The Philippines needs to deal with a major problem that poses a threat to economic growth. Overpopulation is the root of almost all problems in the Philippines and for the country to progress, it only needs to solve overpopulation and everything else will follow. The problem of overpopulation is one of the factors that cause unemployment. Existing businesses in the country can no longer provide jobs to all the workforce in the country.
Jobs are available, however, due to a lack of educational expertise, which can also be traced to overpopulation, not many people are qualified to handle the available jobs. Even the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, which is currently booming in the country, cannot provide jobs to all Filipino citizens because not all Filipinos are well-versed in English. Overpopulation will not increase the collection of taxes if the country could not give jobs to its population (cited in Orbeta, Pernia, and Sanchez, 1999).
The National Statistics Office (NSO) indicates that the population would be projected at 90. 4 million in 2008 with a population growth rate of 2. 3 percent annually, one of the highest in Asia. Due to the high unemployment rate, many of the workforces are not qualified as taxpayers which means that budget collection is low. This is considering the number of projects needed to stabilize poverty and other related problems. In short, overpopulation creates unemployment; unemployment creates poverty, and poverty impedes economic growth.
If overpopulation could only be solved, the government could allot more of the budget needed for growth and development rather than shelling out huge funds for housing projects, feeding programs, and other projects aimed at alleviating poverty. Overpopulation also results in the abuse of the country’s natural resources. This, in turn, leads to different environmental problems. Pollution is also a factor associated with overpopulation. Waste disposal in the Philippines is a worsening problem that threatens the environment.
The Environment and Natural Resource Accounting Project (ENRAP) indicated that households were found to be the major contributors to air and water pollution in the Philippines. (cited in Orbeta, Pernia, and Indab, 1999) For air pollution in 1992, 64 percent of a particular matter, 89 percent of volatile carbon, and 90 percent of carbon monoxides come from households while 44 percent of biological oxygen demand, 61 percent of suspended solids, and 76 percent of Phosphate contribute to water pollution (cited in Orbeta, Pernia, and Indab, 1999).
Population growth also affects education and health in such ways that there are close birth-spacing, lower levels of nutrition intake, poor nutritional status, higher infant mortality, smaller per capita health and food expenditures, poorer access to preventive and curative medical care, lower schooling expenditures per child, lower grades for children enrolled in school, lower child intelligence. It was also pointed out that this setup is more evident in families that are below the poverty line (cited in Orbeta, Pernia, Jha, and Deolalikar, 1999). The relatively high fertility rate also indicated that it affects education.
It was discovered that enrollment rates continued to increase despite rapid population growth and that per capita expenditure showed a decline even if enrollment rates were not affected by population growth (cited in Orbeta, Pernia and Schultz, 1998). These results were then compared using data from the Philippines and simulation results yield that while human capital expenditures rise, the increase does not suffice enough to sustain the level of per capita expenditure which gravely affects the quality of education (cited in Orbeta and Pernia 1999).
On the other hand, overpopulation in the country still has a positive outcome. With the dollar remittances coming from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), the Philippine Peso still trades well versus the US Dollar. One way to solve the problem, the legislative branch of the government must enact a bill that will limit the number of children that a couple may have. China is already doing this but the one-child policy that they are implementing was deemed too harsh. Having a limit of two children would be just enough to maintain the countrys present population.
It may even be noted that those people who do not have a good standard of living are the ones that have fewer children while the well-off families have only one to three number of children. Another way of solving overpopulation is by holding family planning campaigns and disseminating proper information on contraceptives. However, being a Catholic country, the Church stand remains to be an impediment. Due to this, the promotion of such an initiative remains to be debated by the Government and the Church for a long time.
Addressing the challenges caused by overpopulation remains to be difficult for the Philippine government to address due to the complications and relative problems it gives to individuals and society. The Philippine government must act accordingly to these problems and promote mechanisms to tackle the issue accordingly. In the end, if people and the government will work hand-in-hand to combat the adverse effects of overpopulation, to foster continued growth and development.