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Did Anti-RH Bishop Garcera Actually Use the Word “Overpopulation”?

December 30, 2012

Updated:

I simply ignored this viral Inquirer article the very first time I saw it on Facebook yesterday. However, just a few minutes ago (before actually writing and posting this piece) I gave that Facebook link a second look, as I was

See? The brainless Filipino freefarters were so quick to use this issue to push their ASS-theist agenda.

See? The brainless Filipino freefarters were so quick to use this issue to push their ASS-theist agenda.

continuously perplexed by how the news writer creatively used the word “overpopulation”.

That news article was titled “Overpopulation good for Filipinos, says bishop”. I thought normal people don’t actually talk like that. They don’t say: “overpopulation is beneficial to our country” or “overpopulation is awesome!”.

For example, economist blogger and Interaksyon opinion contributor Nonoy Oplas consistently argued in his anti-RH bill opinion pieces that big population should not be seen as a problem because people are assets. In this Interaksyon blog Oplas said: “A big population is often blamed as the cause of various human problems. This is ironic because the human species is the most intelligent and most innovative among the existing species in the planet. People are assets, not liabilities.”

A clueless reader or a pro-RH news writer with some sinister agenda might conclude that Oplas is pro-overpopulation for not being against lower population. In fact, any pro-RH bill freak who read some of my blogs might also accuse me of being pro-overpopulation because I reject the idea that the government must manage or control population.

So, I suspected the Inquirer writer must have over-sensationalized his story- or used the spin word “overpopulation”-  to arouse controversy.

After reading the whole article the first word that came to my mind was: dishonest!

The Inquirer piece is a good example of an uber-sensationalized, tabloidized, editorialized story.

Why?

It’s because the bishop, Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet,  never mentioned the word “overpopulation”. It’s Mr. , the writer, who used it to perhaps create controversy or to put the bishop and his religion in a bad light.

Although I found some of Garcera’s comments to be a little bit wacky due to his religious rhetoric or premise. Again, let me remind my readers that I am a rabid atheist.

But what did bishop Garcera actually say?

Well, here are some of what he actually said that sound a little bit zany to me:

  • Indirect quotation: “Garcera said the huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to ageing nations whose populations had become stagnant.””
  • Indirect attribution: “He also said many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.”
  • Direct quotation: “Filipinos have a big mission to the world. Every Filipino child born is a blessing to the world.” ;-)
  • Direct quotation: “Filipinos have a duty to take care of them.” OK ;-)
  • Direct quotation: “When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living.” 

How about quotations or actual statements that show “overpopulation is good for Filipinos”?

Consider the following statements the bishop made:

  • “Let’s look at the increase in our population in a more comprehensive sense.”
  • “We should stop looking at poor people as a problem.”

Now those two quotations sound like what Mr. Oplas or any free market economist would approve. I also agree with what the bishop said. Will that make me an advocate of overpopulation?

There’s a big difference between the phrase “increase in our population” and overpopulation.” The first is a fact, because our population has ballooned to over 90 million despite our declining fertility and birth rates; the second is a myth. Overpopulation is plain BULLSHIT! This country is not overpopulated; some urban parts of the country are merely congested. For instance, there’s an ongoing congestion in Metro Manila due to our Imperial Manila or centralized system.

Soltes also wrote: “He said the problem in the country was neither overpopulation nor poverty but corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth.”

I think the bishop, if ever he used the word “overpopulation”, was just misunderstood. That the writer took Garcera’s statement out of context.

I also said almost the same thing a lot of times before, because the truth of the matter is, overpopulation is a myth.

In this blog article I stated:

“This country is NOT overpopulated. Many stupid pro-RH creatures think this country is “overpopulated” because it is poor! But this country is impoverished not because of so-called “overpopulation”, but because of its failed, repressive economic policies.”

Here I stated:

“Global and domestic indicators show that the most touted and most abused word in this RH bill debate— “overpopulation”— is indeed a BIG myth.”

Also here I wrote:

“Overpopulation is actually the best scapegoat that our corrupt, power-hungry politicians and their incompetent, anti-intellectual economic appointees could use to conceal, bury the simple fact that it’s the government’s protectionism, unsound/failed welfare and economic policies, and corruption that keep this country poor and impoverished.”

In other words, mere mention of the word “overpopulation” (if ever the Garcera actually mentioned it) doesn’t mean one also believes “overpopulation is good”. Sometimes people need to use their coconut shell…

Furthermore, observe that the word “overpopulation” was never stated in direct quotations, as the writer merely attributed it to the bishop. In other words, the writer simply put the word in question in the bishop’s mouth. In journalism, direct quotation and attribution are two different concepts.

Perhaps Soltes’ mind is just overpopulated with too much bias and irrational hatred of religion. Just sayin’…

To newspaper writers, please know these basic concepts: overpopulation, congestion, density, myth, and fact.

