Of late, there is the issue of (1) "the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill" and (2) President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's backflip on his earlier promise to prioritise it. Without having to get off my armchair and just from browsing the little niche of the Net that I inhabit, it seems the "advocates of the RH Bill" have been up at arms over the above two challenges -- getting the Bill passed in Congress and overcoming the hurdle of Noynoy's backflip on his promise.
What is wrong with this picture?
It often helps when one is merely a bemused outside observer. Because for me, the issue remains quite simple.
It is about:
(2) Poverty as a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently unable to honour; and,
(3) Having children as a commitment to provide for their needs, raise them to be productive citizens, and to be there to provide guidance.
The issue -- of which the RH Bill is but a mere component -- is therefore quite broad and certainly a lot bigger than the solution to which, at the moment, a large proportion of the resources of the advocacy is being focused on. It is about poverty and the impact of the enormous number of Filipinos -- and the enormous rate of the increase of this already enormous number -- have on our prospects of overcoming our chronic impoverishment.
Politics is one route to take in the pursuit of a solution to this mess. But there are also other routes.
So back to my original question:
What is wrong with the picture painted in the first paragraph of this blog?
First of all, the advocacy is now known as the "RH Bill Advocacy" -- a sign that the movement may be losing the plot. The RH Bill is, as I mentioned earlier, but one component. Perhaps if the members of this advocacy want to remain focused on the whole point of it (and therefore maintain an open mind to the set of solutions available out there) -- then perhaps they should consider referring to themselves by a term more closely associated to said point -- like, say, the "anti-overpopulation advocacy".
Second, we've always known that Noynoy is a dud of a president. So why then do we continue to make him the epicentre of our hopes and dreams? That's kind of like putting all of our eggs in one basket as the tired old cliché goes, isn't it?
And, third, the landscape of the whole advocacy is framed by politics. Again as I mentioned earlier, politics is only one means to an end. History offers a wealth of case studies of deep and widespread change that happened without politics at the forefront to spearhead it. This very platform -- "social media" -- upon which we now execute most of these "advocacies" itself is an example of a non-political change agent that effected vast and profound change in our way of life and the way we interact with one another. As a matter fact, it is politics that is clumsily trying to catch up with those of us who have become adept in the use of "social media".
The picture is wrong because it has become such a small one. Time to step back and regard the bigger picture, folks! The advocacy needs to be de-politicised so that a clearer line of sight to the point can be maintained.
So let's ask ourselves -- what is the real point? Is it to see the RH Bill passed? Or is it to control the enormous rate of increase of Filipinos' already enormous numbers? The nature of the words used, alone, already tells how much of the point of all this we remain cognisant of.