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The Philippines Can Never Move Ahead Because of the Catholic Church

The horrible grind of a Pinoy's daily commute. Thanks to an overpopulated Metro Manila

hese islands and its inhabitants seemed to have been doing fine up until the Spaniards arrived in 1521 and imposed Christianity on the subjugated natives. After which Filipinos became second-class citizens in their own country.

Today, over a hundred years since those Spaniards departed, Filipinos still have been unable to rid themselves from the shackles Spain placed on them. The religion imposed on Filipinos has outlasted even the Spanish empire itself.

Now Catholicism in itself would be just fine if it were practiced the way people from other countries (including present-day Spaniards) practice it. Filipinos however practice a Catholicism that seems like a throwback to the Dark Ages—full of mysticism and superstition—before the Age of Enlightenment or the Renaissance took hold.

The imperious Catholic Church

The Catholic Church in the Philippines today wields tremendous power over Filipinos. From cradle to grave, the Catholic Church practically controls every facet of a Filipino's life. Despite the separation of church and state, the Catholic Church decides which laws are passed and which ones are rejected by the people.

Unfortunately leaders of the Philippine Catholic hierarchy have an incredible amount of authority but not the corresponding responsibility that should be taken along with it. There are many examples of this, but for purposes of brevity, let us just focus on one of the most, if not the most egregious: birth control.

The Philippines now has over a hundred million Filipinos cramped into an area roughly the size of Arizona a state with just 6.7 million people. It is no wonder that foreigners arriving in Manila for the first time are immediately struck by what looks like wall-to-wall people everywhere they look; thanks to the Catholic Church and their rabid stand against any form of artificial birth control. The priests and bishops also selfishly benefit from an exploding population: more baptisms, more confirmations, more first communicants, more weddings, and of course, more funerals—not to mention all the donations and weekly offerings Catholics fork out over a lifetime. The "congregation" is a significant milking cow for the Church. So naturally, the bigger the milking cow the, bigger their take.

Like we said earlier (and as every student of management knows this), with authority there should be a corresponding amount of responsibility. But that's not the case with the Catholic Church in the Philippines. The Church accepts no responsibility for the country's exploding population. It is an issue they are simply unconcerned with even though they are largely to blame for it. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the Philippine government should address this issue.

 One step forward, two steps backward

The Philippines was leading all other countries in the region during the 1950s. We had the highest literacy rate among our neighbors; we had the first stock exchange in Southeast Asia; the first air force in the region that flew supersonic jet fighters; we were the first in so many things at one time. Today we are down towards the bottom while most of our neighbors have surged ahead. Wall-to-wall people a common site in Metro Manila and many Philippine citiesAnd though crooks like Ferdinand Marcos may have had much to do with our decline, our exploding population seems to be the most significant factor in our downfall. The government and the private sector just can't keep up. Business can't create jobs fast enough and government can't build roads and infrastructure fast enough to meet the growing demand. For every step forward business or government takes, our exploding population takes two or even three steps forward leaving them even further behind.

It does not take a degree in rocket science to realize there is a problem. For example, say every person needs a gallon of water each day. In 1960 when the population of the Philippines was just 26 million, the country needed 26 million gallons of water a day. Today the country needs over 100 million gallons of water just to stay even with what Filipinos had in the 1960s. That's 74 million gallons more each and every day! No wonder deep wells are now banned in Metro Manila and surrounding areas. There isn't enough water for everyone anymore. And that's just water, what about rice, electricity, clothing, etc. When you really think about it, you realize the gravity of the problem facing the Philippines.

Unless the Catholic Church is stopped from further meddling, the country will continue to spiral downward. More and more Filipinos will have to make do with less and less. Those with enough smarts will continue to leave. And this country will eventually become a wasteland as those most able to contribute towards its future would have forsaken it for the greener pastures of other countries taking with them the skills and productivity the Philippines desperately needs. 12/19/2015

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