Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
USMC-Retired

Philippines Poverty

Recommended Posts

USMC-Retired

I found this article hard hitting and honest. Really a good read. There were many other good reads on this site.

 

 

with permission of owner

When I first came to the Philippines in 2007 there is a strange occurrence when you first see the country that makes you feel you are home, a place of belonging and somewhere you would be happy to spend the rest of your life. As you become familiarised you start moving from the comfort and security of a guarded resort to experience the real Philippines that is not only out of curiosity but also wanting to learn to understand.

To learn to understand has taken the three years I have been here so far as the issues behind poverty are not only complex but peoples perspective on life,religion and who they regard as one of there own makes a huge difference aswell as the stagnant way poverty is tackled.

 

3732384740_918c09d9f5.jpg

 

In the photo above you can see how children are used to ask people for money not only the young child carrying a baby in her arms which in many cases is done on purpose for begging purposes you can also see on the top left an adult pulling a child’s arm to put out her hand to beg. A lot of the begging is professional and staged in a way to entice money out of people. I haven’t experienced gangs controlling people here but it no doubt happens similar to that in the movie “Slum Dog Millionaire” where the kids are coached into a life of begging basically used as slaves by adults. What I have seen though is the adults in Cebu encouraging kids to go and ask for money by targeting the people they want the kids to approach. They know people are more likely to give to a child over an adult and thus it goes from poverty to a business operating on it. The average person earns around P300 a day here and often that person is supporting an entire family, I am not talking about the street beggar I am talking about the people actually in normal jobs. So if you were begging in a busy location how much do you think you could earn in a day? what about if you had 10 kids running around doing the begging for you? bet you could gain more than that P300.

 

 

The rest of the Article is located here...

 

Poverty In the Philippines

 

Edited by Norseman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dHb

Personally, I've found that many Filipinos have this 'live for today' attitude and let tomorrow take care of itself. Strange, because when they are out of the country, they are pretty hardworking.

 

The problem with beggars is that the 'trade' becomes like a syndicate, particularly in the cities. There are 'kings' who control their turf like ganglords. In India, this can even involve mutilation of limbs or eyes in order to generate more sympathy from people.

If one can earn money from begging, why stop? Circumstances, lack of education and upbringing are big factors and this is just one step away from crime, addiction and prostitution. Its a wicked cycle.

 

On the other hand, my wife's family were very poor; my father-in-law worked for minimum wages and my mother-in-law bought and sold fish and used clothes. Somehow, they sacrificed and put 5 children through school and college and just before my father-in-law passed away recently from cancer, he told me that he was proud of how his kids turned out and what they have done with their lives. One is a manager for Chanel (my wife), another an executive secretary, another was an accountant until she got married, one has his own business, and the youngest is a nurse.

 

Poverty can be overcome only if there is a major attitude adjustment. And if Lady Luck smiles on you.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alan S
Philippines Poverty Can it be fixed Rate

 

No. Not whan, according to Forbes, the wealthiest families income has risen massively in the past year, whilst the ordinary people are poorer than they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m60man

I doubt it can be fixed. I've watched these people in Cebu and here in Davao. They are not out there begging without supervision and or coaching from an able body adult. They just find it easier then working for a living. I liken them to the welfare cons of America working the system for a free ride. Nothing more, nothing less. just a blight on society. I personally will not give them crap. If they want to paste their little faces to the windows of McDonald's and watch me eat, so be it. All they will get is the manager or guard running them off. If the management will not do that, then I will not be back to their establishment.

 

I live outside the city in province setting. I see people everyday caring water, planting veggies along the road, cutting fire wood to sell, cooking bananas to sell, doing what ever they need to do to make ends meet. I respect them for that. They never beg from me or ask for something unless they are willing to work for what they want. From time to time there is a few that have no rice that day. They will come by and ask if I have any work they can do to earn 50 peso's for rice. I always find something for them to do. They do not beg, they are willing to work. That I respect and will always try to help them that have that attitude. :twocents:

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headshot

Personally, I've found that many Filipinos have this 'live for today' attitude and let tomorrow take care of itself.

 

On the other hand, my wife's family were very poor; my father-in-law worked for minimum wages and my mother-in-law bought and sold fish and used clothes. Somehow, they sacrificed and put 5 children through school and college and just before my father-in-law passed away recently from cancer, he told me that he was proud of how his kids turned out and what they have done with their lives. One is a manager for Chanel (my wife), another an executive secretary, another was an accountant until she got married, one has his own business, and the youngest is a nurse.

