Philippines Overpopulation or City Overconcentration?
I wanted to write about this perfectly. I was thinking of posting this to challenge the various intellects of our government: those overly-cocky with their knowledge on the matter, those who are secretly confused but making a stand outloud just for political reasons, and those who realized late what are factually correct but are embarrassed to change sides.
So I tried first to research how the world defines these words: overpopulation and over-concentration.
I had to stop after few minutes. I realized that the definitions of the world just don't matter. I don't want to be like those leaders getting lost in the definitions of it all that they miss the very simple practical meanings of the words to a common ordinary person like me. I know the meaning of the words by heart. I have experienced the meanings myself.
I grew up in the city. Have moved from the capital to its adjacent cities too from time to time, as work dictated. I know what's in it. Rare are the houses that are not in tight close proximity to each other. You go to the capital and you'll see even worse: small apartments converted even to smaller units being leased to families, individuals from provinces working in the city. There are Class AAA villages, of course, though. Those villages that mask the real state of the city. Those villages that house the Government leaders and their families.
I did not realize then what over-concentration means. I just knew we were overpopulated. Until I worked in call centers.
There, I got to be introduced to many, many agents who left their families in their respective provinces so they can work in the city. Their stories are all the same: they can't find money in the province, enough to sustain the needs of their family, at least---for the lifestyle they wish to live by. On pay weekends, they leave their dorms, their apartments, to visit their families, hating each time they have to go back to the city to work another two weeks 'til payday again.
And my learning just didn't stop there. I guess Heaven had to let me experience it myself.
My family chose to relocate our home-base in the province years after. Being a family of OFWs, our house is more of a "home-base", so to speak. And with the leader of the pack loving his hometown in Nueva Ecija, he decided to make it our new home-base. So, with me as the only offspring who never considered working abroad and is left in the country with the "retirees", I was confronted with two choices: find work in the province or live two lives. I considered the first option first.
FIRST ROAD BLOCK: NO JOB POOL TO SELECT FROM. Even if there are few, it is just not for me.
SECOND ROAD BLOCK: PROVINCIAL RATE. Even if I pray for companies to invest here, and let's say God answers my prayer, employees who are "city-caliber" are still short-changed by no less than 100%.
It's no brainer why the city is over-concentrated. THE GOVERNMENT JUST CHOOSE TO CONTINUE NOT TO SOLVE IT. MAYBE BECAUSE THEY ARE INADEQUATE. MAYBE BECAUSE ITS EASIER TO PLAY DUMB AND YET APPEAR TO BE VERY INTELLIGENT. SO THEY CHOOSE TO DEFINE OVERPOPULATION BEING THE PROBLEM INSTEAD. WHERE THEY ARE BACKED UP BY UNITED NATIONS, BY IMF. MAYBE THEY FEAR OF BEING ALONE IN SOLVING OVER-CONCENTRATIONS ISSUES. MAYBE THEY ARE THAT COWARD.
Here in our province, our houses are not that close to each other. There is soooo much space! Is that what overpopulation mean? My 500pesos lasts a month for my own food! Is that what resource scarcity mean? AS LONG AS PLANTS AND ANIMALS KEEP LIVING, I KEEP LIVING HERE! Oh yeah, only a dumb head can say that all areas here should be maintained agricultural. It really just needs some planning. Maybe I can even do that. Pay me and I will!
So, what am I writing about? THE BILL ABOUT OVERPOPULATION. THE GOVERNMENT WISHES TO IMPOSE A NATIONWIDE MANDATE TO "RESOLVE THE OVERPOPULATION ISSUE" WHICH IS EVEN NOT APPLICABLE IN MY OWN PROVINCE.
The government leaders have their own lands in their provinces. Maybe even more than they ought to. Maybe not even in their home provinces. Where they build locally their "castles", their hide-aways. Why in the provinces? Because its not congested. Because it is not overpopulated.
SO TO YOU SELFISH GOVERNMENT LEADERS WHO ONLY THINK OF YOUR OWN BENEFITS, MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST LIMIT YOUR MANDATE INSTEAD TO THE CITY??? ANYWAYS, ITS THE CITY RESOURCES YOU ARE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT, ISN'T IT? MAYBE YOU JUST DON'T WANT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO GET STUCK SO MUCH IN THE TRAFFIC AND WITH LESS POPULATION, YOU CAN SECURE A BETTER ROAD? MAYBE YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO SEE SO MUCH UNSOPHISTICATED COUNTRYSIDE PEOPLE FREQUENTING THE BEAUTIFUL PUBLIC PLACES IN THE CITY? SOUNDS RIDICULOUS? NOT I. YOU DO. BESIDES, IF YOUR MANDATE PUSHES THROUGH, YOU WILL HAVE TO ASK THE FILIPINOS TO SHOULDER THE EXPENSE OF EXECUTING IT, YES? LET YOUR "CLASS AAA" VILLAGERS PEOPLE PAY INSTEAD FOR THE BENEFITS YOU WANT TO REAP. AND LEAVE THE SIMPLE, COMMON FILIPINO ALONE!
AND, SCARCITY OF SUPPLIES? YOU MUST BE TALKING ABOUT LUXURIOUS SUPPLIES? BECAUSE A SIMPLE MAN'S LIFE IS NOT EVEN ENOUGH TO EXHAUST ALL THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS CREATED FOR HIM. WE HAVE ENOUGH, EVEN FOR OUR NEXT GENERATION. BECAUSE PLANTS DON'T STOP GROWING. ANIMALS DON'T STOP PROCREATING. YOU JUST DON'T LOOK IT THAT WAY. YOU SIMPLY WANT TO STOP HUMAN PROCREATION. WITH SO MANY JUSTIFICATION.