When newspapers report that the Philippine economy has grew, people immediately question its veracity. Often we ask: If our country is really improving then why don’t we feel its effects? The answer lies partly on our own actions. One major factor is population.

The Philippine’s population as of today is more than 80 million, majority of which are living in poverty and are hungry for proper care and shelter. This means that resources such as food, water, shelter and employment are not enough to sustain us all. By the year 2050, our population is expected to double.

Even if our economy grows, it would not be enough to satisfy the significant growth in our population. Despite the economic growth, our country could plunge into deeper crisis.

To put it simply, let us look at the country as a father and the country’s population as its children. If a father’s daily wage increases by P100 yet his wife bears twins, then the family won’t be able feel the wage increase. The family would most likely be burdened by additional household needs. This is how overpopulation holds us back.

Overpopulation stems from lack of self-responsibility. To bear more children than our own financial capacity may be okay for the Church because they teach us that everyone has a right to life. But what exactly is the right to life? Is it when children aren’t given the emotional and material needs that they deserve?

Overpopulation is neither in the hands of the government nor the Church. We ourselves should be responsible for this problem. Therefore, if we’re asking why we don’t seem to feel the effects of our country’s economic growth, the answer lies upon us. We must examine if we are doing enough to help ourselves and our country before putting all the blame on the government. Take for example this overpopulation problem, it seems like we are not doing much for ourselves.

Byron Lendl, 18, is a college sophomore who is trying to acknowledge the incapacity of Filipinos to help themselves and the country.

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