Are we really on the rise?

3rd World… Has this country developed any kind of fondness to such lacklustre title?

“The Philippines has been named as one of the Tiger Cub Economies together with Indonesia, and Thailand. It is currently one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. However, major problems remain, mainly having to do with alleviating the wide income and growth disparities between the country’s different regions and socioeconomic classes, reducing corruption, and investing in the infrastructure necessary to ensure future growth.”

From this, I can say that we are not entitled with the poverty that has infested our nation, but somehow, in the weirdest way, we chose to be like this. History lessons taught us that the great colonizers of the age of discovery (Spain, Portugal, England, France, etc.) DREAMED of colonizing the Philippines. From spices, raw material, geographic location, and agriculture, it’s no joke that this country truly is the Pearl of the East. This country is deemed as one of the richest in terms of natural resources. Why has this majestic land been stripped of its beauty and grandeur? Is it because of the people? Is the Philippines better off without the Filipino people? Let’s see…

The population of the Philippines is estimated at 100,096,496 as of July 1 2014.

Philippines’s population is equivalent to 1.38% of the total world population.

The Philippines ranks number 12 in the list of countries by population.

The population density in the Philippines is 334 people per Km2.

50% of the population is urban (49,643,960 people in 2014).

The median age in the Philippines is 23.2 years.

Staggering info isn’t it? It seems like we have more mouths to feed. But not to worry, our economy is on the rise… Isn’t it?

“”The Philippines is no longer the sick man of East Asia, but the rising tiger,” announced World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi during the Philippines Development Forum in Davao City last February of 2013.”

But that economic growth only looks good on paper. The slums all around us are as bleak as they always were. “Are we really on the rise?” The economic boom appears to have only benefited a tiny minority of elite families. Meanwhile, most of the citizens are still being engulfed by poverty, malnutrition, and other bad elements that come with a country that is riddled with pests… And I’m not referring to the rodents and insects.

“Meanwhile, overall national poverty statistics remain bleak: 32 percent of children under age five suffer from moderate to severe stunting due to malnutrition, according to UNICEF, and roughly 60 percent of Filipinos diewithout ever having seen a healthcare professional. In 2009, annual reports found that 26.5 percent of Filipinos lived on less than $1 a day — a poverty rate that was roughly the same level as Haiti’s. And a new report from the National Statistical Coordination Board for the first half of 2012 found no statistical improvement in national poverty levels since 2006. Even as construction cranes top Manila skyscrapers and the emerging beach town of El Nido unveils plans for its newest five-star resort, tens of millions of Filipinos continue to live in poverty. And according to Louie Montemar, a political science professor at Manila’s De La Salle University, little is being done to destabilize the Philippines’ oligarchical dominance of the elite.”

The rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer. This is the sad reality that we face today. But this isn’t our fate… not if we choose to. There is still hope, and that little piece of info regarding our economic rise should ignite our desire for change. The government sucks? Then let’s do it ourselves. The problem with Filipinos is that we are huge hypocrites. We question the immoral and scandalous acts of our leaders when we are just as red handed as they are.

“Grabiha nas basura oy, asa naman ang mga garbage trucks intawn. Rama way ayo.”

*Throws plastic pack of chips on the sidewalk.*

We are on the rise, and we have only ourselves to blame. We have to make do with what we have. It seems like a lot of work to do, but hey, nothing worth having comes easy. Poverty will never disappear, unfortunately. But what’s wrong with trying? In the long run, we may discover methods or ways that could greatly benefit the future of our country. Let’s all do our roles as citizens of the country. Always remember that the most important piece of the puzzle is us, the people.


by: GEYROSAGA, Geyanne D.