 

Poverty can be overcome only if there is a major attitude adjustment. And if Lady Luck smiles on you.

dHb, you've hit the nail on the head. Nobody can pull anyone else (except their own children) out of poverty. You father-in-law worked hard all of his life, emphasized education to his children, and instilled in them a good work ethic. That is the ONLY way that people (and families) come out of poverty. Those who think they can pull somebody else out of poverty without the person actually having that "attitude adjustment" on their own are just fooling themselves. You cannot GIVE prosperity any more than you can GIVE democracy. It has to come from within or it will not persist. Most people here do NOT emphasize the need for a good education to their children. They do not do whatever is necessary to keep their children in school. In fact, many pull their children out of school to help earn money for the family. Those children are doomed to a life of poverty, and NOBODY but the parents can change that. Giving money to beggars (or relatives who refuse to help themselves) just perpetuates the poverty. It is easy to become depressed and hopeless in a country where the unemployment rate is so high, and only if people understand that hard work and education is the key out...will the cycle be broken. It doesn't happen overnight. It takes generations.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr. Mike

......as I may have mentioned some time back, poverty is a cultural issue IMO. The RP culture would have to change, or at least "recalibrate"..........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InternetTough

People spoke similarly about South Korea before Park Chung-hee. South Korea was definitely a case of a top-down, turnaround---complete with 4 year plans and a state steel company, POSCO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jerome

People spoke similarly about South Korea before Park Chung-hee. South Korea was definitely a case of a top-down, turnaround---complete with 4 year plans and a state steel company, POSCO.

 

Let's not forget the industry focus for every little town. Professors told me that Park Chung-hee would get into his helicopter and point out areas. "This town is going to make product X, this one will be know for product Y, and this one should focus on product Z." To this day you have cities that will tell you they are famous for hot peppers, LED signs, plasma screens, ship building, or whatever.

 

But I think in Korea everybody was poor at some point. At least that's how the story goes. The Hyundai and Samsung families were poor just like everybody else after the war. Here in the Philippines we have some long-standing legacy money - people with interests to protect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
State Trooper

- people with interests to protect.

I CONCUR

 

 

Read this in the Wall Street Journal:

 

"Most ruling elites are aware that economic development will result in the emergence of powerful challengers to power and probably the loss of political monopoly"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sam12six

Generally speaking, I believe some people living in poverty is inevitable.

 

My ultra liberal friends disagree, but I think in any social model there are those who will rise to the top and those who will sink to the bottom (these can vary from model to model because the criteria to excel change). My ultra conservative friends all believe that all it takes is hard work to excel at anything. This is also untrue. Success requires an intersection of talent and opportunity (hard work increases the effect of this intersection). I could completely devote my life to becoming the best basketball player possible, but would never be as effective a player as Lebron James - I just don't have the talent he does for the sport. If there were no professional sports, Lebron might be a homeless guy because there'd be no opportunity for his vast athletic talent to earn him money, regardless of the effort he put into it.

 

For the Philippines, many factors make success (versus just having plenty to eat) difficult. To change the overall poverty problem, more than one thing would need to happen:

 

Education - For the bottom rung of society, education is difficult. They often have to choose between the family being better off in a decade or starving next week. Because of this, most never learn how to spot the opportunity that does exist around them.

 

Culture - While wanting more than you have is pretty universal, the European based cultures are more acquisitive by nature than most. I've read letters written by early settlers who had nothing but contempt for the Indians in the US because they spent all their time kicking back and enjoying life when all their needs were met. They simply couldn't comprehend their spending their leisure time socializing and playing with their kids instead of striving to have the biggest tee-pee. In addition to the overall culture, you've got the culture the individual was raised in. The overwhelming majority of people tend to have similar values to those their family held. They usually profess the same religion, lifestyle, and desires as the people who raised them. Because of this, poverty is a tough trap to escape since only a small percentage rebel against how they were raised and choose a different lifestyle.

 

The Powers That Be - This applies to every country out there. The ultra wealthy and the government benefit from the way things are. Since they control almost all the wealth and power, any change results in them losing. Because of this, they fight change tooth and nail. I truly believe the only way a country can make a sweeping turnaround is immediately after a revolution of some sort that crushes those in power and quickly elevates normal people in their place. The same thing applies to countries like the US but hasn't been as noticeable because there was so much of the world's wealth concentrated there that even the poor people were well off in comparison to the poor elsewhere. As the economy globalizes, that has and is continuing to change. The wealth is being redistributed, but whether any will land on the poor people in the Philippines, who knows?

