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Despite the said efforts of both government and business firms many Filipinos remain in need. It is not a simple problem because now days we are facing mass poverty. For all the magnificent testimonies to man’s superior skill and intellect in producing today’s level of cultural development, he still has to find the solution to mass poverty. Whether the government would admit it or not, it is very clear even with our bare eyes that we our suffering a lot from poverty. But what is poverty anyway? Let first define poverty so we can have a clear understanding with what are we going to discuss. From a Webster dictionary, poverty means ‘lack of money or material possessions’. While from the book of Villegas entitled ‘Guide to Economics for Filipinos’ he stated that poverty or being poor means ‘experiencing a low quality of life deprived of both the material and non material requirements that allow an individual to live like a human being’. According to ‘Addison Wesley Economics’ by Richard M. Hodgetts’ said most of people regard poverty as ‘a condition in which people are unable to buy the minimal amount of food, clothing and shelter that is required for existence’. Over all there are a lot of ways to define poverty, it depends on how the person thinks or how does the person relate it to his life personal experiences. With all our efforts and patience why did we choose this topic? Obviously there are a lot more economic problems or short comings could be discussed and in fact lot easier, but our group tend to dig the deepest difficulties face by the Filipinos now a day, we fell with the same root. That is poverty, bottom line we choose this status quo to begin with our research because it is significant in relation to current issues in society. It is very obvious in our bare wide eyes and far cry conscience. To start with we tried to do face to face survey, observation, documentation and research with the best of our skills. We tried to focus our investigation in the most vital issues. Let’s look at three concepts of poverty: first relative poverty, second absolute poverty and last poverty according to the perception of the people themselves. Relative poverty pertains to those whose income or consumption share is at the bottom 4500 or the population. Absolute poverty measures the capacity to meet specific minimum needs. This refers to the commonly used phrase “poverty lines”. And the last type measures poverty according to perceived minimum needs the satisfaction of which would make a family consider itself as being non-poor. We based our research more on the second and third concept. The threshold Family income is the level of incomes that provides at least the minimum requirements consistent with the dignity of the workers and his family as human beings. It is above what needed for mere survival and should therefore provide enough food, clothing, shelter, education, health and personal care, security savings for emergencies, savings for unemployment and old age, and eventually, something a man can call his own, a piece of property. In this topic we tried to cultivate the main reason or roots of poverty. We tried to witness the undying agony of the poor. We tried to listen with their long vulgar emotions that pulling them apart from success yet continuously pushing them to the deepest level of poverty line. We tried to analyze the different perception of human beings about their way of living. We tried to emphasize the causes and effect of poverty. Less that we could do we tried to give some ways how to eliminate poverty. What are the things we could do to neither have a better living nor somehow eliminate poverty? But the biggest question left unanswered. Can we still eliminate poverty? Was there a chance for survival? Most of all the huge echo that stroke us left our hearts with pain and hope. Who’s to blame with our sufferings, which’s to blame
with our unending despair? Is it the government fault? Or are we all responsible for these shame and despair we’re facing? II. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1. Why Philippines is drowning in poverty? 2. Are you experiencing lack of financial assistance or material needs right now? 3. What are the different difficulties face by the Filipinos that lead to poverty? 4. What can we do to escape or somehow eliminate poverty?
Why Philippines is drowning in poverty?
News articles from a range of years had identical the same write-ups about poverty, no changes at all…it’s still as rampant as of 2001 up to now. And they had similar reasons why it still goes on. Urban bias in public investment for infrastructure and provision of safety nets; implicit taxation of agricultural products and an overvalued exchange rate; direct taxation of agricultural exports and imports subsidies; subsidies for capital intensive technologies; favouring export crops over food crops; breakdown of law and order; ill defined property right or unfair enforcement of rights to agricultural land and other natural resources; high concentration of land ownership; corrupt politicians and rent-seeking government officials; poor employment throughout the country; unsuccessful rationalizing of the allocating government assistance; lack of opportunity; lack o f security; and lack of empowerment, are among the thousands of reasons given by the news articles we had researched-including the surveys we conducted, that causes poverty to our country and to us Filipinos, individually. Base on the survey we had conducted, we heard and known what our fellow Filipinos assume as reasons or causes of poverty in the Philippines. Same answers came out such as: because of graft and corruption, the way or system practice by our government officials, poor governance of the administration, lack of education, lack of investment, unemployment, underemployment, overpopulation, no cooperation among Filipinos, idleness and lack of discipline. On our face to face survey, we asked the Filipinos such question as ‘Why Philippines is drowning in poverty?’ Based on the result, out of 135 despondences, 38% of it believes that corruption is the reason of poverty. 19% believe that lack of government support, 18% believe it’s because of over population. While the 16% of it said that it is because of our own fault, considering that we have bountiful resources yet we don’t know how to use it properly, it is also obvious to each one of us that we lack discipline, we don’t follow the laws in our homeland and we are contented where we are, we don’t even tried to strive for a change. 5% of it said it is because of unemployment, so the families suffer from hunger and lack of basic needs simple because they don’t have enough income. The other 3% stated that it is because of lack of education and the last 1% claim that it is because of lack of investment.
