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9 Signs of Overpopulation in the Philippines
1. Voters find themselves in long lines during election period
With more qualified voters than anywhere in history, casting of ballots has never been a long and arduous exercise of a fundamental right. As the number of voters increase, the rate of polling precincts being created barely does. Unexplained disappearance of names, sweltering heat and folks trying to cut through the queue doesn’t help. As a result, even election candidates have to bear with the challenge and fall in line in an effort to be role models to the public.
2. It’s not very difficult to establish a trending topic in Twitter
We Filipinos have strong affinity for social media. We spend hours and hours of time on the web cultivating our virtual farms and adding friends in Facebook. We are fond of hitting one-liners in Twitter and because of our number — and our unity in composing our tweets — we can easily create a trending topic in the microblogging platform. Pop stars Charice and Christian Bautista, President-elect Noynoy Aquino and Pinoy Big Brother winner James Reid graced Twitter’s headlines not only because we are fond of it, but also we outnumber others.
3. It’s not very difficult to win pageants and contests driven by SMS or online votes
When there is an online contest open for public voting through SMS or the Web, we Filipinos are quick to take advantage in our effort to help our candidate win. Miss World text and online voting, along with the Seven Wonders of the World contest via Web are examples of where huge support from Filipinos is essential. Aided by an army of bloggers who ask for support, promotion gets full blown. While the votes and SMS don’t usually necessarily come from the Philippines but from Filipinos everywhere, the “overpopulation” talk should still not be discounted.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moyermk/
4. Ratio between school children and classrooms
Thirty something folks or older might remind everyone that during their grade school days, the number of pupils in the classroom barely exceeded 40. Now, it is not surprising to see classrooms filled with more than 60 in a class. Some schools have to schedule classes in two shifts to accommodate more students in one classroom. When natural disasters like typhoons and floods strike, classrooms are also used as temporary shelters to victims so classes are sometimes disrupted and the effort to educate our future leaders gets jeopardized.
5. Insufficient service from the government
With more people to serve and less resources to offer, the government has to be more prudent in its decisions to help the most needy. Health care through free vaccination, free or subsidized education, assistance to victims of calamities and other forms of government assistance cannot be offered to all. Growing population could have also brought higher revenues from taxes, but inefficient tax collection and the fact that many of those added to the population are too poor/young to be taxed, the government has to endure further widening the fiscal deficit in trying to serve the people.
Young Filipinos enjoy at a night club in Makati. Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dj_aryan/
6. College graduates find themselves in tough competition
In the past, a college degree is a key to a job offer. Now, even masters degree holders find it difficult to find jobs they want (or at least happy to have). Job fairs are often swamped with thousands of applicants for much fewer number of jobs. Other degree holders have to apply for unskilled jobs abroad since they pay higher wages than “managerial positions” in the country. For those who fail to finish studies due to dire financial needs, the future looks bleak.
7. More cities created and maps altered
Before a town becomes a city, it has to meet certain standards. One notable requirement is the population, a main driver of economic activity that will propel development. If a town earns P100 million or more and has a population of 150,000 it becomes a candidate to become a city. In the past few years, lawmakers have been busy proposing new cities, altering provinces and dividing congressional districts because population growth in these areas mean more constituents to attend to. Hence the creation of these cities. On a side note it is also notable that politicians may have ulterior motives why cities are created: more internal revenue allotment, more government posts, etc.
8. Brownouts and Water Rationing
With more households requiring adequate amount of electricity and fresh water supply every single day, energy sources need more output to address demands. At the rate at which new power plants are built and factor in the wear and tear of existing generators, energy supply in the Philippines could not cope with public utility. Not to mention illegal wire taps, inability to practice energy conservation and failure to adopt energy-saving alternatives. The same is true with water supplies where during drought season, water supplies in many areas are not available throughout the day. With more people in need of water resources, rationing may be the only way to go.
9. Maternity wards are filled with newborn babies
Even during the early hours of their life, babies are already exposed to the crowded premises of hospital’s maternity ward.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9011699@N08/
It’s no wonder that people have expressed support for Reproductive Health laws to be passed by the government. But whether the law is passed or not, citizens have roles to play and be accountable of. If we ask everything from the government, we’re doomed to fail.