 

Because of all these factors, short of a coup and a cultural revolution happening together, I can't see things dramatically changing in the Philippines overall. Locally, a person with knowledge and money can educate people and impact a small region though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CardiacKid

Who said anyone wants the situation here to improve? Not the elites who benefit from the misguided foreigners who bring in money to help the poor. Not the poor themselves whose only goal is a bottle of Tanduay and a stick of cigarette. Certainly not the businessmen who benefit from the low wages and slave-master relationship of employer to employee. Last but not least the Church, whose ninth century ideas perpetuate poverty through the condemnation of birth control and smaller families. Larger litters mean more Christians as they try to outbreed the Muslims. Poverty here is a way of life that must be enjoyed by the locals as they do little to change it. Hand wringing and tears as big as horse turds do not make up for a near total lack of ambition from the poor. I am sure this post will offend some, but in the 45 years I have been around this country this is the opinion I have formed. Expats benefit greatly from this situation. There is an almost endless supply of young women who are desperate enough to do anything to try to escape the poverty cycle. Prices are low because at the bottom of the pyramid people are starving and dying from easily treated diseases. On your next trip to Ayala or a beach resort please take the time to say Thank You to the POS you see sitting in front of a sari-sari store with a Grandee and a cigarette. His lack of ambition makes your life here better. :biggrin_01:

Edited by CardiacKid
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
justice14
]Who said anyone wants the situation here to improve? Not the elites who benefit from the misguided foreigners who bring in money to help the poor. Not the poor themselves whose only goal is a bottle of Tanduay and a stick of cigarette. Certainly not the businessmen who benefit from the low wages and slave-master relationship of employer to employee. Last but not least the Church, whose ninth century ideas perpetuate poverty through the condemnation of birth control and smaller families. Larger litters mean more Christians as they try to outbreed the Muslims. Poverty here is a way of life that must be enjoyed by the locals as they do little to change it. Hand wringing and tears as big as horse turds do not make up for a near total lack of ambition from the poor. I am sure this post will offend some, but in the 45 years I have been around this country this is the opinion I have formed. Expats benefit greatly from this situation. There is an almost endless supply of young women who are desperate enough to do anything to try to escape the poverty cycle. Prices are low because at the bottom of the pyramid people are starving and dying from easily treated diseases. On your next trip to Ayala or a beach resort please take the time to say Thank You to the POS you see sitting in front of a sari-sari store with a Grandee and a cigarette. His lack of ambition makes your life here better. :biggrin_01:

 

WOW....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mandingo

In the last decade I've worked with a couple thousand of Filipinos here at our plant, had probably a few hundred work under my supervision in different capacities over the years. In my opinion the real myth is that Filipinos are hard workers, there are some who are but most really aren't. They aren't really lazy but just more content to do "just enough" to get by and avoid doing anything above and beyond except when there's a reward involved or their job is on the line, frankly many of them choose not to work hard. They are as a group very dependable as far as being to work every day, staying here year after year and being content with what is given to them but I don't see the drive to better themselves like I do in other groups. Another thing that hold many of them back is jealousy, being self-centered and greed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
udonthani

it's an allegory I have used before. The Philippines is like the Titanic. But it's not the rain, or the water, the typhoons, the volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or tsnuamis that will bring the ship down. The weight of the poverty, not the water, will bring this ship down by the head. And we all of us know who is getting the lifeboats.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davolives

Who said anyone wants the situation here to improve? Not the elites who benefit from the misguided foreigners who bring in money to help the poor. Not the poor themselves whose only goal is a bottle of Tanduay and a stick of cigarette. Certainly not the businessmen who benefit from the low wages and slave-master relationship of employer to employee. Last but not least the Church, whose ninth century ideas perpetuate poverty through the condemnation of birth control and smaller families. Larger litters mean more Christians as they try to outbreed the Muslims. Poverty here is a way of life that must be enjoyed by the locals as they do little to change it. Hand wringing and tears as big as horse turds do not make up for a near total lack of ambition from the poor. I am sure this post will offend some, but in the 45 years I have been around this country this is the opinion I have formed. Expats benefit greatly from this situation. There is an almost endless supply of young women who are desperate enough to do anything to try to escape the poverty cycle. Prices are low because at the bottom of the pyramid people are starving and dying from easily treated diseases. On your next trip to Ayala or a beach resort please take the time to say Thank You to the POS you see sitting in front of a sari-sari store with a Grandee and a cigarette. His lack of ambition makes your life here better. :biggrin_01:

 

 

I agree with a lot of what you say, but not the part i underlined. I dont think anyone enjoys poverty, but when you have lived with it all your life, and everyone around you lives with it, and no one seems to be able to escape it, then people just plain give up hope- and acceptance occurs. But never enjoyment. To get people to become more ambitious you must first demonstrate to them that there is some reason for doing so- and that involves giving people hope [ and i certainly do NOT mean the kind of hope that their churches feed them ] .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..