We follow up it with such question as ‘Are you experiencing lack of financial assistance or lack material things right now? Same 135 despondences, not surprisingly 107 number of despondences or 79% of it said ‘YES’ without a blink of an eye. Amazingly 28 number of despondences or 21% of it answered ‘NO’. It is clear now that higher number of Filipinos is experiencing lack of financial support and lack of material needs. As a result we tried to question the society how did they come up with such answer. We tried to picture out their everyday way of living, seems like we were watching a film. That was and still their opinion and perception about poverty. Let us now flip the coin, if there were causes of poverty of course there were effects of it. We tried to swim into the deepest effect of poverty to family’s, to children, to working men and women, to students, to government employees, to ordinary citizen and to those people who claim the street as their hell of paradise. Whether we like it or not, admit or not, poverty strikes in us all. Let’s first discuss the effect of the main cause, as they said it loud and clear, “CORRUPTION”. *CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF POVERTY* A. CORRUPTION:
25 % of the Annual National Budget ends up in corruption. (PS Link) Philippines is the most corrupt in Asia (PERC, 2007)
The effect of corruption on the poor can be gauged through both its direct impact, (example, increasing the cost of public services, lowering their quality and often all together restricting for peoples access to such essential services as water, health and education.) and the indirect impact (example, diverting public resources away from social sectors and the poor, and through limiting development, growth and poverty reduction), while this impacts negatively on most of the segment of society, it is suggested that the poor are more vulnerable both in terms of being easy targets for being subjected to extortion, bribery, double-standards and intimidations as well as in terms of being hit by the negative impact of corruption, there is also country’s overall development processes. Corruption affects income inequality and poverty: as well as economic efficiency corruption can also have distributional consequences. This affects income inequality and poverty by reducing economic growth, the progressives of the tax system, the level and effectiveness of social programs, and by perpetuating an unequal distribution of asset ownership and unequal access to education. B. LACK OF GOVENRMENT SUPPORT: Government support for the public educational system has been declining and this is manifested by the severe shortages besetting the sector. We have small and filthy classrooms, we conquer poor education as a result we became poorer and poorer. The government lack of support affects our daily life, we encounter poor infrastructure, heavy traffics due to poor quality of our roads, unemployment, spreading diseases, expensive medicines, high tuition fees, high cost of living, and taxes.
Not only to that just last year the whole country was shocked and panicked with the news that came to town. We had had a rice shortage, how come we encountered that, considering that our country is blessed by abundant natural resources; we have a good land for agriculture. But of course due to lack of government support we can’t have a better use of it. Hence that government doesn’t give enough support to our farmers for agriculture. If we give this amount to our farmers in the form of fertilizers, insecticide, seedlings, irrigation and other support services, they will be able to produce more than the required rice supply. C. OVER POPULATION: Overpopulation has numerous detrimental consequences, mainly to the environment and to the society. Nature is finite, and therefore, can only support a limited number of individuals. Natural resources like food, water, and even energy are slowly running out because of the increasing consumption rate. On the other hand, the number of garbage people are producing is escalating, which leads to land, air, and water pollution. The overpopulation crisis also gives way to shortage of jobs, supplies, space. D. LACK OF EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
· 1 in 10 Filipinos has never gone to school (6.8 million) (Education Network Quick Stats, 2003) · 1 in 6 Filipinos is not functionally literate (9.6 million), · 4.1 million Filipinos are complete illiterate. · 1 in 3 children/ youth is not attending school(11.6 million) · About half(51%) of Filipinos had Elementary Education at most · Among poor Filipinos, only about 70% can read, write and compute. · Only a little over half(54.3%) are fully literate · Among non-poor Filipinos, 45.3% have completed at least basic education. · In contrast, only 14.3% have achieved this level of education among the rural poor Filipinos. According to IBON Foundation
One more child out of every 10 school-age children was not able to go to school, highlighting the need for higher government spending in social services. Figures from the Department of Education (DepEd) show that participation rate at the elementary level, or the percentage of children aged 7-12 who are enrolled in public and private elementary schools, has fallen from 96.95% in SY 1999-2000 to 83.22% in SY 2006-2007. At the secondary level, only 58.59% of children aged 13-16 were enrolled in high schools in SY 2006-2007 from 65.43% in SY 1999-2000. Copy from Census-based projections, the net participation rate of education in elementary was 83.22% as of school year 2006-2007. E. UNEMPLOYMENT: When a responsible father can’t give his family’s basic needs he come across self destruction and he feel dump. The effect of unemployment is not only seen in the hopeless face of the jobless but also to the way of living of his children.
