jump to navigation

Rice importation and population growth January 22, 2011

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, RH/Abortion Bills.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Last January 11, the Philippine Daily Inquirer carried the story, “PH to sharply cut 2011 rice imports.” It said (emphasis mine):

MANILA – The Philippines, the world’s biggest rice importer last year, plans to sharply cut its imports of the grain this year, the head of the state grains agency said Tuesday.

National Food Authority administrator Angelito Banayo, asked about rice import plans for the year, told reporters: “Much much lower, probably not even half — probably one third.” He would not give specific figures.

. . .

Banayo said the government planned to cut imports because it already had a lot of rice stored from previous years.

Very interesting indeed. The population of the Philippines is not shrinking, but our rice imports will be drastically reduced. What does that mean?

This development indicates that past rice shortages (and the need to import) were not necessarily caused by “runaway population growth” as some have hysterically claimed. Rather, it seems that any shortages were more likely caused by other factors (such as corruption, hoarding, and inefficiency). After all, PNOY, in his State of the Nation Address, stated that some P160 billion worth of rice were wasting away on the shelves.

Way too often, doomsayers have been blaming rice shortages — and a host of other ills practically including the kitchen sink — on alleged “runaway population growth” or “overpopulation.” They seem to forget that both our nation’s Total Fertility rate (TFR) has been dropping like a rock, along with our population growth rate (see my blog post on that here).

(more…)

The Deceptive SWS Survey October 18, 2008

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
8 comments

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) has weighed in on the debate over the anti-life Bill pending in Congress, and now known as HB 5043. Its latest survey, which received wide media coverage, is touted to be fair and free of bias. Sadly, in my opinion, the truth is otherwise.

The SWS released its third quarter 2008 Social Weather Survey, which was fielded between September 24-27. Acording to Mahar Mangahas, president and co-founder of SWS, in his article in the Inquirer (New Polls on reproductive health), had two modules relevant to the issue: “one module of three items done on SWS’ own initiative, and a second module of three items commissioned by the Forum for Family Planning and Development (FFPD), a non-government advocacy group.”

Mangahas goes on to say:

The SWS survey asked six questions on the RH topic, the first three of which were FFPD, and the second three being SWS’ own items. The first four items were a battery of Agree/Disagree (A/D) statements, with two of them phrased in opposition to the Reproductive Health and Population Development (RHPD) bill currently being debated in Congress, and with the two others phrased as affirmative to it. The fifth item asked whether the respondent already knew of the RHPD bill. The sixth item asked if the respondent favored it or not. I believe that the A/D battery, being evenly divided in slant, did not introduce affirmation bias to the succeeding items.

Mangahas notes that the first and third test statements of the A/D battery had “anti-RHPD” assertions, while the second and fourth were phrased as “pro-RHPD”. The fifth question consisted of informing the respondents of HB 5043 and asking them if they knew about it. The final question asked respondents their opinion of the Bill.

Dirty Tricks 101: Slanted Questions

I wish to take issue with the way Mangahas characterizes the questions in this survey. He imagines that the A/D battery of questions did not introduce any bias because two were slanted against the Bill and two were slanted for the Bill.

Why not look at the actual questions then? It will become apparent that overall the survey was not neutral at all and its questions and statements definitely introduced bias.

(more…)