Now, all I can say is, the writer– and every pro-RH law opinion writer in these parts– should know the proper concept of “overpopulation”. When one talks about the advantage of a big population (most free market economists do this), that doesn’t mean he’s in favor of overpopulation, because the word/term cannot be objectively defined. “Overpopulation” has become a political term. It has no objective, clear meaning.

The proper term to use or to describe the bishop’s belief is “pro-natalism”. Know this term. Most religious people are pro-natalist, as they believe in the promotion of human production. Thus, the bishop is not pro-overpopulation, but pro-natalism.

In fact, many countries have adopted pro-natalist policies. These pro-natalist countries that want to increase their population include Singapore, Japan, South Korea, France, and Russia. Even China is worried of its fast declining population.Now, are these countries pro-overpopulation? This is why we need to understand these basic concepts. I think there will come a time China’s communist leaders will regret their aggressive, criminal one-child policy.

Furthermore, the whole of Europe is also now experiencing rapid population decline, as most European countries are below the replacement fertility rate of 2.0. Many Euro nations have a low TFR because of the following reasons:

 

  • education – the Europeans have become more aware of the importance and availability of contraception and consequences an unplanned pregnancy;
  • women in careers
  • late marriages
  • state benefits that encourage people or married people to think they no longer need children to help care for them when older.

The experience of Europe debunks the population control propaganda/agenda of many UP academics and government officials, like NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan, that lower population and TFR leads to economic progress. The truth is, it’s the other way around. Demographic transition follows economic growth, as evidenced by Singapore, South Korea and many European countries.

*****————————————————–*****

Meanwhile at the braindead Filipino freefarters’ Facebook site

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2012 3:38

    Así son: mentirosos. That’s the way they are: liars.

    These people are capable of lying for the simple reason that they are godless. They can freely choose whether or not to live virtuous lives. But this freedom is so fragile. Nothing holds it firm because they have completely shun faith for reason.

    • December 30, 2012 3:38

      Pepe, I’m also godless but I don’t lie… It’s because some people are just motivated by their irrational ideology or belief system… or that they can’t understand basic concepts.

  2. December 31, 2012 3:38

    Journalism is dying in this country because majority of our journalists place their bias first before objectivity or critical thinking. And then there is a horde of un-thinking (but self-proclaimed “free” thinkers) that are too eager to ride the wave.

    And so…my boycott of PDI continues. I will not waste my money on such paper that has journalists and editorial writers that are so full of themselves.

    • December 31, 2012 3:38

      I’m sure that PDI won’t lose sleep even if you opt not to “waste money on such paper” :-)

      • December 31, 2012 3:38

        Dude. My aim is not to waste my money on PDI, not to make them lose sleep. :-P

  3. Johnny V permalink
    December 31, 2012 3:38

    Congratulations! You have just clarified the debate on semantics. Too bad it’s not relevant.

    • December 31, 2012 3:38

      All I can say is, the writer should know the proper concept of “overpopulation”. When one talks about the advantage of a big population (most free market economists do this), that doesn’t mean he’s in favor of overpopulation, because the word/term cannot be objectively defined. “Overpopulation” has become a political term. It has no objective, clear meaning.

      The proper term to use or to describe the bishop’s belief is “pro-natalism”. Know this term. Most religious people are pro-natalist, as they believe in the promotion of human production. Thus, the bishop is not pro-overpopulation, but pro-natalism.

      In fact, many countries have adopted pro-natalist policies. These pro-natalist countries that want to increase their population include Singapore, Japan, South Korea, France, and Russia. Even China is worried of its fast declining population.Now, are these countries pro-overpopulation? This is why we need to understand these basic concepts. I think there will come a time China’s communist leaders will regret their aggressive, criminal one-child policy.

      Furthermore, the whole of Europe is also now experiencing rapid population decline, as most European countries are below the replacement fertility rate of 2.0. Many Euro nations have a low TFR because of the following reasons:

      1. education – the Europeans have become more aware of the importance and availability of contraception and consequences an unplanned pregnancy;
      2. women in careers
      3. late marriages
      4. state benefits that encourage people or married people to think they no longer need children to help care for them when older.

      The experience of Europe debunks the population control propaganda/agenda of many UP academics and government officials like NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan that lower population and TFR leads to economic progress. The truth is, it’s the other way around. Demographic transition follows economic growth, as evidenced by Singapore, South Korea and many European countries.

  4. December 31, 2012 3:38

    Do this pro RH bill has shame?

    I saw a picture of Pia Cayetano and Edsel Lagman together in a newspaper’s front page.

    So disgusting.

