Matter of timing

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


WHEN we were preparing for bed the other night, we were less than 100 million souls on this part of the earth. Then in a matter of minutes, we were, presto, more than 100 million Filipinos.

Which means that there will be more mouths wide open seeking milk from the breasts of nursing mothers and more cans of milk needed for the artificially fed ones.

That was how it appeared to us at midnight of July 29th when the Philippines noted the rise of its population to 100 million. Reports say that the birth of babies at that time led to the gift-giving.

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The newborn picked to represent Cebu City’s entry into the count was given a “lifetime membership in Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), and a newborn starter kit worth P5,000.”

The baby named Kyle Olendang was born at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) whose chief also said the hospital will shoulder all the expenses for the child’s birth. Likewise, all other infants born in various parts of the Central Visayas at that time were also given similar gifts by the Population Commission (Popcom).

But of course, while the country celebrates the rise in the population of the Philippines to 100 million, little do the newborn babies know the implications of their birth to the “constant” resources of the Earth.

Because of this growth, people will also have to continue to be creative enough to produce more resources to feed the newborn. Also they should be aware of the methods of family planning to ensure that our population won’t balloon further and thus overstrain our resources.

According to the Commission on Population (Popcom), “the search for the 100 millionth baby” was open to all infants born at 12:06 a.m. or minutes later, in a health facility run by the national government or a government unit.

All facilities that participated in the search must be certified as observing the Philippine Standard Time and the birth must be certified by a doctor or a birth attendant. Also, the babies must be born through normal spontaneous delivery in order to be qualified in the competition.

The Popcom director, in a talk with some media people, said that Kyle’s birth brings up the point that the country is growing rapidly every year and the national government must meet the demands of a growing population with its limited resources.

He clarified, though, that there is “opportunity seen with a growing population but our government is also challenged” to plan for the development of our country.

Later, President Noynoy Aquino, in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) said that the poverty incidence in our country dropped this year by three percentage points from 27.9 percent to 24.9 percent.

Now, if you ask me, our President really knows something about “timing.” He did “time” his revelation about poverty incidence with the Popcom report about our population gain.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 31, 2014.

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