Poverty in the Philippines

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・4 Sources

The Philippines, like other African and Latin American countries, has a part of the population that is impoverished. Poverty is often correlated with deprivation and happens as national services are divided inequitably, allowing certain populations to be disadvantaged. Because of the country's difficult economic times, marked by boom and bust cycles, the pace of poverty reduction has been sluggish (Poverty in the Philippines, Causes Constraints and Opportunities). Aside from the effects of the economy, there are other causes that scholars have linked to the suffering seen in the Philippines. In many cases, poverty is attributed to poor leadership with the political figures being more concerned with the gains at the expense of the citizens. Besides the greed, Philippines is reported to have a high rate of corruption that has permeated the health, agricultural and education sectors that should be nurtured to spar economic growth. Those who can afford to bribe the leaders of various institutions have their voices heard while the poor and more deserving citizens are ignored. The government has however established various mechanisms to keep corruption at the bare minimum through executing the officials that promote the corruption culture. Besides, the Philippine government has established strident measures requiring the leaders to present transparency reports that can be subject to scrutiny by the citizens and government committees (Magno 34-36). Curbing corruption has also been perceived as an exercise that calls for the integrity of the judicial system. Impunity should have no room for Philippines government, and all wrongdoers should be handled equally regardless of the social status. Adopting the system will ensure that the long tradition of people being able to bribe the judges is terminated.

Inflation is another factor that has contributed to poverty being witnessed in Philippines. The rate of inflation is reported to have increasing at a constant rate hence questioning the role of existing institutions like the National Economic and Development Authority. In measuring inflation, the government uses different indexes the ones on the household income proving to be the worst. The poor have been reported as experiencing an inflation rate of 6.9%, thus calling for immediate interventions for the alleviation of poverty (Fujii 23-27). Such measures should encompass the possible rapid adjustments mechanism to ensure that the salaries and the wages commensurate the work done by the lower class. The benefits of economic growth should thus be enjoyed by all citizens in order to guarantee the happiness of promoting the spirit of patriotism.

Just like in Africa, the lack of education and the poor schooling system continue to cost the Filipinos. Without education, ignorance is reported to be of an extraordinary degree when paving the way for the increases cases of corruption. Leaders misusing the public funds would wish the degree of ignorance to be so high, an assurance of long-term exploitative system. There is a need to revise the school curricula to ensure that the skills and the knowledge acquired in school fit the needs of the contemporary society. Education experts should boldly face the policymakers in the country to put miseducation to an end. It has been noted that Filipinos go through the schooling system and acquire high grades hoping to be successful one day only to be discouraged by the existing system that completely out of touch with reality.

Although a debatable issue, the high rate of population growth has bee promoting poverty in Philippines. Is estimated that Philipines has a total of 94 million people, despite its small size. Its population growth rate has made it one of the most populous nations in the world. The high population results to rampant reports of overstretched social facilities Although blaming religion on the high population growth rate might seem to be a far-fetched idea, it is true that the anti-contraception policies are thwarting measures to reduce the population growth. The church has undermined the success of family planning legislation that put the population question into consideration and reevaluate the importance of the doctrines through conducting a cost-benefit analysis.

The emphasis on the artificial forms of contraception and the natural family planning methods as the morally accepted measures to prevent conception should be reanalyzed. The role played by the increasing population on the increased poverty in Philippines has been debated with a section of scholars believing that the poverty problem is caused by injustices rather than corruption. The position is further supported by the anti-Malthusian argument that the poverty problem is not caused by availability but rather unfair and unequal allocation of resources (Sinha 56-59). Seeking solutions to the critical issue of the controversial reproductive health bill has always been faced with controversies in dealing with the problem of effectively reducing the population growth.

The neglect of Overseas Filipino Workers who have good agendas and social reforms for the country has negatively affected the eradication of poverty. These people living in the diaspora have been involved in other developments projects in the host nations and are thus best fit in the alleviation of poverty in the nation. Undermining these people has been associated with the crab mentality where no professional would wish the best of the other. Jealousy has been dictating who gets what when and how thus letting talented Filipinos to be frustrated in their endeavors to help their people back in the country. All citizens should appreciate the importance of promoting good in one another as part of the patriotic strategy aimed at the eventual goals of dealing with poverty.

Natural disasters have been affecting the economic growth of Philippines which results in poverty among the affected sections of the population. The country has been witnessing disasters such as the hurricanes and earthquakes resulting in economic instabilities (Sakai et al. 20-23). Whenever these disasters strike, properties are destroyed making the affected individuals to start life all over again. Besides, the government efforts to assist the affected people in these natural disasters has been curtailed by the shortages in revenue. The president is therefore forced to ask foreign aid that comes in the form of aid and grants. Instead of the money helping in development plans, it ends up solving the problems affecting the citizens through dealing with disasters. The high rate of borrowing result to the rise of the foreign debt that has to be paid by the citizens hence the continuation of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Conclusively, Philippines is facing the poverty problem that can be solved through the adoption of the sound and right policies. The policies should dictate the right form of conduct for both the leaders and the citizens. Leaders should start having the interests of the Filipinos at heart and stop their greed for power, something that has resulted in the unequal distribution of resources. Citizens also have an active role in the eradication of poverty like having the right number of children that can effectively be catered for without triggering a crisis. Besides, there is a need to reevaluate religious stands on important social, political and economic matters. Positive aspects of the religious doctrines should be maintained while the unfavorable propositions that do not support the modern dynamic society should be declined. All is however not lost in Philippines in an attempt to get back on track and pursue its goals towards achieving the status of a second world nation.

Works Cited

Fujii, Tomoki. "Impact of food inflation on poverty in the Philippines." Food Policy 39 (2013): 23-27.

Magno, Francisco A. "Public participation and fiscal transparency in the Philippines." Report written for the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) (2015): 34-36.

Poverty in the Philippines, Causes Constraints and Opportunities. Asian Development Bank, 2009, https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/27529/poverty-philippines causes constraints-opportunities.pdf.

Sakai, Yoko, et al. "Do Natural Disasters Affect the Poor Disproportionately? Price Change and Welfare Impact in the Aftermath of Typhoon Milenyo in the Rural Philippines." World Development 94 (2017): 20-23.

Sinha, Radha. Food and poverty: the political economy of confrontation. Vol. 4. Routledge, 2013: 56-59.

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