This is my position paper in the proposed RH bill which is now near approval. I am stating here my objections many of which concerns economics:
there was little empirical association between growth rates of population and output per capita, especially within the developing country bloc (Kuznets 1967, 1973). Kuznets saw the basic obstacles to economic growth as arising from delays in adjusting social and political institutions, and viewed population growth, though an impediment, as of secondary importance (ibid., p. 39).
2. Even without the RH bill the fertility rate in the country is falling. According to the study of Costello and Casterline, the total fertility rate of the Philippines has shown a small but steady decline from 1950s to the present. Women are having fewer children; the birthrate is currently at an average of 3.19, a figure that has held firm for several years.
3. Economic growth shaped the desired family size without intervention from the government. The study of Orbet and Pernia (1999) conclude that further declines in desired family size may require well-targeted human capital investments along with employment-generating economic growth especially formal sector employment for women. On this premise, if the Philippine economy will offer more opportunity and security we can expect families to desire on average not to have more than two children.
4. People face trade offs. This is the first principle of economics according to Mankiw. The scenario of limiting the population the trade-offs will be that labor cost would become costlier due to increasing the cost of production. There will be more elders to tend, straining the medical and pension systems. Japan is a classic example wherein by 2025, it is expected that there will be two dependents for every three workers. The dwindling Japanese work force would result in lower purchasing power and reduced demand for goods and services. The domestic market will shrink, production will fall, as will the Government’s revenue, forcing it to manage higher medical and pension expenses with a lower income.