Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gibo Tedoro’s Conditional Cash Transfer for Natural Family Planning only Good for Sound Bites

The proposal of Presidential Candidate Gibo Teodoro to give cash incentives for those practicing natural family planning methods only good for sound bites but in the real world, it is difficult to implement, impossible to monitor and will only tempt the unscrupulous to engage in deceit just to avail of the cash incentives.

While the intentions are good, the implementation is not clear. Teodoro proposed that “If they use the rhythm method, we can have some resources to support that by a conditional cash transfer if they do not a have birth within a year or so for the poorest of the poor”. His policy proposal raises a lot of questions on how government will implement his alternative program.

How will it be determined who will qualify? Will the government monitor the sex life of couples who want to avail of the program? How will the government determine the start of the one year period? How will the government know that the couple indeed is using the natural method during that one year period? How much resources will government need to monitor those participating in the program?

And most importantly, how will government determine that the couple claiming the benefit is not trying to pull one over the government’s head? A couple may claim to be using the natural method but actually use other methods such as using condoms or birth control pills. Or worse, they may even not be fertile at all and still claim the cash incentive. While these may be determined through medical tests, it is a cost which the government cannot afford to shoulder just to screen those who will claim the cash incentive.

For those who are against the Reproductive Health Bill, Tedoro’s proposal should also merit their opposition on the basis that it is no different from the objectionable proposal in the bill which provides for incentives to those who limit their children to two. Oppositors to this provision of the RH Bill say that this could lead to an aging of the population and a demographic winter. Under Teodoro’s proposal, couples are encouraged not to have children for one year in order for them to claim the cash transfer. So if a couple would like to receive the cash incentives for the next several years, or even forever, they only have to stop producing offspring.

While it is Gibo Teodoro’s right to change his mind about the RH Bill and withdraw his support from the bill, it is a pity that he has retreated into a proposal which seems to lack substance and wisdom. It is only good for sound bites and publicity, not public policy.


Eric said...

Sir I think the biggest problem our country is facing now next to corruption is the uncontrollable population growth. As a liberal I strongly support initiatives on managing country's population and I think aside from strong political will, we need this RH bill. Since you actively pushing for the passage of this bill, do you know any website or video explaining the provisions of the said bill? Religious groups have been spreading lies about this and so the true intentions of this bill is being sidelined, leading to its unpopularity among the Filipinos...

gagglepalooza said...

I agree with Mr. Eric regarding religious groups and their struggle against RH Bill. The "church" has been very influential and the government has to really work on with its awareness campaign on RH Bill. The government has to speak to its constituents in such a way that will be understood by every single citizen.

I think the not-so-creative approach of Gibo is ridiculous. I suddenly thought of a trained dog. You give him treats because he does d' tricks.

In this case, you give the Filipinos cash incentives because they don't give birth for a year.

Good dog!

How pathetic?! It's a sexual puppetry. It's ridiculous!