Monday, December 20, 2004

it’s payback time

Barely two months after the elections, some congressmen are already wagging both their tongues and tails. The issue: population. But of course, this should be the first agenda, for, after all, the foreign funded anti-population advocates were, so says our grapevine, among the biggest contributors to some election coffers. It should not come a as a big surprise if in a couple of months the lower mortals in the political crowd should follow suit.

A foreign hand has been dangling a huge budget—-I mean, huge—-since late 80’s following the Memorandum 2000 of Henry Kissinger. Since then, this gargantuan budget has been used to influence decision makers and allies in third world countries in order to launch a protracted war against over-population.

Health agencies in government and the people running them have been healthy recipients of this budget for two decades now. And so are people in the media. Lately, our seemingly naïve colleagues in the media from Eastern Visayas (it’s actually true in all regions) have been beneficiaries to this fund. They would be invited to anti-population seminars—billed as media somethings—with free plane tickets, first class hotel accommodations and hefty smiles, however deceptive.

A presidential candidate in the 1998 presidential elections was reportedly (PDI) bankrolled by foreign health and anti-population advocates, but lost. Hoping to regain his loss, the same candidate ran for the same office during the last elections. Again he sulked, ironically, for health reasons.

Whether the equation of over-population and poverty is for reel or real is a debate that still rages. The current industrialization boom of the over-populated China (a communist country with nearly a capitalist economic policies) makes it even harder for demographers and anti-population advocates to advance western-funded arguments. It sounds like heaving praises to the promises of communism after the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. and the fall of the Berlin Wall, not to mention the famished North Koreans and the retrogressing Cubans.

The real agenda of the population issue is unseen, just like the mysterious hand that dangles the mighty dollar in the broad face of salivating countries like ours. It looks like the real issue about population is not population. Neither is it about poverty or demography. It should be deeper than meets the eye. For, arguably of course, it is simply simplistic to buy the idea that the Republicans organized war in Afghanistan on behalf of antiterrorism or bomb Iraq in order to flush weapons of mass destruction.

One has to surmise a lot if only to float the real issues, or so it seems. But real issues, just like the truth, will have to come the last. What is empirical, though, is the frequency of anti-population advertisements that one gets in the media, and the long-term strategies that are heavily funded in view of installing in the minds of Filipinos a new culture seemingly designed to minimize the family.

In the meantime, we seldom hear of election funds hoisted by population groups. Neither of lobby funds subtly broadcasted in both houses of Congress. But, is it payback time?

(Samar Times, July 2004)

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