the social issue I am revolving around with because I must be reactive to the issue most especially if the concern is all about my fellow people and to my country as well. Nothing much have been spilled out of my tongue since I didn’t want to get involved with and perhaps that is the best thing to do while I’m on the boundary of nothing worthwhile. The past has always wanted to interfere with the future. Yes! It does. It is always contradicting, passive and somehow rewarding. Nevertheless, the weight of benefits that it brings constantly varies the effect of what could be brought upon to the society. Could that be as simple as the word coming out from the mouth of the person who was trying to clarify the matters happening in the world? Perhaps, it is always the case for them. They’re maybe trying to put an emphasis to the issue which cannot be highly understood. Are we all aware to the hang-issue of RH Bill or most commonly known as Reproductive Health Bill? Are we much conscious to the benefits it may or may not bring to every one? Are we all ready to the consequences if ever RH Bill would be implemented? Why can’t we decide on our own and just take the decision all by the hand of the government? The impact, the happening in our lives is somehow there for a reason. The way you deal with matters affecting yourself will bring upon judgment to others. What can you learn, what you can see from others and what can you see in yourself are the things that matter most for now. But what this issue wants to tackle for everyone? Is it for good or bad? If I were to be asked if where I should put myself to RH Bill whenever someone is asking I would simply say I don’t know. But hey! I’m now older enough to think for a better and most comprehensive decision-making. To tell you the truth I don’t want to be hypocrite about it because it’s really hard to think and decide especially I happened to be a Catholic so it’s a standard that my decision must be based to what the church has decided. Indeed, it is a kind of issue which is so very controversial and contentious to each of us. The reason why it is not yet decided and has been in the process of reviewing and studying is because we are in the catholic country. So, church has a greater responsibility for the people it scopes with. They are highly against because they don’t want to violate the moral law according to the divine teachings and biblical approach which is to live and multiply. Given the fact that they also have a strong stand for this issue is something we can never be moved away. But what will happen to the population of the Philippines if RH Bill is still not yet implemented? I no longer want to prolong my topic all I want is to be straight forward. I am not against to any of those, I am much more into and most affected with the effect of the increasing of population and other matter including social issues. I believe that all of us have the huge responsibility to take care of our decision to make for our future. We should not put the blame to the government whenever we are feeling a scarcity of life. We are responsible enough to make a decision if how many children we would want to have just as long as we have the capacity to raise them well. Think a while first before coming up to decision-making. For all I know is what will benefit to others is for general concern. I am not opposing to the prerogative of the Church but what I am mostly concerned with how this issue can be solved. On how poverty can be lessen, limited resources will be offered conveniently and land spacious for every people.

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Let’s Summarize What We’ve Learned by Nelry Aducal

They say that everything under the sun is a learning process. We can learn what we don’t know. It’s just a bonus if it’s something in you is innate to ourselves. But there is nothing wrong if we start at know-nothing-at all from a certain point of inquiries. It’s very crucial that we know how to ask and inquire. So that we will know what confusion has invaded us to seek for the answers. Hey! I would just like to share some experiences if you don’t mind that Jianne and I have encountered during our seminar conducted in Palauig, Zambales at La Viola Beach Resort. It was really so far from the city as the travel took so long. If I would estimate it, our adventure took 6 hours going there from Manila to Zambales. So my “kwento” goes like this during our stay in Zambales. It’s an event which is for the Day Care Teachers of different community under the ICES development program. We were with our Chairperson, Ms. Derillo, to support us to make this project be successful. And I am proud to say that it was successfully undertaken by the two of us and with the help of the Chairperson. We educated them about the POPULATION DEVELOPMENT through the knowledge we acquired from MULAT PINOY WORKSHOP and also our adviser during our discussion. But we were also educated and taught by our audience as well as they shared their experiences while the discussion was going on. It’s good to know that not only them who have taught and learned but also us through their concerns and queries.


Don’t be a Marginal Listener

It’s important that every time we listen to a speaker, we have to be very much concentrated to what we listen to. Being a marginal listener is not that as good as it is while we are in the midst of discussion. We should concentrate and focus our mind as well as our ears to absorb all the details we ought to know. An effective listener is one who listens attentively. It is not good that you are only using one ear and the other is for something you can’t concentrate with.