    • December 31, 2012 3:38

      And yet you don’t find Bishop Garcera’s statement disgusting? :-)

      • December 31, 2012 3:38

        The Inquirer writer is wrong. The bishop is pro-natalism, not pro-overpopulation. There’s a big difference between natalism and overpopulation. Plus, natalism does not necessarily lead to overpopulation. Know these basic concepts.

        http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/did-anti-rh-bishop-garcera-actually-use-the-word-overpopulation/#comment-36952

      • December 31, 2012 3:38

        Trosp, you are not bothered that an entire race is valued by a bishop as a nation of caregivers? A nation where parents will always have to work overseas just to send their kids to school locally? If you don’t find anything wrong with this picture, then I’ll leave you to your weird thoughts.

      • December 31, 2012 3:38

        @Elmer

        What is the bishop’s statement that disgusted you?

      • January 1, 2013 3:38

        The difference between the bishop’s religious and pro-natalist statements and Pia Cayetano’s “pleasurable sex” is that the first may be simply ignored, while the second can impact your life.

        The bishop is not a politician. You can simply ignore or embrace what he said. Pia is a lawmaker. Whatever she said or will say can affect you and your loved ones.

        Take for example Pia’s determination to secure women’s right to pleasurable sex. I think that should Pia decide to propose a Pleasurable Sex for Women Law (after losing her mind), every married man would have every reason to be very afraid, because he would be obliged by law to provide his wife with mandatory “pleasurable sex”. ;-)

      • January 1, 2013 3:38

        Froi,

        Let’s lighten up the day. One of the times my mind would like to induce some fun in a situation:

        Pia is for pleasurable sex for woman?

        He he he, I’m a man and unfortunately, even with a gun pointed in my head, I’ll not be able to give that one to Pia.

        It will be unsuccessful. She’s a walking skeleton. No sex appeal whatsoever.

        No wonder she looks so sex deprived…

        That is if we’re talking about sex as something for pleasure and not as for procreational thing.

        And there might be a discrimination issue if Pia’s pleasurable sex for woman became a bill.

  5. December 31, 2012 3:38

    “you are not bothered that an entire race is valued by a bishop as a nation of caregivers?”

    According to PDI –

    “Contrary to the aims of the reproductive health (RH) bill, Garcera said the huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to ageing nations whose populations had become stagnant.”

    Why would be bothered with that. It’s not disgusting and caregivers earns an equivalent of an office executive in the Philippines. Most of my relatives in Cavite are caregivers in Italy. Most of them are from fishermen’s family and would not even know if they would have the complete meal for the day. Now, they have their well furnished houses, cars, and other luxuries that they don’t have before.

    “A nation where parents will always have to work overseas just to send their kids to school locally?”

    What is wrong with that? Working as an expat! They could earn in 5 years what they could earn here in 20 years. I was an OFW for 4 years as an engineer in Singapore and I regret coming back to work in our country.

    “If you don’t find anything wrong with this picture, then I’ll leave you to your weird thoughts.”

    So my thoughts are weird heh…

    • December 31, 2012 3:38

      The early expats in America were apple-pickers. Many early Filipinos, most of them Ilocanos, who migrated to America more than 60 or so years ago had to work odd jobs. This is the truth. Now their children and grandchildren are part of the American society. The truth of the matter is, although I disagree with lots of what the good bishop had said, we’re poor because of our failed economic policies and protectionism. I’d like to think the bishop is simply telling the harsh reality or the truth about our society… There are Filipinas who married foreigners or Americans to get out of this country. I’m not saying all Filipinas do that. There are successful Filipino women who don’t have to do that.

      I don’t have to agree with the bishop’s statements, but let’s be fair. He never mentioned the word “overpopulation”. He’s not pro-overpopulation; he’s pro-natalism.

    • January 2, 2013 3:38

      Many of the Filipinos here in Thailand are not even caregivers. They are professionals! I met engineers, teachers, scientists and computer programmers here. The “caregivers” that I met here are the Filipinos hired by the Filipino professionals to take care of their house and kids.

      These professionals are valuable resources and should have greatly helped in moving our country forward. However, they were driven away by the lack of opportunities in our country. It is not “overpopulation” that drove them out. It is the corrupt system that our government has that drove them away.

      Our country had great human resource but it is the other nations that are benefiting from them.

  6. Simon Raval permalink
    January 1, 2013 3:38

    Overseas work such as caregiving is the only viable source of employment for many Filipinos and is the largest source of foreign exchange for the country. There has been no alternative means of livelihood for decades. Since the leftwing liberal collective known as the filipino freethinkers seem to think that is wrong I’d like to know what viable alternative can they suggest? Improving the economy and providing jobs requires that a state should nurture capitalism. But that would go against their leftwing ideology since liberals are fervent anti-capitalists. They have no solution so far and all they do is push for legislation that drains the country’s budget and people’s income thru taxes.

  7. January 2, 2013 3:38

    Thanks for the plugging Froi. The pro-RH camp do not recognize that there is an over-population of “more subsidies, more welfare, more taxes, more government please” crowd. Cheers.

    • January 2, 2013 3:38

      Precisely!

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  1. GMA News’ Pro-RH Law Semantic Propaganda « THE VINCENTON POST

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