The Causes and Effects of Poverty in Philippines

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A social issue is a problem that influences a considerable number of the individuals within a society. It is often the consequence of factors extending beyond an individual's social issue is the source of a conflicting opinion on the grounds of what is perceived as a morally just personal life or societal order. One of the example of our social issue is Poverty.

More than 20 percent of the world’s population lives in poverty. Poverty is a big problem in the whole world, because thousands of people die each year due to this big issue. This research paper will tell us what poverty is, its cause, effects, what people could do to help stop it. Poverty is an issue that needs to be address by everybody in the world because if no one tries to something about it is going to keep getting worst as time goes on. This research paper is to inform people about poverty, to make sure people understand what poverty is, what is doing to us, and most important to inform about what they could do to stop it. By informing people with all this information I would like to see them taking action towers this issue, it would be very helpful if people help does with need after reading this research paper.

To help stop poverty we must help each other in any way we can. Many of you may ask what poverty really means. Well poverty refers to the condition of not having the means to afford basic human needs such as clean water, nutrition, healthcare, clothing, food, and a warm place to live. Poverty is a deadly issue that’s killing our population slowly. Poverty has been around for a long time now, it started when all rich people began to get richer, by rich people getting richer they were making other people poor, and let them to live without the humans needs. In my opinion all those people that are now living in poor conditions should not be living like this if there is people who could do something to help, by helping them am saying that they could use money to make sure this people have a place to live, and food for their kids.

Some Major Causes of Poverty in the Philippines


Corruption is one of the most serious social issues the Philippines faces today. It is the spiritual or moral impurity or deviation from an ideal. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement. Government, or ‘political’, corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain. Basically, it means the selfishness of one individual in order to pursue his or her self-interest. This devious act may result to harsh circumstances for the victims, like poverty.

In recent years, there have been evident discoveries of this act executed within the Philippine government. The most recent and famous would be the priority development assistance fund or the Pork Barrel scam. Each Government official is given a certain amount of money in order to pursue their desired projects to help financially challenged Filipino citizens in order to rise out of poverty and for the development of the Philippines as a whole. But recent discoveries have shown that these projects were never put into action and the money would go to a bogus non-government organization led by Janet Lim Napoles. It was then discovered that these officials spent the money for their own personal desires. Billions of pesos were stolen from the Filipino people. The money would have helped the country’s current situation but it all went to unworthy government officials.

The Philippines has a history of corruption and it can be dated back to the Spanish colonization. Spanish colonizers took control of the Philippines for over three hundred years, during their reign they established a bureaucracy headed by friars and other high positioned Spaniards. Business was set up particularly for the greater good of Spain and the Philippines did not benefit from these whatsoever. A good example would be the encomienda system where Filipinos worked in a farm and an encomiendero (tax collector) was tasked to collect money or the produced goods. The encomiendero would be very corrupt and use the goods for himself. Later, the system was abolished because it was very corrupt.

The Philippines has a history of corruption and this may be the reason why officials are still corrupt to this day. But history should not be an excuse and citizens should find ways in order to end this act of fraud. There are numerous ways of trying to prevent or totally eliminate this from happening. One can be the transparency of the Pork Barrel or PDAF. It should be explained to the people or credible representatives where the money goes and what projects do officials pursue. Another can be the total eradication of the Priority development assistance fund in order to eliminate this idea of corruption completely. Solutions should be made in order for corruption to stop in the Philippines. It has been going on in this country for more than a century and it is unacceptable. The government should find ways to eradicate this for the development of the Philippines.

Lack of education

The Lack of Education in the Philippines Quality of Education

This is the first major issue that the Philippine government should resolve but somehow it is recently improving. The quality of Philippine education has declined few years ago due to poor results from standard entrance tests conducted among elementary and secondary students, as well as the tertiary levels. The results were way below the target mean score. High dropout rates, high number of repeaters, low passing grades, lack of particular language skills, failure to adequately respond and address the needs of people with special needs, overcrowded classrooms, and poor teacher performances, have greatly affected the quality of education in the Philippines. Budget The government was mandated by the Philippine Constitution to allocate the highest proportion of its budget to education. However, among the ASEAN countries, the Philippines still has one of the lowest budget allocations to education. This is due to some mainstream political issues and humungous problems that the government is facing specially corruption Mismatch There is a large proportion of mismatch between training and actual jobs. This issue arises at the tertiary level and causes a large group of unemployed and underemployed.