Avoid being an Evaluative Listener

I didn’t say that I’m perfect most of the time; I’m morally good through my actions and words: that I don’t even make any mistakes at all. But what I’m trying to imply is that even if it’s human nature that we became judgmental. Every time we are in a seminar or in session and there is someone speaking in front of us we tend to write all the errors and lapses of a speaker. Either the way of pronunciation of a word or committing of grammatical error. Focus on what is the real purpose of the discussion and compose yourself as one of the audience


Be an Active Listener

In order to listen effectively, it must require silence. So before you “listen”, be “silent” first. If you would try to shuffle the word and create another word from the word listen you would come up with the word “SILENT”. It’s amazing to think that these two words are inter connected to each other as it becomes very vital when you want to be educated. If we listen, we must be silent first and there will be no distraction to what we are listening to. How can you able to listen if you are not silent? So always be an ACTIVE LISTENER.

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PopDev on the Go by Nelry Aducal

Hats-off and honored is what I felt towards the successful project in Palauig, Zambales. Through the help of our chairperson and ICES officials, this seminar was made possible. We never thought and expected that everyone would participate along the way of our talk just as like as we thought that this topic would be as boring since it talks about the undying dilemma of every country which is the population. We were so overwhelmed with the outcome of our seminar because everyone was participating, cooperating and sharing their knowledge regarding our topic in population development. They shared their different perspectives about their experiences and understanding to the questions we asked them. They said that experience is still the best teacher. Through this experience they were able to explain clearly the matter involving reproductive health bill and other concerns in PopDev. In the midst of our discussion, there was a bit tension while sharing their own opinions and feelings if they are highly against in implementation of the RH Bill. Glad that we were also taught by them and had a serious open forum and active group discussion. We never failed to teach and inform them about the current status, situation and development of the world in particular of our country. We got to know their family background, instinct to the government policy and intuition towards population increasing stage and possible outcome if ever this will rapidly multiply. This conversation leads us to enlighten our mind as well as to our emotional approach. The fact that our audience happened to be the mother to their own child is also a reason behind why this kind of subject life matter for them is so easy to discuss and explain. I would say that this seminar with them is such an amazing and worthwhile experience. The long travel we took was suddenly forgotten because of the warm welcome and inexplicable experience with them while educating ourselves to Population Development.

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Here’s the video. :)

We were unable to take photos during the seminar in Zambales, but we do have a footage of it.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped in making the project possible.

Thank you, Mulat Pinoy, for giving us the chance to do this. :)

<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/41782998″ width=”500″ height=”331″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

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May 4, 2012: PopDev 101 at Iba, Zambales

Last May 4, 2012, Nelry and I boarded the Adamson school bus at 7:00 AM on the way to Zambales. Professors of our university were also with us on the bus; they were to instruct the teachers from Hope Day Care of Cabuyao, Laguna about K-12, English 101 and other relevant topics that could help these community-based teachers to be good educators. However, Nelry and I weren’t going there to teach them about grammar and the new education system. We were fortunately given the opportunity to discuss Population and Development with the teachers.

The ride took 4 to 5 hours. I wasn’t expecting it to be that far, but by the time we arrived at La Viola Beach Resort, I was already feeling the excitement. The sea was calm and inviting. I could jump into the water if I wanted to but I stopped myself; I was here for a different purpose – a purpose more important than having the vacation I have long been praying for.

We took an hour break because the trip to Zambales was really tiring. I realized that the place was really, really remote. There was no loading station, television or radio set. Anyway, Nelry and I used the time to review our notes. We were nervous but nonetheless very excited.

After an hour, we were called to be the first speakers of the seminar. Nelry and I looked at each other, sending mental messages to each other that are of nervousness and fright. *laughs* We then went to our room and prepared ourselves for the seminar.

When we got into the seminar hall, we arranged the materials to be used like the hand outs to be given, the presentation to be used, the videos we will present and the microphones for each of us. Nelry and I divided the report between the two of us so we could focus on different parts of the discussion.

I started off the talk by a viewing of the video “Overpopulation is a Myth.” You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7pwY25qzl4. The audience reacted to the video in a way that it caught their interest. This made my anxiety fade away and as the video reached its end, I began discussing to them the RH Bill. After introducing the RH Bill, I gave the participants a chance to give their opinion on this matter. Some are pro-RH, saying that it would really benefit the country. One participant, Ma’am Rhea, was actually very enthusiastic about it. She believes that the RH Bill is a really good way of educating the people about family planning. Some opposed to the idea, saying that the natural way is still the best way to do it.

We then moved to the second part of our talk, which is PopDev 101. Everything we’ve learned from Prof. Nimfa Ogena‘s discussion in our Social Networth seminar and workshop were inculcated in our presentation. We showed statistics and graphs related to the Philippines’ and world’s population. We defined important words like Total Fertility Rate, Population Momentum and Population Growth Rate. The topics were kind of difficult to understand but the participants were really interested and they gave effort to comprehend the things that we were teaching them.

