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MANILA, Philippines - Instead of allocating P3 billion for the enactment of the Reproductive Health Bill, the Aquino administration should utilize the RH fund for the electrification of the countryside, which can help address the problem of overpopulation, according to Sen. Ralph Recto.
Recto said that instead of setting aside money for buying contraceptives, the government should address the widespread lack of electrical power because brownouts in the rural areas make couples engage in sex more frequently.
"Almost 2.8 million (households) don't have electricity. And how many millions (experience) brownouts and how many babies are created because of those brownouts?" Recto told reporters on Thursday after the Senate hearing on the proposed budget for the Department of Energy.
“Instead of spending P3 billion every year to buy condoms, pills, and other contraceptives and distribute (them) all over the country upon the enactment of the RH bill, it is much cheaper for the government to use these funds for electrification in all remote barangays with no electricity for only P2 billion per year,” Recto said.
He said the government would be able to hit two birds with a stone if it prioritizes rural electrification over contraceptives.
“Sa ganitong paraan, parang nakatudla ang gobyerno ng dalawang ibon sa iisang bato lamang dahil maiilawan na nga ang buong Pilipinas, makokontrol pa natin ang paglobo ng populasyon ng bansa."
Also, the senator questioned the 2012 proposed budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development amounting to P39.9 billion.
He said a portion of the huge CCT budget should likewise be transferred to the electrification fund for the countryside.
“Kung babawasan ang pondo para sa CCT, at gamitin ito sa elektripikasyon, mas marami pang matutuwa dito [More people will be happy if the CCT budget would be slashed and transferred to the fund for electrification]."