Reality check: Iñigo Pascual’s tweet on street children, family planning, poverty goes deeper

August 30, 2018 - 5:01 PM
Iñigo Pascual shared his thoughts about street children, sparking a conversation among Filipinos on social media. (Instagram/ inigopascual)

Iñigo Pascual’s tweet on street children, poverty and family planning were met with varied reactions from Filipinos who both criticized and supported his belief.

According to him, he is “so done seeing kids asking for money from people in cars… kids are meant to have a childhood.”

The actor’s first lines were met with ire but those who lauded him focused on the second part of his tweet where he blamed children’s parents for lack of family planning.

Pro-Iñigo: Importance of self-responsibility 

While the actor’s first lines were delivered with a tone that seemed offensive, there were those who agreed with him and stated that it was a matter of proper family planning.

User @BaliliAnalyn added that street children should not be held accountable for their state of poverty.

Anti-Iñigo: Misaligned blaming 

There were users who criticized Iñigo for his tweet, saying that the actor was wrongly imposing the blame on someone or something else.

User @HelloPhili emphasized that there are children who are born out of rape or sexual abuse as well, not just due to the lack of knowledge on family planning.

Meanwhile, @dbonesetter argued that there are lots of factors at play in the phenomenon.

A previous report reveals that current working conditions are partly to be blamed for the cycle of poverty.

One is the lack of adequate employment opportunities in rural areas while the other is the never-ending issue of contractualization, which prevents workers from receiving proper income.

While there are specific agencies that cater to poverty reduction, the country is still far from totally achieving a poverty-free society.

According to a report by World Bank, Philippines has “lagged” behind in terms of poverty reduction compared to its East Asian neighbors. It added that around 22 million Filipinos still live “below the national poverty line” in 2015.

Initiatives to combat issue 

The government has yet to fully implement RA 10354 or “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.”

While the RH law is not yet fully implemented in the country, there have been measures initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte to support family planning in the poor sector. (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

It is supposed to provide Filipinos with universal access to contraceptives, fertility control, maternal care and sexual education. As of now, only Benguet receives its benefits.

In January 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order that allowed the poor to have access to free contraceptives.

Relevant national government agencies are supposed to collaborate with local government units to “conduct intensive community-based demand generation and referral activities,” among others.

In a press briefing last year, National Economic and Development Authority director general Ernesto Pernia shared:

“There is a plan in the next six months for local governments to go out in the field, to do house-to-house visits, identify those in need of family planning, [and work] with all these agencies.”