It was a really interesting discussion; the participants shared their thoughts whenever they have something to add to whatever Nelry or I was saying. I especially liked the part where some of the participants had a debate on whether the choice of the child to engage in pre-marital sex was because of the parents’ lack of guidance or the child’s sole decision. Some said that the parents’ negligence plays a big part in the situation but others pointed out that the child still has the last say in the deed. Our Mass Comm chair, Prof. Jen Derillo shared her thoughts on this. She pointed out that parents need not blame themselves if ever their child engaged in pre-marital sex. It’s not a question of who neglected and who didn’t protect their child enough, but an issue of whether they have tried their best to educate their offspring about sex. She said that at home, they can say all they want about sex to their child but when the child goes out into the world, what they hear and see in their environment that is highly influenced by the media is beyond their control. This is what makes the media powerful. We all agreed with Ma’am Jen.

Tita Merly, one of the participants also shared her thoughts about the use of contraceptives and some wrong notions about the RH Bill. It turns out that she was a health worker in their barangay and she was able to share some important information regarding sex education. “Hindi naman po sa nagkukulang kami sa pag-inform sa public tungkol sa mga bagay na ito. Kami nga po ay nagdo-door-to-door minsan sa mga tahanan upang personal na magbigay kaalaman tungkol sa contraceptives at iba pang bagay. Mahirap lamang po gawin ito sapagkat hindi lahat ay cooperative,” she says. “Ang iba po ay hindi po kami pinagbubuksan ng pinto at di kami pinapansin.” This created a knot in my stomach. If some people lack the effort to care about these things, then it would be really hard to educate people about overpopulation.

The discussion continued on. We all agreed on this: The behavior of a person depends highly on the culture he/she grew up on. The parents can never control the actions of their children but they can always try to build a culture of good decision making around their children so that in the future, they may make sound choices of their own.

In the end, we were all glad to have a discussion about Population and Development. Nelry and I were glad to impart our knowledge to them. The participants were eager to apply and share their learnings to their community. I felt really happy that we were able to touch lives with a simple but meaningful discussion.

We gave the rest of our hand outs to Tita Merly to aid her and her co-health workers in educating people about safe sex and population. Everyone thanked us and clapped their hands for us. Even the professors from Adamson who listened to us told us that we did a good job. We were so thankful that everyone cooperated with us.

I smiled at Nelry. He smiled back at me. Telling people to make good decisions is a good thing but teaching educators of the youth to be part of something that could help the country is a big step towards  change.

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Just one sleep away! :-)

Just one sleep away from our long-term project! :-)

Today, we had a meeting with our professors who will be with us tomorrow to finalize the plans regarding our discussion. We made hand outs to be given out to our audience; these hand outs serve as guides for them as we discuss PopDev to them. We also defined the scope of the discussion and how it will benefit the audience especially as they apply what they will learn in their daily lives.

Tomorrow we will be at Zambales to conduct the seminar. Nelry and I will talk about PopDev to community-based teachers. We are so excited!

Assembly time at our school is at 7:00 AM so we need to be sleeping now. Ciao! :-)

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Facebook Page

26 Likes on our Facebook page! Thank you for the support! Keep liking us, at http://www.facebook.com/SanctuaryoNiJuan2012. Thanks! :)

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Contagious Excitement :-)

Yesterday, April 24, 2012, Nelry and I had a meeting with the chairperson of our Mass Communication department, and the university’s Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES).

The Institute for the Community Based-Day Care Teachers under the College of Education and Liberal Arts, Basic Education and ICES of Adamson University will conduct a Volunteer Community Based-Day Care Teachers Meeting, Workshop and Training on May 4, 5 and 6 at La Viola Beach Resort, Brgy. Liozon, Palauig, Zambales. There will be several professors to talk in the workshop and training. The aims of this activity are:

  1. To revisit the existing day-care program in light of the K-12 curriculum
  2. To realign the program with the K-12 curriculum
  3. To craft the appropriate training design for volunteer community based-day care teachers
  4. To conduct an English proficiency program through integration of the Language Arts curriculum

Fortunately, we were given a slot to talk to the teachers about PopDev. The professors think that since these teachers live in rural places (They are actually residents of Cabuyao, Laguna and were invited to Zambales), they have limited knowledge when it comes to PopDev and it would really benefit them to know about these things. They are teachers so they must be educated so they, too, in return, may educate the youth about PopDev.

