Author Topic: Let's stop debating the RH bill now and improve science, higher education  (Read 11091 times)


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Let’s stop debating the RH bill now and improve science, higher education
By Dr. Flor Lacanilao

All problems addressed in the Reproductive Health bill can be solved better by improved science and higher education. Proof of this statement can be accessed freely and read carefully from the scientific and social science literature. There have been many of them in the last two decades. They can simply be searched out with Advanced Google Scholar.

Choose only those from properly published authors and studies—that is, following internationally accepted criteria—that are taken seriously by international experts. Start with the articles cited in any of these posts:

“The dangers in family planning without use of contraceptives”

“Family Planning: Dangers without contraceptives”

Download the attached PDF file at the bottom of this posting for the full text of the chief reference of the above articles: Policy Forum: “Population Policy in Transition in the Developing World” by John Bongaarts and Steven Sinding (Science, Vol.333, July 29, 2011).

Improving higher education and science is not debatable; just put the right people in charge. (On how to select them, see “Crucial role of S&T, education in dev’t” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 July 2011). They have the technical expertise to understand scientific advisers—or correctly interpret research information—for lasting solutions to problems.

However, “A chief scientific adviser is no substitute for a ruling elite that is actually engaged with science and engineering” (read “What matters for science is who runs the country” (Nature, 30 August 2012).

A sad example of failure to understand information—based on evidence and thus verifiable—can be seen in a recent Senate hearing, during which senators grilled the NEDA chief on population and economics (see “Neda chief clarifies population terms” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 Aug 2012). Note that NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan, a former dean of UP School of Economics, is one of the country’s top social scientists.

Failure to grasp, or to accept, said properly published authors or studies is the main reason why the RH bill debate has been going on in circles, for so many years now—in fact, over 10 years now.

Let the pros and the cons continue debating the RH bill issues at their own expense, time, and forums. Enough has been said—yet without any useful conclusion—on government time. Congress should vote now—it doesn’t really matter one way of the other—and save money for the country’s other urgent needs.

Besides, many studies report that “Voluntary family-planning programs” have shown sustained declines in fertility and population growth across Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America (read this in the attached PDF file). This kind of non-government voluntary programs has also proven to be a cost-effective approach to reducing population pressures, stimulating economic growth, improving health, and enhancing human freedom.

All of them will enable the Philippines to adapt to and survive the devastating disasters brought about by climate change, which have now started hitting us.

Dr. Flor Lacanilao obtained both his BS and MS in Zoology from the University of the Philippines in Diliman and his PhD, with specialization in comparative endocrinology, from the University of California at Berkeley. He served as professor and chairman of the Zoology Department at UP Diliman and chancellor of UP Visayas. He made pioneering discoveries in neuroendocrinology and led the research group that achieved the first spontaneous breeding of milkfish in captivity.

NOTE: To be able to download the PDF file, you must sign in as a Forum member
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 07:40:13 PM by Joe Carillo »


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Re: Let's stop debating the RH bill now and improve science, higher education
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 03:29:44 PM »
Indeed. Debate is not worthy in such case but that does not mean that you just sit silently. Debates helps to convey your massage to the general public so that they could know about the hurdles regarding the development of the country. Also the right person in the right sector maters a lot so that they will be able to do what they suppose to so that the concept of merit can be develop.
How to upgrade your training skills?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 03:28:02 PM by jewana »