09 November 2004


Dr. A. G. Romualdez, physician-columnist of Malaya newspaper, expressed disappointment in his recent column over his (and others) perceived dimness of the future regarding "population management, family planning, women's rights, and reproductive health."

He wryly suggested that there is "reason to be alarmed that the first decade of the 21st century may end as a disaster for this country of 88 million (the Philippines), mostly poor, souls."

He also published in his recent column a forwarded email from Dr. Stanley Scheyer, who according to him, used to be a former member of the Health, Population and Nutrition Division of the World Bank. His email was written hours before Senator John Kerry conceded to President George Bush:

To all my foreign friends:

It would be difficult to fully communicate my disappointment in a simple email. On the other hand, slipping out into the hall and drowning myself in the mop bucket would mean that someone else would have to feed my dog.

Kerry has not yet conceded defeat, but I have. Even if someone finds that crate full of votes for Kerry bobbing down the Cuyahoga River, the American people have spoken, and they have sent the world a message: "We're barely bright enough to chew our own food." Incompetence, incoherence, inarticulateness, pettiness and random savagery apparently do not deter the majority of Americans.

The thing that really, really matters to Americans? Homos. And foreigners. Both must be stopped at any cost. Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of bigotry, amending state constitutions around the country to prevent same-sex couples from having any rights beyond the right to live on the margins of society. We clearly have far more to fear from The International Homosexual Conspiracy than we do from North Korea and the collapse of the American health care system.

Apparently, we are truly a nation of slack-jawed yokels, awed only by grotesque displays of wealth and violence, reverent only of the bossman and beholden not even to our children, since we seem content to mortgage their future in favor of a $300 tax refund that we have traded for decent jobs, healthcare, and a just society.

We make pious noises about worshipping a Just and Merciful God, while doling out destruction and horror upon the innocent, pausing only to pat ourselves on the back for waging a "just" war to rid the world of tyrants that audaciously aspire to exist after they lose their utility to us in endless low-level conflicts to control the world's oil supply.

We seem to have become cheap, venal, vulgar and petty while we apparently don't have the ability to reason our way out of the dilemma of taking care of the sick, watching out for the elderly, and teaching our children not to be credulous, callow dupes.

To my friends from the UK, France and anyone to whom they choose to forward this, I feel that I owe you an apology. It is as if I have brought an orangutan to high tea. While he flings shit at you and tries to snatch pastries from your plate, I am left wondering how I might make it up to you. The world's richest and most powerful nation seems to have lost its moral compass. We have lost interest in leading by example in favor of taking by force.

I would like to say that I believe that one day in the future America might regain its senses. Unfortunately, I am not terribly optimistic. The best I can offer you is to remind you that "Nixon also won a second term."

- Dr. Stanley Scheyer

Doctor Romualdez also emphasized the fact that during the last four years, "the US government has drastically reduced family planning assistance throughout the world." He also said that it "looks like the United Nations Fund for Population Assistance will have to do without its US contributions for another four years."

For my part, I have to say it does not matter if the US government helps us with family planning or not. The Department of Health (DOH) Secretary, backed by President GMA no less, does not support the use of artificial contraception methods for population control anyway. They either have been vague or are not making any commitments to strategically confront the rising population numbers.

We have 111-million pesos worth of contraceptives stashed somewhere in the DOH compound. This contraceptive reserve "does not include some 240,000 vials of injectable contraceptives donated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UN Population Fund"

"Stashed" is the keyword here.

Stashed to rot. It isn't being distributed where it is needed.

You know what this government prefers in population control? The rhythm method.

It is very afraid of angering the Catholic Church. That's the reason why. Meanwhile, we continue to cope and struggle with poverty, rising debt interests, brain drain, a fiscal crisis (that has ended?!?), and a bleak Christmas this year.

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