Birth and Taxes

The only form of protection the Philippines allows

The only protection allowed by the Church

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who talks to God (but doesn’t always listen), bowed to Church fathers on their stand against contraception and population control. Supposedly, Arroyo decided “to maintain her stand against the use of contraceptives because of the weak lobby for artificial family planning methods.” This may be as much because people are too busy fucking as it is because people don’t want access to artificial family-planning methods, one must note.

Because the Church is against it, and because very few people are apparently advocating artificial birth control, the issue of 88.57 million Filipinos procreating and scrabbling over limited resources becomes a political question instead of simple math: People > Resources.

On the Expanded Value-Added Tax (EVAT) on petroleum products that makes our already-expensive fuel 12% more so, which the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and almost every Filipino who leaves his house regularly, wants suspended, or even scrapped, the President points at a P73 billion windfall that can be used for pro-poor projects (presumably by making everyone poor.)

When the CBCP called for a review on the EVAT, as with many of its anti-administration statements, the government invoked the separation of Church and State. The issue of whether the middle and upper classes who can (just barely) afford P60-per-liter fuel should subsidize government’s delivery of basic services, which the State should already be doing in the first place, becomes simple math: billions from EVAT trump disenchantment of the Filipino people. Also, P500 million in energy-efficient light bulbs for government buildings outweighs 88.57 million cries of “putang ina naman eh.

While the extra P73 billion take from EVAT will, probably, trickle down and help the poor, here’s a revolutionary idea: birth control will also help them by virtue of not having a baby nine months after having sex, which, increasingly, is the only form of recreation that we can still afford.

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