Problems Growing Population Have (that Graying Population Probably Doesn’t)
If Japan is facing a crisis due to graying population, having citizens who are over 65 or expected to be senior citizens until 2013, the Philippines is dealing with the opposite, overpopulation.
Although the growth rate slowed a bit in the recent years, it still has 1.72% increase in 2019 with over 107m population this year (almost 8m increase from 2010) and remains the 13th most populated country in the world.
Such population growth pose serious issues at the present and in the long run. The government continue to find ways and formulate better laws such as family planning acts and education but the problem continue to grow. Although the large number of young and young adults seems promising when it comes to labor, the country is now faced with detrimental effects such as the following:
- Transportation. A dense population require efficient public and private transport but since birth rate seems faster than infrastructure, the government can’t keep up, thus, resulting to overcrowding and insufficiency. Such difficulty is correlated with productivity among workers and individuals alike.Moreover, buying private cars has become easier, hence, the number of private vehicles aggravate the already crowded streets. Alternatives such as eco-friendly bicycles and walking short distances remains unpopular.
- Healthcare. A growing number of people also means expanding expenditure in many areas and the government has to allot more budget to healthcare,regardless of the stagnant or even dwindling revenue. But this area is hardly the main priority among the list of areas of concerns. Private insurances still remains a luxury to many Filipinos who can barely make ends meet, therefore, dependence on public healthcare is huge.
- Employment. Totally in contradiction to what’s happening in countries with graying population, the gigantic amount of employable individuals is also a problem. Not only that job opportunities are unproportionate to the number of job seekers, but also the types of jobs offered are different from the job hunters’ skills. There is what so-called ‘job mismatching’. Rather than not being able to work, a large chunk of the working class prefer to earn money from any jobs available, regardless of specification or skills acquired. Brain drain is also an issue brought about by un/underemployment. Professionals prefer working abroad because of a much higher salary rate compared to the country’s overworked-underpaid situation. For a long time now, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers remain one of the largest contributors to the government’s revenue and the economy.
- Cost of Living. Inflation rate hit record high in the previous quarters, as high as 8.38% in the previous years. Despite the slightly higher employment rate, salary remains as it is,hence, families have to make ends meet in a continuous loop,barely able to save some amount for future or emergency use. Financial literacy campaigns are on the rise but application of such is difficult.
- Housing. When people flock the mega cities in hopes of job opportunities, finding accommodation proves challenging. Housing is already expensive as it is, but the growth of number of individuals and families looking for homes, prices are skyrocketing. The government prioritizes housing to those who are calamity-stricken and the indigenous, but urban housing has been catastrophic. The largest expense of an individual living alone or a family living together goes to rent/mortgage and it is much bigger than that of food expenses.
The future looks bleak.Yes it is. No matter how we try to keep up with changes, the pace just isn’t enough to address growing concerns on various areas brought about by increasing and growing population. If we could only walk for few more minutes instead of fuming our heads in heavy traffic,learn to utilize local resources in the suburbs and rural areas, maintain a healthier lifestyle by keeping it simple and organic, learn to grow food in our own backyards and plan and prepare more about the future, then maybe we can contribute a tiny bit of effort for a better change.
Let’s discuss with aimtalk teachers:
- What do you think is the biggest problem your country is facing right now? What is the government doing to address the issue?
- One of the effects of graying or ageing population is the lack of manpower. Please cite some possible ways this can be addressed.
- Can you feel the effect of graying population is your daily life? Please explain your answer.
pose(v): exist in a way that may cause a problem, danger, difficulty, etc
detrimental(adj): causing har or damage
correlate(v): be closely connected to each other
aggravate(v): make a bad situation worse
allot(v):give a particular share of money, space, etc to someone or something.
stagnant(adj): not changing or making progress and continuing to be in a bad condition
dwindle(v): gradually become less and less or smaller and smaller
skyrocket(v): greatly increases very quickly
bleak(adj): without anything to make you feel happy or hopeful.