A FORMER Population Commission regional officer denied that the Philippines is overpopulated, explaining that population figures are inflated.

According to former Visayas Population commissioner Manny Arejola, the population of the Philippines is only around 62-65 million.

“With the birth, death and immigration rates, the population of the Philippines is not 82-85 million, but only around 62-65 million. The population has imaginably soared to millions,” he said in the seminar about “Demographics: The Overpopulation Hoax,” at St. Michael’s Retreat House last June 19.

Arejola recounted instances where a government official would approach him and bribe him just to increase a city’s population.

“Kapag malaki ang population ng isang city, mas malaki ang rebates na ibabalik sa kanila ng gobyerno,” Arejola told the Varsitarian, referring to the Internal Revenue allotments of Local Government Units.

Arejola also criticized population control measures in Congress, like House Bill 3773 or the Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act of 2005, saying they are unnecessary.

Anti-abortion

With HB 3773 waiting for deliberation at the House of Representatives, the pro-life group Subtle Attacks against the Family Explained conducted seminars, citing the bill’s threat to the Filipino family.

The seminars attacked the alleged hidden objectives of the population-control media and legislators that spread false population figures to promote population control bills that would legalize artificial contraceptives.

Advocates of HB 3773 defend the need for artificial contraceptives to stem the population increase.

They claim that life begins at the implantation of the embryo on the uterus and not during fertilization, making contraception legal.

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According to UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery faculty member Dr. Angelita Aguirre, a fetus is not just a glob of tissue. From the moment the sperm fertilizes the ovum, 23 pairs of chromosomes from each parental gametes are formed. Since science considers the presence of 46 pairs of chromosomes something that is living, life indeed begins at the moment of fertilization.

Upon fertilization, the heart of the embryo begins to form even before the mother knows her pregnancy, Aguirre said. The heart, being a vital part of the body, is an indication of the presence of life within the newly-conceived individual.

“Abortion kills a beating heart,” Dr. Aguirre, also a cardiologist and member of the bioethics committee, said in her talk, “The Gospel of Life: Facts about Contraception, Sterilization, Abortion, Safe Sex and AIDS.”

Dr. Aguirre said approval of HB 3773 and or the use of modern contraceptive devices to effectively manage the population would pave the way for the legalization of abortion.

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