This is very true nowadays because of the arising BPO industries particularly the call center companies. Hundreds of thousands of young professionals, graduates or undergraduates from college level settled at this type of company because of the attractive compensation that they are offering. Call center companies do not require a specific degree of education, what matters to them is the proficiency in the English language. Philippine education is strongly viewed as a pillar of national development and a primary avenue for social and economic mobility. It has undergone several stages of development from the pre-Spanish time to the present. It is handled by three government organizations, namely, the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The DECS govern both public and private education in all levels, with its mission 'to provide quality basic education that is equitably accessible to all by the foundation for lifelong learning and service for the common good.' The Filipino people have deep concern for education because it occupies a central place in political, economical, social, and cultural life in the Philippines. The government allocates a high budget every year for Philippine education and guarantees that every Filipino has the right to quality education. However, there are some important issues that needs to be looked closely and resolved by the government.

Among the issues are: There is a big disparity in educational achievements across social groups. Students from wealthy families have excellent educational background gained from exclusive private schools at the start of their education until they finish college. Unlike the students from the less fortunate families, wherein most of them could not even finish elementary nor secondary level because of poverty. They could barely afford to buy school shoes and pencils, not even the tiny amount of tuition fees from the public schools. Affordability There are some measures that the Philippine government has looked into for the reformation of quality education. Technology use is starting to gain momentum in the overall education of this country. This helped improve the quality of education in the Philippines and to be globally competitive in this millennium. But hopefully, with much further improvement from the country's economy and involvement, education in the Philippines could be drastically changed for the better.

Population explosion- is considered as one of the undisputable alarming obstacles that stand on the path of the less developed countries. These countries produce great numbers in terms of human resources because the birth rate is much higher than in the rich countries, but the rate of employment and production in the poor countries is very low. Definitely this is a very serious problem that the government should never take for granted.

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The Philippines belong to the group of these 'less developed countries.' And as we all know, the growth of population in our country is unstoppable. In fact, the Philippine population is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. It is estimated that 3,000 Filipino babies are born every day, 100,000 every month, or one million a year to round up the figures. There are more babies being born today than there were in the 1970s. There will be more babies born 20 years from now than the number of babies that are born this day. In this lies the problem: at first, the babies need milk, diapers and vitamins. But the trouble is, babies grow up. And when they do, they need education, which requires more school structures; they need food, clothing, houses, jobs, etc. These are basic needs that must be filled. Providing them creates a large number of problems that demand the fullest utilization of the nation's resources.

Effects of poverty in the Philippines


The hunger situation is alarming. The National Statistical Coordination Board stated that more than 11 million Filipinos were considered food-poor or living below subsistence level in 2003.The Food and Agricultural Organization in 2005 reported that there were more than 17 million undernourished Filipinos.Food insecurity is blamed for the fact that many preschool children are underweight and malnourished. An economist pointed out that “inadequate food can adversely influence workers’ productivity.” The World Bank in 1996 estimated that the total annual economic loss due to malnutrition was about US$8 billion.

The main reason why hunger is worsening is the people’s lack of income to buy food. A government-sponsored survey in 2001 revealed that 8 out of 10 households experienced financial difficulty in purchasing food. The National Statistics Office also noted that Filipino families are spending less on food items. In 1994 about 48 percent of household expenditures were allotted for food. A decade later, the share of food expenditures went down to 42 percent.

Rice used to be the staple food of Filipinos. Now it is quickly being replaced by instant noodles which are cheaper but less nutritious. Politicians are even giving out instant noodles in urban poor communities and evacuation centers in calamity-stricken provinces.

Food supplies are stable but they are available mostly in areas where people have enough income for food expenditures. The unequal distribution of income in the country explains the seemingly low demand for food in low-income places.An analyst also noted that the prices of some basic commodities are getting higher. The higher cost of these basic commodities will force more Filipinos to spend less on food.

Poor Economic growth

The poor remain poor because they cannot borrow against future earnings to invest in education, skills, new crops, and entrepreneurial activities; they are cut off from economic activity because many collective goods (such as property rights, public safety, and infrastructure) are under-provided, and they lack information about market opportunities. Investment Capacity Constraints Investment is critical to economic growth and for the poor to escape from poverty. Very low income levels are a fundamental reason why the poor cannot save enough money to finance productive investments.