Nelry and I became very excited upon learning this. The excitement is contagious and we are looking forward to talking to the teachers. :-)

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Day 2: Starting with small steps

Today, we launched our Facebook page, Sanctuaryo ni Juan.

We plan on posting more helpful insights and information there about PopDev. Like us! :-) We look forward to socializing with you, guys!


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Let’s hear from the writing experts.

Manila Bulletin, one of the leading newspapers in the Philippines, talked about overpopulation in some of their articles. Take some time to read into the experts’ minds, I tell you, it’s worth it. These are the articles that really caught my attention:

  1. What the RH Bill is not

    Business Option
    March 24, 2011, 1:14am

     MANILA, Philippines – The Reproductive Health Bill is not what it purports to be. It is not about reproductive health rights. It is not about women’s maternal health. It is not about preventing infant mortality. It is not about responsible parenthood. Nor is it about poverty alleviation.

    The RH Bill is in fact a tyranny of half-truths. This Bill, which has gone through so many permutations and attempts to be passed, is a melange of obfuscations and inadequate information.

    Efforts to ram it down our throats through apparently tainted media coverage, through surveys that ask leading questions, and through taking advantage of general ignorance of the substance of the bill, not to mention apathy of fence-sitters, is perhaps the reason why it is vaunted that the RH Bill is the best thing that could ever happen to the Filipino family and nation.

    Let’s start by considering the premise on which this bill rests. An early title of the bill said “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act,” which in its present “consolidated form” now has been revised to include “Responsible Parenthood” in the title, hijacking this very proper term to dissimulate and thus appear to indeed be for everyone’s good! Its view of development is very narrow, averring that the Philippines is overpopulated, and only by lowering the birth and fertility rates will this country finally burst out of its mire, and alleluia! We become a first world country!

    In the first place, the Malthusian (and its other manifestations) population argument has already been shot to pieces, with most of the developed world in fact facing a demographic winter, threatening the prospects of these economies over the long term. Picking up a quotation from an article by former Secretary of Finance Roberto de Ocampo, he said that according to some researches, “in order for a culture to maintain itself for more than 25 years, there must be a fertility rate of 2.11 children per family. With anything less, the culture will decline. Historically, no culture has ever reversed a 1.9 fertility rate.” Is this what we want for the Philippines?

    Regarding its claim to provide the “right to complete information” particularly about contraceptive options: the advocates completely forget to inform women about the health risks of hormonal contraceptives. The World Health Organization itself has classified these as bringing about the risks of cancer, particularly breast cancer, in their WHO/IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Report wherein it was found that hormonal contraceptives do cause cancer. At least, let the women know the risks!

    It’s the same with other contraceptive devices, such as the condom. It has been found that these do not prevent pregnancy from occurring, nor has it been proven that it protects against AIDS. Moreover, failure of contraception eventually leads to abortion, which while it is claimed that the bill has taken note of the fact that abortion is illegal, the effect of failed contraceptions is an implicit support of abortion.

    Another obfuscatory provision hidden in the bill are the punitive sanctions that are, if truth be told, attempts to curtail the Filipino’s civil liberties: obligatory requirements for medical health practitioners to actively promote artificial birth control without regard for their consciential rights, for example, if they in conscience cannot do it themselves, they are obliged to refer to someone else who don’t have the same misgivings. And hey, there are even sanctions for “criticizing” the bill (if passed).

    The bill, while pretending to be for the benefit of the Filipino and the family, overreaches itself. Why is it taking over areas best left to the decision of the Filipino married couple, such as whether they want to have children or not, such as their right to educate their children on matters related to sex and morality. The State should govern, and not meddle in the Filipino individual’s decision.

    A key principle in corporate governance is that the Board should govern, and let Management take care of the micro aspects of business.

    Another hidden provision is to consider contraceptives as “essential medicines,” which effectively means that there is no need for bidding nor for COA restrictions. As far as I know, no other medicine has been declared “essential”…(and I do have a quarrel with calling contraceptives as “medicine” because pregnancy is not a disease!) This provision thus leads to the use of tax money on what many citizens consider offensive to their beliefs – is this not a devious way of allocating money which have been paid into the government’s coffers by a majority of Christian taxpayers?

    Let me repeat. The RH bill is not about reproductive health. It is not about giving women a choice. It is not about poverty alleviation. It is not about the Filipino and his family. It is about state control.

    Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/node/311134/what-rh-bill-not

    2.  Overpopulation making RP poorer – ECOP

    Five million Filipinos now unemployed
    July 16, 2005, 8:00am

    The Philippines is poor because of its increasing population.