Joblessness is certain to increase this year and in 2009 and add to the 4.1 million unemployed– estimated to include the jobless statistically removed from the labor force to lower officially reported figures– and 6.8 million underemployed as of 2007. IBON feature F. LACK OF INVESTMENT: The effect of lack of investment is clear and seen to our economic crisis. Since the reputation of our country is more likely unenviable to investors we lack the income for our economic growth. Investors have a doubt in investing their businesses in our country and relying to our government’s ability to support them with their transactions. As a result we now have a huge number of Filipino’s with no jobs or income.
G. LACK OF DISCIPLINE AND IDLENESS: Filipinos have difficulty dealing with all forms of impersonal stimuli. For this reason one is uncomfortable with bureaucracy, with rules and regulations, and with standard procedures--all of which tend to be impersonal. We ignore them or we ask for exceptions. Our lack of discipline often results in inefficient and wasteful work systems, the violation of rules leading to more serious transgressions, and a casual work ethic leading to carelessness and lack of follow-through. We are impatient and unable to delay gratification or reward, resulting in the use of short cuts, skirting the rules (the palusot syndrome) and in foolhardiness. We are guilty of ningas cogon, starting out projects with full vigor and interest which abruptly die down, leaving things unfinished. Kanya-Kanya Syndrome. Filipinos have a selfish, self-serving attitude that generates a feeling of envy and competitiveness towards others, particularly one's peers, who seem to have gained some status or prestige. Towards them, the Filipino demonstrated the so-called "crab mentality", using the levelling instruments of tsismis, intriga and unconstructive criticism to bring others down. There seems to be a basic assumption that another's gain is our loss. Some Filipinos are contented with their life now, they are always blaming and cursing others but they don’t see their own faulty. Some are too lazy to find a job or to strive for a better living that’s why they become poorer and poorer.
H. CHILD LABOR It is the children that suffer most from poverty. Everyday we see a huge number of children wandering the dangerous street of Manila selling cigarettes, candies, rags, or even wiping your shoes when you ride in on a jeepney then asking for alms. It is very crucial and heart breaking to witness. Yet sometimes we ignore in result they suffer a lot more. Every child has the right to the most basic of necessities in life like a healthy environment, formal education, and most importantly, a loving family to come home to. Yet, poverty hinders the child to any of these things and forces labor in farming fields, mining shafts and peddling in the busy and dangerous streets of the country. The child has the right to be protected from work that threatens his or her health, education or development. The State shall set minimum ages for employment and regulate working conditions.
I. CRIME: In everyday life we won’t last a day without even single news about crime. It seems like our country is known in such remorseless situation. Around the busy metro manila, we come to hear it every minute, someone had snatched her bag, someone took her wallet or someone just died because of hold up. When a culprit is being caught by the authorities the only reason that blurts out to his mouth why he has done such crime is because of poverty. He was desperate enough for him to commit such crime or to kill. Then who’s to blame? IV. WHO IS TO BLAME? The result of our survey intrigues us most Filipinos believe that it is our government fault why are we drowning in poverty. Seems like our government officials are feeding us ashes and fire that tends to sink in our bones. And eventually they will pour us a dirty water to drink, ample amount of food to eat and stink place to live with in order for us to survive.
The short coming of every Filipino is thrown back to the government These findings, based on empirical analysis, hold for countries with varying growth experiences at different stages of development, and using various indices of corruption (used to compare the correlation of corruption with real per capital GDP, Gini coefficient and quintile in come shares, etc). In a cross-section of 37 countries, a significant impact of corruption on inequality was found, while taking into account various other exogenous variables. When controlling for GDP per head, this impacts remains significant at a 10% level. It was conclude that deterioration in a country’s corruption index of 2.5 points on a scale of 0 to 10 is associated with the same increase in the Gini coefficient as a reduction in average secondary schooling of 2.4 years. Researchers have also tested various instrumental variables to ascertain whether the relationship between corruption and inequality is not a case of reverse causality.
