Family size depends on couple’s responsibility, says Cong. Mercado
By Bong Pedalino
MAASIN CITY (24 December) -- Whether a married couple decides to have only two children or twenty children depends for the most part on how much really they can afford in terms of responsibly rearing their offspring, and not so much on government intervention.
This was the view shared by Rep. Roger Mercado as he tried to strike a balance between maximizing the social services rendered by the government on one hand, and putting a stop gap to the current run-away population on the other hand, which eats up what service-related programs the state can provide.
During a live interview at radio station DYDM Saturday, December 23, the lone Southern Leyteno solon was musing on the fact that in Southern Leyte province which was his own legislative district, he has done enough in terms of facilitating the construction of infrastructure projects, farm-to-market roads, health services, livelihood projects, among others, to his poor constituents.
Yet in the same breath, there are still many others who have no access to basic social amenities in spite of the fact that the province had graduated from the list of the twenty poorest provinces nationwide.
Told that the continued population increase could be a factor why there seemed to be not enough social services vis-à-vis a rising populace, Cong. Mercado called on the married couples to be responsible in their decisions and the consequences of their actions.
He said that if they think they can afford to give food, clothing, and education to many children then they must go ahead to have a big family, but if they cannot do it then they should have some restraint.
He added that responsibility for such actions or decisions solely rests in the couples alone and not enforced on them by any laws.
That was why he did not support his fellow Cong. Edcel Lagman’s bill on population management, where future families were limited to have few kids, being allowed only to have two or three at most, he explained.
On cases of unwanted pregnancy, which was also rising, Cong. Mercado reiterated the virtue of responsibility for one’s own actions, especially among the youths. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]