    Atty. Vicente Leogardo Jr. director-general of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP), said that the country is lagging behind Asian neighbors due to the increasing population.

    Leogardo said that the current unemployment rate is at 11.2 percent which translates to five million individuals who are unemployed.

    “Whatever economic growth we make every year is eaten up with the entry of new labor force,” Leogardo said.

    The Philippines is the 13th most populous country in the world and third among Southeast Asian counterparts, the Commission on Population (PopCom) said during the celebration of the World Population day last week.

    With an annual growth rate of 2.36 percent, the total population size of Filipinos is now estimated at 85.2 million.

    ECoP yesterday vowed to support population programs in the country by coming up with their own set of activities meant to assist every member in providing key reproductive health and family planning services to their workers.

    In a press briefing yesterday in Intramuros, Manila, ECoP members recognized the burgeoning population problem as a culprit in the poor economic development of the country.

    Leogardo explained that last year, there were about 1.2 million new job entrants for only 900,000 jobs created.

    ECoP is extending technical and financial assistance to its members by training their clinician staff and human resource officers in providing counseling services to their workers particularly on the issue of reproductive health and family planning as well as in violence against women, sexual harassment and sexually transmitted infections among other topics.

    “When the private sector will not address the population problem, the Philippines will not go on in terms of economic development,” Atty. Rene Soriano, ECoP president said.

    ECoP is currently developing modules for reproductive health learning sessions on male involvement since 68 percent of the workforce is comprised of males, ECoP said.

    ECOP came up with their support for family planning programs after a survey of collective bargaining agreements done in 2003. The survey found that 69 percent of organized labor unions demand family planning programs in the workplace.

    Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/node/131282

    3.  Overpopulation

    By Fr. Emeterio E Barcelon
    March 5, 2004, 8:00am

    DO we have too many people for our own good? Are there too many babies born and not enough people dying off because of good medicine so that the land can no longer support them? In a post-agricultural era, population per square kilometer is no longer relevant. In many nations like the US and Europe, over 90 percent of the people now live in cities where they had at least 50 percent in farms 50 years ago. The surprise is that even the Philippines is now 60 percent urbanized. The next question is how well we take care of our people in livelihood opportunities, in education, in health and in preserving our culture and in giving them an opportunity to praise, thank and love God and to serve and love their neighbor.

    Mr. Salvador Rigor, Jr. of San Carlos, Negros Occidendal writes clearly cogent arguments and quotes statistics from the United Nations Population division that the population explosion in this country has ended. (Exact source is not as yet been provided.)

    Herewith a write-up of the true picture of the Philippine population:

    1. The annual population growth rate is 1.61 percent not 2.36 percent carelessly mentioned by some authors.

    2. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) – the total number of births per woman is 2.93, down from 7.29 births per woman 50 years ago. This is expected to go below replacement level of 2.10 in 2012, only nine years from now. The TFR is projected to go down even further to 1.85 by 2015, much below population replacement level.

    3. The total number of births per year has started to decline from 2.048 in 2000 to 1.849 million now or an annual drop of around 200,000 births.

    4. Due to the worldwide phenomenon of urbanization around 48 million people now live in urban areas compared to 5 million in 1950 leading to the squatter problem and the perception of too many people. This movement to urban areas will continue and cause increases in city populations though not necessarily of the country.

    5) The real danger is not population explosion but population implosion with the resulting ageing of population and even to population decline which is now happening in at least 87 countries in the world. An ageing population and population decline disrupt economic progress in a country.

    6) The population density of the Philippines is 252 persons per square kilometer. Japan with 336 and Singapore with 6,499 are encouraging citizens to have more babies because of demographic winter and declining population which are destructive to their economy.

    Singapore previously had a motto of “Stop at Two,” referring to the biggest number of babies which a couple should have. It is now replaced with the motto “At Least Three.”

    What these two countries are finding out is that it is very difficult to change a contraceptive mentality and a culture of death which bring about a small family mindset. Thus, their efforts at increasing their population is not succeeding.’’

    In our “damaged culture” we still have a lot to do. We need to promote peace and order, to rid ourselves of destructive rivalry, provide jobs for a decent living but in the end, we still produce a happy people. We may still not identify with the nation but with linguistic groups yet we sacrifice like heck for the family, an institution which is under serious attack. It does not depend on our leaders alone but on all to keep those family values that make us a happy people. (My niece Anita was murdered by burglars in Las Piñas this week while Paul her husband is trying to make a living in Saudi. Your prayers requested for them.)

    Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/node/158410

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