Apparently, our country is not yet highly developed. Millions of Filipinos are still poor. A lot of households in our country are still struggling to survive financially and economically. No matter how the government tells us about our current economic achievements, poverty is still evident across our country.
Others might say that those Filipinos who are poor are lazy and just reliant to our government. But look, many of our countrymen are already working hard, yet they’re still trapped in the limbo of poverty.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is there are unfortunate things that exist in our country that are making many Filipinos poor no matter how hard they work to become rich and have financial freedom. Poor things give birth to more poor things. And if we want to fight poverty in the Philippines, we might want to take a look at these 11 things that are poor in the Philippines and why our country is struggling to progress.
1. Internet connection. Internet in the Philippines isn’t only one of the slowest in Asia but also one of the most expensive. It’s giving troubles to Internet entrepreneurs and professionals. It’s also causing online transactions in the Philippines very inefficient. We have a poor Internet connection in the country, especially in the provinces. And if you want to have an idea how much money are we losing due our snail’s pace Internet speed, read this article.
2. Transportation system. So have you tried the MRT Rush Hour Challenge? How about the PNR challenge? Our airports are not also convenient. Our transportation system is poor – the Airport, the railways and the heavy traffic in the streets. The national roads connecting our cities and provinces also need more upgrading. Without improving them, the prices of our basic commodities, particularly agricultural products, will remain high.
3. Power or energy distribution. Oh yeah, the brownouts. How can our business sector thrive if brownout is a mainstream, especially in Visayas and Mindanao. Add this problem to our slow Internet connection, and we have the most stressful moment of our lives. Our electric bills are getting more and more expensive than before. And not all that, most electric cooperatives (companies) will now immediately cut your line if you fail to pay a month of bill.
4. Public education. Most Filipino parents want their children to go to a private school. And the reason? Our public schools lack classrooms, chairs, textbooks and other educational supplies. Our public schools are made for the poor. In other words, they are made poorly… unfortunately. Our public teachers are competitive but their salaries are not. If this is the case, then how the children of the poor can have quality education? Isn’t they the ones who are in need of a more quality education so that they can rise from poverty?
5. Public health care. Just like our public schools, our public hospitals lack the quality that private hospitals have. Medical equipment and facilities are lacking. Wards are crowded. That’s what you can expect when you visit most of our public hospitals. No wonder some Filipinos try their best to go to a private hospital even though they don’t have the money to pay the bills. It’s sad to realize that the word “public” is already becoming synonymous with the word “poor” here in our country.
6. Justice system. How do you describe our current justice system? What you see in our local movies and telenovelas, where the poor are deprived with justice and the rich can escape the punishment they deserve, are actually happening in real life. In the Philippines, justice can take a lot of years to be served. And in some cases, justice is not served at all.
7. Lawmaking. How do you rate our congress and senate in terms of their output and performance in creating laws that can really help our country? We have more than 300 representatives and senators who are paid with our tax money to work on creating useful laws that can solve poverty in our country. But what’s happening now?
8. Armed forces. We are continuously bullied by China because they knew that our navy and defense system are no match for them. Filipino soldiers are maybe the bravest in the world, but with poor weaponry and military equipment, how can they fight against invaders? Furthermore, our policemen need to fight against crimes and terrorism to preserve peace and order within our nation. But how can they do so if their guns and patrol cars are not yet improved?
9. Disaster response. If you’re a Yolanda (Haiyan) survivor like me, you’ll clearly understand this. From rescue, to relief operation, up to rehabilitation, I’ll be lying if I’ll tell you that our national government is fast and have done a great job. It’s so disappointing to hear news that millions worth of relief goods were just lost to spoilage and cash donations from our kind donors are just being misused.
10. Leadership in the government. Our public officials are supposed to be an epitome of public trust. But can we trust our government officials and politicians today? We cannot blame people if they don’t trust them anymore. We’re already tired of their broken promises, alibis, and dramas. Most of our leaders don’t show honesty, humility and sincerity to serve. That’s why we’re giving them a poor grade.
11. Elections. Oh, our elections. I added it here because our election system is just so pathetic. Most of our voters are still making poor votes. Many Filipinos are still selling their votes for money. With this traditional practice, our country cannot progress.
What I said above may hurt some people. But in order to fight poverty in our country, we must bravely face the things that are causing it. They are the realities. We see them, hear them, and feel them. We can’t deny them. We can only fight them if we want to achieve change and progress in this country. Did I forget to say that there are some Filipinos who became rich by overcoming all the obstacles above?