Time Will Tell by Jezrielle Pizarras

The increase in Philippine population is attributed mainly to the excess of births over deaths. Like many other developing countries, our country, the Philippines has a high birth rate and a gradually declining mortality rate. This problem causes a high rate of poverty in our country.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) showed that poverty incidence among Filipino individuals rose by 1.2 percentage points to 25.8 percent in the first semester of 2014 from the 24.6 percent registered in the first half of 2013. Population increase and poverty cannot be separated especially in developing countries.

All of us have probably experienced being stuck in traffic and having these kids perform a beatbox or song number (or sometimes even both) in their high-pitched, nasally voices and we think of them as such nuisances or that they are putting their lives at risk by merging in the highways. It is easy for some elders to tell these street rappers to stay in school, but if we really think about it, there are many factors that made them cut school or drop out altogether. One is the inadequate public school and school materials. Another is the lack of the parents’ education level. Lastly, the low income of the child’s parents combined with many mouths to feed. The parents of these homeless youth do not know any better because they too were most likely born into poverty and it is the only life they’ve known. Often they are uneducated and do not know methods of family planning and that is why they have more offspring than they can afford. Based on the 2002 statistics say that 81% of women aged 15-19 and 63% of women aged 20- 14 do not use birth control methods.

To solve the problem in unemployment, our government followed the 12 year basic education program. The K to 12 program seeks to give every Filipino student – especially the poor – the opportunity to receive quality education that is globally competitive and matches the international standards. People are not sure if such solution can work, because of the increase in the expenses. There are also problems with the lack of instruction paraphernalia, competent instructors, classrooms and adequate educational facilities such as libraries and laboratories, but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300 million loan to the Philippines to support the new school system, with a focus on the addition of two years of senior high school.

Since one of the factors that affect the rate of poverty is literacy, K-12 may be of help to our continuous population increase. Graduates of the Senior High have the choice to go to college or to start working because by then, their education would suffice to the standards and their age would be appropriate to join the working force. There are numerous of questions regarding the effectiveness of the program, but we should trust our policymakers and hope for the best. Only time will tell.