For some Filipinos they do believe that poverty shouldn’t be blame in government alone. A tiny voice said that, ‘don’t blame the government entirely for poverty’. In the Marcos Administration, people complain they can’t get a job because of Marcos. In Cory’s Administration, people complain they can’t get a job because of Pres. Aquino. We’re sure that it’s the same with Ramos’ and Estrada’s regime, and up to Arroyo’s administration. So why blame our government? Even if Bush, Clinton or whoever a great leader rules this country, people will never get a job, will never be financially free if he keeps on blaming on someone else. A rich person gets wealthy because of himself and no other. We are also the reason why we experience poverty. For example: if you think that you couldn’t support your family very well because your salary was not big, you must not produced many children, because for sure you couldn’t support all the needs they needed. In a squatter’s area, they experience poverty but still they have big family and many mouths to feed. Another; if you were a big man instead of doing nonsense why don’t you find a job for your family. Is it our government’s fault or every individuals fault? Think of it. When you found out the answer we suggest that you should do a change. V. CONCLUSION:
Poverty in the Philippines is experienced nationwide among the group of urban and rural people, poverty is never been out of the main problem in our society and on our daily lives. If we are going to review all of our investigation and data collections it is undeniable that the poor getting poor and there is no vivid reason why we encounter this. If were just let our eyes wide open with our heart and mind that are willing to understand we can see the itinerant peddlers and sidewalk vendors who carry their waves around. It is very rampant and very pathetic, along with their semistatic hawkers in semi fixed locations who stay along pavements and sidewalk and who clip their waves on the wall and static hawkers in more or less permanent locations in kiosks around market places, sidewalks and empty lots. Beyond this circumstances we can also see those children trying to sell cigarettes or wipe our feet when we ride on in a public transportation, the family that sleep in the street, the victims of poverty that became a master in street eventually end up dead in their own existence. But why are we experiencing lack of financial assistance and lack of material or basic needs? For us it is like a cycle it first started in corruption where in it affects our basic needs in life. It kills our rights and chances of better living. It pulls us away from our dream. Corruption has a huge impact on the poor and on poverty reduction. It processes has now been reasonably widely discussed. So, in addition to the negative impact of corruption, there is also an element of disproportional. A lot of
people are now saying that it’s hard for them to survive a day and they all blame it to the government. At present our government is facing a lot of anomalies and controversies and because of this the people especially those who are experiencing poverty right now are saying that Philippines won’t solve its problem as long as the corrupt officials remain seated on their position. There are several causes of poverty, some of these are lack of education, corruption, depletion of natural resources, population growth, lack of job opportunities, lack of government support, lack of investment, laziness of the citizens and lack of discipline and many other reason .and inequality. The general recession and the contraction in the labor market in the crisis of today world causes declining labor productivity and rising underemployment, which hurt the poor hard. Poverty can also be observed in terms of malnutrition, lack of education, low life expectancy, high child mortality and substandard housing. Poverty is highly correlated with landlessness .Most of the destitute mix many different ways of earning a living.
The use of the term minimum highlights the limitations of the government definition of poverty. The government considers only minimum survival standards to measure poverty, thus capturing only those who are desperately poor and cannot meet even their most basic needs. But those individuals and families who fail to meet decent living standards should also be considered poor. For example, a family with one or two minimum wage earners whose income fail to meet their needs are also poor, even if their income is above government’s poverty line.
In the Philippines, the range of the number of families living in poverty has been widening and the entire range itself has been increasing. Being poor means experiencing a low quality of life deprived of both the material and non material requirement that allow an individual to live like a human being.
VI. SUGGESTION: For our own sake how can we help our country get out poverty to makes our life a little brighter to live?
There is a certain process in which poor people remain poor in society. The unfortunate continues to run in the rat cage of poverty unless a revolution is done to break the cycle. Its tragic how the wealth of this world is so unevenly divided and then how people can go on living each day in their own selfish, abundant riches and take so many things for granted. But despite of that, people who have nothing at all are still so happy; they continue to just praise the Lord for life itself and continue to pour their hearts out, give all they have and more for the glory of God. This is the attitude we need to have.
