MANILA, August 4, 2004 ( – A two-child population control policy being considered in the Philippines which would see massive amounts of money going to condom and contraceptive promotions has some Philippine legislators concerned.  The policy would see parents who had more than two children deprived of tax incentives and education grants, and would see 50 percent of the internal revenue allotments of local government units directed towards buying and distributing artificial contraceptives   Manila Mayor Lito Atienza has called the bill “destructive”.  He noted that the bill encroaches on the power of local governments and will “sacrifice local development objectives to buy and distribute condoms and birth-control pills.”  Scoffing at the claims of the bill’s proponents to combat poverty and starvation, Atienza asked, “Can people eat condoms?”  Rep. Rene Velarde of Buhay party believes that the growing population could not be equated with economic downtrend.  He suggests that the economic difficulties facing most Filipinos are due to hoarding of wealth, inadequate wages, lack of business opportunities resulting in lack of employment. “Hence, the budget intended for population control ought to be redirected toward basic services,” Valarde said.

While the bill’s proponents claim it aims to end poverty supposedly caused by overpopulation, international pro-life observers have questioned that premise. There is solid evidence to suggest that a growing population is a benefit rather than a curse to the Philippines.  The Philippines was one of the 13 countries targeted under the U.S. National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200). The memorandum, which became the official guide to U.S. foreign policy, warned that increasing populations in developing countries threatened U.S. strategic, economic, and military interests.

The U.S government memorandum suggested that competition from new world powers would rise when developing nations had sufficient populations to utilize their national resources to their full potential. NSSM 200, which has been criticized by Philippine legislators and Bishops, seeks to ensure U.S. strategic, economic, and military interest, at the expense of developing countries, by proposing population control to address these countries’ potential population growth. The report spelled out a plan to bring about “a two-child family on the average” throughout the world “by about the year 2000.”  See more on NSSM 200 from LifeSite:   and   jhw