The Philippines, the only Christian and democratic country in Asia is a big failure. Yes, you heard it right – a big failure. The government is not the sole responsible for this catastrophe, but the people. Even after a thousand years from now, this country will only be worse rather than better.
People may blame the government and corruption as the main factor why the Philippines is still a third-world country despite having small progress, but the reality remains clear. Filipinos are the ones to blame and here’s why.
1. Too much democracy and freedom on everything
35 years since Marcos was ousted followed by Estrada due to “People Power“, the aftermath is even more catastrophic. Thanks to students, nuns, priests, and other anti-government factions who turned the country into a laughing stock and milking cow of today’s politicians. The so-called Prestigious University of the Philippines is becoming the school of activism, rather than producing high-caliber professionals that would lead this country to prosperity. UP – Useless People
2. Colonial mentality
When do we have to stop believing and thinking that foreign products are better than our local products? Lots of local businesses have closed or struggled because of this mentality. Buying China-made products because of their cheaper price, and buying Western products because of their quality, is no different from throwing away Philippine-made products.
3. Improper mindset and too much religion
“God loves poor people”, “God loves the ones who sacrifice”, “Pope Francis is Champion of Poor”, so what now? There is nothing wrong with being religious because humans need spiritual guidance, but this is ridiculous. So what if God loves poor people? Do God-loving poor people and the Pope being the champion of poor help the economy and feed one’s family?
Because of religion, some people don’t want to work on certain days – this makes some people unproductive.
4. Indolence, laziness, ignorance, and lack of discipline
Why wait for tomorrow if we can do it today? How many “tambay” do we have in the Philippines? Can we blame the government because we are “tambay“? Following a simple traffic rule like “no jaywalking” can cause unexpected traffic that may delay one’s job or business. “Sa Japan or US wala kang makikitang nag-uumpukan kaharap si Gin or si Emperador Light. Dito sa Pilipinas araw-araw meron.”
Modernization does not always result in progress. A 10-hectare rice field that produces 30 tons of rice every year when turned into a subdivision does not mean progress. It’s moving backward because we are turning food into a wasteland, especially if the government buys it and is settled by people like KADAMAY. While the food supply is lost, the demand from useless people becomes higher.
6. Lack of entrepreneurial spirit
“Study hard in order to find a good job”, “Study hard and work abroad” – so this is what most parents want for their children to do. Very seldom say, “Study hard and make money doing your own business”. Filipinos always complain that the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer without analyzing the real reasons behind it. No one is becoming rich for being an employee in his whole life (unless due to bribery and corruption). One has to have his own business (big or small), in order to lift his social status.
7. Education, tradition, culture
The Philippines has a high literacy rate compared to other third-world countries, but education is still the main problem why the country is taken aback. There are also a number of traditions that held one’s chance to succeed even in simple things. A parent tells his daughter to study Nursing so that she can work in London in the future, but later ended-up working in a call center because there is no opportunity for her, or due to some other reasons. Another parent sends his son to an expensive private school because his “kumpare‘s” son is also there and he doesn’t want to be left behind. Unplanned education like this makes the whole family suffer.
8. Government priorities
Setting aside the graft and corruption, the government is not doing any better in managing the whole country. The OFW thing does not help the economy on a long-term basis. Talking about sending all of your talents and skilled workers abroad – what we have left then? There is no financial balance as well because when the dollar increases, it might be beneficial to OFWs, but local businesses that are doing import/export transactions are suffering. What’s the point then? The government should prioritize building more local jobs rather than sending people abroad. The Philippines was one of the major exporters of rice and sugar during the ’60s and ’70s but now we are importing. Our agricultural sector is dying because of a lack of government support.
9. Political dynasty and corruption
Do I need to explain more about this issue? Former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez receiving $2 billion bribe money, Macapagal Boulevard, Jose Pidal bank account, Fertilizer Scam, Jose Velarde bank account, Renato Corona, Euro Generals, ZTE scams, AFP Pabaon starring retired staff, LRT Contract, Makati City Hall Budget/Binay Mansion, corrupt police officers… and of course the mighty Janet Napoles and her collaborators Bong, Jinggoy, Johnny, etc.
10. Overpopulation and family planning
Overpopulation is the main reason why the Philippines is buried deep in a poverty hole. Seeing how people living in squatter’s area makes us think the government is really dysfunctional, added by the Catholic’s nonsense intervention. This is very simple math. When you have so many mouths to feed and your resources are not enough, hunger follows. People are growing in numbers, but our agricultural land that can be used to feed these people lacks support and is even destroyed by modernization and industrialization.
Poor urban communities like KADAMAY and other so-called Maralita Groups are like migrating birds. They don’t bother breeding and multiplying. Even with a lack of resources as long as they can ask for help from the government, they’ll do what they want. In the end, taxpayers are the ones to suffer.
In conclusion, the real reason why we are poor is not all because of our corrupt government. It’s all because of us, our lifestyle, our personality, our choices, and our decisions. Poverty is a choice and not a destiny. If you want to remain in poverty, it’s your choice. We have a lot of options to grab, but the decision is ours. /Jaime Gegantoni/