Poverty dehumanizes and hinders self-determination .The crusade against poverty is urgent because we are dealing with human beings whose dignity is inviolable. The solution to poverty must be fundamental enough to allow the poor to exercise their freedom to improve their life. The existence of the informal economy proves the Poor’s enterprise. Poverty can be eliminated by pursuing a strategy that uses the Poor’s most abundant asset, labor and that ensures an adequate level of basic services provided by the government.
It is quite surprising how our country Philippines, blessed by bountiful natural resources and profuse citizen that may contribute for the development of our country, is hardly pushed to poverty. Philippines is not really poor, it’s just that we don’t know how to use it appropriately and how to cultivate the gifts blessed upon us. By considering those gifts bestowed upon our country, why not use them as keys in escaping or somehow subsidizing poverty. There are many factors that if we’ll going to think about, it will certainly help a lot for attaining zero poverty. One factor is cooperation among all Filipinos, including the government officials. Why not cooperate and unite to think as one for our country to progress. Another key factor needed for surviving poverty is education. Te government needs to give prior to educational status of our country. As the old cliché goes-‘Education is the key to success’. Once a Filipino is educated, he can contribute a lot in attaining improvement for our country.
Children are meant to be nurtured and loved but we see them with a stack of newspapers on one hand and packs of cigarettes on the other. Article 32 of Rights of a Human Child RA7658 (Prohibition of Employment of Children) should be more properly implemented in our country. To stop this injustice dealt out to our children, existing laws should be followed with strict implementation and dedicated commitment. Let us not allow the future of these children, the future of our country to wither and die away. Our country, our society, each person can do something. Our help might not end child-labor today, but it could start, with God’s grace, a healing force which will renew our ailing society tomorrow. One thing more important factor for subsidizing poverty is the reformation of our country’s financial infrastructure. By developing our infrastructure and utilities, the government should offer a multiple job opportunities for the jobless Filipinos and will afford them ample income to fund their basic needs without enough sayings to both. And if the government can successfully provide opportunities, it would be more helpful in subsidizing poverty if those they’re going to hire took re-orientation and re-education for them to improve their ability and quality as public servants as assurance for their effective contribution in taking a lift of our country’s situation. Philippines should need to upgrade its business climate to allure foreign investors in investing in our homeland. The government should improve political stability, overcome corruption and uplift the level of governance to make the country attractive to its investors. The problem of overpopulation must therefore, be addressed urgently. The government should provide information about birth control methods and about the damaging effects of overpopulation, especially to those in the lower class area of
society. Family planning might be contrary to the stand of the Catholic Church, but the Church should be separated from the state. Like the Church, the government also should make citizens aware of their stand regarding birth control. The public should have enough information regarding the stands of both sides, and who they decide to follow is already up to them. The effects of the economic downturn must be countered by stimulating the economy through expansionary and, importantly, equity-building policies. This includes: 1. Providing immediate emergency food, income and work relief. 2. Increasing public spending on health care, basic education and housing for the people and restoring real per capita social services spending to at least 1997 levels. 3. Increasing public spending on labor-intensive and rural infrastructure projects that will directly improve people's livelihoods. 4. Public resources can be freed by: • Suspending debt payments. This can begin with, but not be restricted to, debt to foreign creditors receiving bail-outs from their governments. • Drastically reducing military spending. • Cracking down on corruption. This is especially critical to prevent leakages into politicians' electoral war chests for 2010. 5. Giving priority to Filipino producers in government procurement and aid-funded projects. 6. Implementing a P125 across the board nationwide wage hike and a PhP3,000 increase in government salaries. 7. Removing the VAT on oil products and increasing taxation of wealth, luxury goods and services, and on unproductive assets and transactions. 8. Reducing interest rates while ensuring that credit remains available. There is also a need to immediately stabilize capital flows with capital controls, especially against outflows right now, and supporting the exchange rate. Capital controls must be used to defend against speculative attacks or financial transactions not related to trade and production.
Philippine Normal University Taft Avenue corner Ayala Blvd., Manila School year 2008 - 2009 RESEARCH PAPER IN ECONOMICS BY: (GROUP II) AGUILA, AERA RUTH ANTIGUA, ALVIN BARCELON, JEWEL CALINGGANGAN, CHARISSA COLLADO, NETH NILZEN DECENA, LUCKY GONZALES, MARY GRACE OCTAVO, DIANNE ROCILLO, MICHELLE TUAZON, CHERRY RED
TO: PROF. REMEDIOS ONG