Debate Grows with Population

September 28, 2008 • Philippines, News

Debate grows with population; In the Philippines, critics say Catholic policy is to blame for condemning many to poverty. Clerics say poverty is the culprit.

Ask Josephine Gonzalez how many children a family should have and the stick-figured 31-year-old mother answers without hesitation. “I only wanted three,” she says, trying to soothe the naked baby boy who tugs at her ragged dress.

But Gonzalez is, in fact, a mother of six. Her sister Angie Maquiran, two years older, has seven children. Together with the fathers, the pair are raising their families in a public park across the street from one of Manila’s oldest Roman Catholic churches, sleeping on the ground, their possessions stuffed into a small cart that marks where home is.

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