Child Labor

According to the National Statistics Office, 3.6 million Filipino children, aged 5-17, are child laborers. When the parents just don’t have enough money to make ends meet they usually force their children out of school and send them to work out on the streets, haciendas or factories. Earning money for their food and shelter became their sole purpose, no longer the education that should have served to bring them a better future. Children from the ages 5 to about 17 are usually the ones found laboring under the hot sun or behind machines for small companies or syndicates. This figure alone comprises roughly 15.9% of the total Philippine population or one out of six children. In a breakdown, 216,000 are within 5-9 years old, 1.6 million for the 10-14 group and 1.8 million are 15-17 years old.

Bad Living Conditions

Because of poverty, many families are forced to occupy public and private lands without the right to do so. And, because this land is not theirs, it tends to overcrowd. Because of overcrowding, the environment usually becomes unsanitary and heightens the chances that disease will spread. Also, their houses are close together/connected to each other, this makes it easy for fire to spread and giving fire fighters a hard time to extinguish the flames due to the small roads between these houses.

Crime/ Theft

So how to end poverty in our country? Can we dictate the Philippine islands to have fear in God? Should we go to the streets and shout night and day to the Malacañang Palace they need to become God-fearing? Or shall we teach ourselves to have fear in God? The Philippines are made of Filipinos. Hence, if we want to end poverty in the Philippines, we need to end poverty in all the Filipinos. And who is the nearest Filipino from you? Isn’t it yourself? Therefore, to end poverty in our country, we must start ending our own poverty – we must start to have fear in God within ourselves.

Now, what will fear in God cause us? Will it make us slaves and take away our freedom? The answer is that it will make us slaves and free at the same time. The fear of the Lord will make us slaves of diligence, wisdom, righteousness, kindness, self-control, patience and love. However, it will also make us free from indolence, foolishness, deceit, selfishness, lack of self-control, impatience and hatred. In other words, it will cause us to make God our Master, while rejecting the evil. If all the Filipinos have fear in God, they will obey God’s commands. God commanded us to be patient, honest, diligent, humble, knowledgeable, wise and understanding – all of these will overcome our poverty and will give us riches in life. If all our workers are diligent, if all our political leaders are honest, if all the voters are wise, if all the business owners are not greedy, and if all the spiritual leaders are selfless who teach the right religion, then we might be living in a rich country. All of these could happen if we truly have fear in God, and if we really God love by following His commandments.

Going back to the definition I shared, which says poverty is “the lack of principles, attitudes, values, actions and habits to become rich”, the fear of the Lord will give us wisdom which are made of powerful principles. These principles will give us the light to guide us in making the right decisions in life towards development. When we made the right decisions, we make the right actions that will make our lives better. And when we practice those actions consistently, those become our habits shape our lives to long-term development, personally, spiritually and financially.

Poverty is not only the problem of a person however it is a national problem. It must be solved on urgent basis by implementing some effective solutions. Variety of steps has been taken by the government to reduce poverty however no clear results are seen. Eradication of poverty is necessary for the sustainable and inclusive growth of people, economy, society and country. Eradication of poverty can be done effectively by the unite effort of each and every person.

As a young student I would like to suggest some factors which would be helpful in our journey to reduce poverty. Basically we have to take necessary steps to reduce the population in our world. Natural resources don’t increase according to the population which is increasing at a high speed. When we consider the families in poor countries, they have at least six or seven kids. But those kids do not have a proper health or the parents cannot provide proper education for them. And also those parents cannot provide good foods filled with suitable nutrients to their kids due to lack of wealth. Because of that their healthiness decreases by a considerable amount. The development of their brains becomes insufficient and due to that their ability to get a proper education decreases.

Increasing the number of organizations which are working to reduce poverty by educating people of developed countries to be organized and to take actions related to this matter is also another suggestion of mine. Encouraging people who have volunteered to provide facilities such as pure water, foods filled with nutrients, living places to poor people and who’re conducting charity services to develop the lives of them, by offering special rewards and admiring them in various ways would be a good way to increase the number of voluntary workers. So I believe my opinions and suggestions would be a good help to conclude poverty.

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