The news about the Philippines’ 7.8 percent growth in the first quarter of this year set the media abuzz in the last few days. But what does it really mean for Filipinos? The first time I learned of the news from an online news website, I simply could not find a concrete answer; so too the vast of majority of our countrymen, I think. This is because despite of the good news of our country’s growing economy, the poorest of the poor would feel that nothing has changed. Nothing because they’re still lacking with the most basic of human necessities like food, shelter and clothing. For many common people in the street, economic growth only affects the rich but not the poor.
While walking in EDSA-Crossing in Mandaluyong a few days later, I realized that the notion of inequitable growth seems all too visible. There was a woman with a child begging in the street while in the backdrop were tall polished malls and condominiums serving country’s rich. But instead of cursing in my mind what seems to be an unfair social condition, I found hope. I found an answer that I was looking for. I realized that our country’s economic growth is meant to put an end to the daily struggle for survival of our nation’s poorest. Although it might take time for the poorest members of our society to experience real change in their lives, the improvement of our country’s economy is a signal that the end of their suffering might be forthcoming. We can be assured that that will happen if political reforms made by the Aquino Administration will continue side by side with our country’s rapid economic growth.
Nevertheless, I hope that many of us would see opportunity in this period of our economic development. Opportunity not just for those who are already educated and moneyed who can ride in with progress, but also for those who are not. To do this, we must allow the poor to understand, not just know, the good that our economic growth can bring. So that the poor children who skip school would find inspiration to study hard knowing that there will be a job ahead of them when they persevere. So that those who live in crime would change their ways knowing that there is more incentive in making a living in accordance with the law rather than those which are against the law. So that those who seems to have lost faith in our country’s political system would open their eyes to progress knowing that the government does something to improve their well-being. We should understand that it is not only concrete measures made by the government and the business sector that lead to development. It is ‘inspiration’ that would allow people to work harder and unite together knowing that there’s value in doing and in cooperating with each other. And I could not think of anything that our recent economic growth would serve best than inspiring our people to work harder for our country’s development.
Bubble News (9/13/2012). Poverty in the Philippines. Retrieved from http://www.bubblews.com/news/33789-poverty-in-the-philippines