We Don't Need Numbers To Tell Us We're Screwed

About a month ago, I was invited by a friend to the launching of their popdev initiative - 'MulatPinoy'. Now what exactly is popdev? No, it's not population development. It's 'population AND development'.

It refers to how population growth affects a nation's key socio-economic indicators. For example, what does it mean for the country when our numbers grow exponentially?

The good news is that there are nearly enough Filipinos to keep the world running. The bad news is that there isn't enough of the Philippines for the Filipinos to run around in. I remember that during the launch, I struggled with all the facts and figures the speakers were presenting. Yeah, they were compelling. Yeah, they were staggering. Yet, how do I put all that in a blog? How do I explain GDP, GNP and all these high-faluting acronyms?
Then I realized the sad truth that I don't need numerical statistics to confirm the facts. Let's play a game. I'll throw in a few keywords and see how many of you would feel optimistic.
Well? How many of you thought we had enough of those to go around? None? Thought so. That list didn't even cover the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. 

In progressive countries, the trend is different. The more controlled the population growth, the higher the standard of living. The issue, of course, is bigger than population control.
I doubt that we'll adopt China's one-child policy anytime soon. Our lawmakers can't even get family planning off the ground, for Christ's sake. Speaking of Christ, the crap should we care about supposed Catholic doctrines when our people are suffering?

MulatPinoy wants presidential aspirants and other candidates in this May's elections to be answerable to these questions. What policies do they intend to espouse to address these issues? Where do they even stand on these matters, if at all?
To that end, MulatPinoy had been holding Kapihan sessions for the past two weekends now and will continue to do so for two more weeks. The sessions raise these very issues to political aspirants with each weekend bearing a different theme - from education in one to environment in the next.
The MulatPinoy website itself is very informative. Aside from containing links to websites of presidential candidates, the site also tracks each candidate's statement about the issues surrounding popdev.

As for the launch itself, I learned that in order to get to the truth of things, I really have to do the math. The irony is that I took up Communication Arts in college because of the minimal math requirements. Heres's a few numbers that was shocking enough to commit to memory: 
There's only one policeman for every 700+ people.
There are only 4% of the country's forests remaining.
We are the 12th most overpopulated country in the world. By 2050, we would be on the top 10.

In the end, the initiative aims to tap our net generation to bring about the message that we are in big trouble and we want our future leaders to figure out how to solve them. Personally, I believe that citizens should also be held responsible for whatever problems we are facing now. Let's begin by taking the right to vote seriously. Listen to the candidates. They may not be likable. They may not be popular. Their ads and endorsers maybe annoying. Still, who knows? Maybe at least one of them would have a solid platform to address these issues.

PopCity is an online simulation game that attempts to teach young people the relevance of popdev. The game was developed by local studio Flipside Games and can be found on their official website.

No comments:

Post a Comment