MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte made a pitch for family planning Tuesday night during a speech welcoming some 150 overseas Filipino workers, who were repatriated from Kuwait.
At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Pasay City, Duterte told the mostly female audience that overpopulation was the cause of hardship in the Philippines.
“Kasi kung sana na medyo 50 million lang tayo, ma-manage natin ‘yong pagkain. Enough for all, tapos may trabaho [Because if we were around 50 million people only, we would be able to manage our food. It would be enough for all, and there would be jobs],” he said.
Thus he advised them to avail themselves of reproductive health services from the government.
“Hindi ako nagpapatawa, sumunod na lang kayo sa programa ng gobyerno. May pills, libre [I’m not kidding, just follow the government program. There are pills for free],” he said.
But, the President quipped, “Huwag ‘yang condom kasi hindi masarap ‘yang condom [Don’t use a condom because condoms aren’t pleasurable].”
He then brought out a piece of candy to demonstrate.
“Ito, kainin mo ‘to, ‘wag mong balatan… Kainin mo. Ayan ang condom [Here, try eating it without unwrapping it… Eat it. That’s what a condom is like],” Duterte said to the giggling crowd.
The World Health Organization has explained that condoms are not just used to prevent pregnancy, but also to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
“A large body of scientific evidence shows that male latex condoms have an 80% or greater protective effect against the sexual transmission of HIV and other STIs,” it says on its website. “Condoms are a key component of comprehensive HIV prevention.”
A Human Rights Watch report published last Friday stated that the number of new HIV cases in the Philippines “jumped from only four a day in 2010 to 31 a day as of November 2017.”
“From just 117 cases a decade ago, the total number of HIV cases as of November 2017 is 49,733, an overwhelming majority of which – 41,369, or 83 percent – were reported in the past five years alone,” Human Rights Watch revealed.
The Department of Health has also said that condoms “do not bother many couples or reduce sexual pleasure,” and that “there are many types of condoms and a couple can choose a brand that would suit them best and give them the most pleasure.”
Duterte said they could opt for injectables as well, which is good for six months. That way, he said, “Walang limit ‘yong kalibugan mo diyan [There will be no limit to your libido].”
The President also asked the women not to keep on bringing babies into the world.
“Nakakaawa ang bata eh [I pity the children],” he said, especially if there are no fathers involved in their upbringing. “It is dysfunctional ang pamilya [The family becomes dysfunctional].”
Duterte also believes religion has prevented Filipinos from properly managing the size of their families.
“So ‘wag kayo masyado maniwala sa relihiyon niyo kasi ‘yan rin isang hadlang eh. Bawal mag-contraceptive ang… Pero sila gabi-gabi gumagawa. Ang mga gago [So don’t believe your religion too much because it has been an obstacle. They ban contraceptives… But these fools still engage in nightly activities],” he said.
Watch the video starting at the 31-minute mark.