100 millionth Pinoy baby-A A +A
By Leska Ang
Friday, August 1, 2014
THE Philippines welcomed its symbolic “100,000,000th baby” last July 27 at 12:35 a.m. at the Dr. Jose Fabella Hospital in Manila.
One of the 100 babies around the archipelago given the title was greeted with cake and balloons by her family and the media. Baby Chonalyn arrived weighing 2.8 kilograms.
Chonalyn was born to 27-year old Dailin Cabigayan, a resident of Sampaloc, Manila and 45-year old Clemente Sentino, a van driver. She is the second child of Sentino and the first of Cabigayan. The couple claimed that they were not yet planning to start a family together, nevertheless, Chonalyn is ‘heaven’s gift’ to them.
With the country’s population hitting a historic 100,000,000 mark, Malacañang has reiterated its commitment to fighting poverty and paving the way for a higher standard of living for all Filipinos.
However, the joy that comes with welcoming another person to our sunny islands also brings us to ask the inevitable question – is the Philippines equipped to take care of its hundred million citizens and the many more to come?The Philippines is the 12th most populous nation in the world today. Filipino women’s fertility rate is “at the upper bracket of 206 countries.” Rapid population growth exacerbates poverty while poverty spawns rapid population growth.
We question the sustainability of our massive number of people. Taking into consideration that we are a country that relies heavily on tourism and the service industry, the challenge of maintaining more than what our country can handle branches out to the care and protection of our environment. We have to worry not only about providing for the people, but as well as the preservation of the islands.
The 100,000,000 millionth baby is a challenge to the government and all its agencies to step up and improve the services to the people, especially to those who fall below the poverty line and do not receive proper health care, education, or opportunity to advance their economic status. And while we may see our number of people as a pool of prospective workforce, it is still uncertain as to how this potential could be translated into actuality.
Furthermore, it is about that time that we, as citizens to this country, begin realizing that even as our population grows, there are things that will remain constant such as the land area of the Philippines and the natural resources within our territory. We must also take our part in ensuring that we leave something – and more than just something – for generations to follow.
Perhaps our hard-fought Reproductive Health Law can help us in curbing the ballooning population growth, a step towards eradicating poverty, by giving Filipinos access to birth control and family planning seminars.
Though we won’t be able to follow China’s One-Child Policy, the Department of Health and the Commission on Population are working towards lowering the fertility rate to two children per woman, and thus have children than she can care for and provide for education to break the intergenerational poverty most Filipinos are trapped in.*
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 01, 2014.