Eradicating poverty is a challenge that sees no means of ebbing. Governments across the world do whatever they can to improve people’s lives. In the Philippines, the government had set a target of reducing poverty to 16 percent from the 33 percent of Filipinos living in poverty in 1991.
Though the government is taking steps to improve the lives of the poor, almost a quarter of the 105 million Filipinos still live in poverty. Most of the rural poor live off subsistence farming and fishing. They are the ones most affected by natural disasters like typhoons or earthquakes. What also works against them is the large family sizes. In 2015, more than half of all Filipino poor households had more than 6 members.
Causes of Poverty
The poorest of the poor in the Philippines suffer from a lack of jobs in rural areas, poor quality of education, and limited resources for large families. This has led to a widening gap between the haves and have-nots. Add to that frequent natural disaster which takes away what little the poor have and you have a cycle of indebtedness and poverty that affect large parts of the population.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has compounded problems for the poor. Lack of access to quality healthcare and vaccinations and the high cost of treatment mean the poor are further pushed into poverty and debt. Inadequate housing for the poor is another challenge for the poor.
Consequences of Poverty
Poverty in the Philippines
results in many unfavorable consequences that add to the challenge of eradicating poverty. This also weighs down on the country’s economy. The less fortunate face many challenges that act as a consequence of poverty.
Many Filipinos live in crowded homes or even on the streets as most cannot afford rent on their meager incomes. Many poor survive on less than $1.25 a day, making it extremely difficult for them to improve their standard of living and to gain access to quality education and healthcare.
With little money to buy food, many poor have inadequate diets or sleep hungry. Their diets too have changed. People have moved from eating rice to having instant noodles, which provides inadequate nutrition though it is cheaper.
Many parents force their children to work to help them provide for their families. Most of them are taken out of school and made to work in harsh conditions. Recent statistics show that there are about 3.6 million children between the ages of 5 to 17 who are child laborers. This amounts to about 16 percent of the entire population.
With meager resources and many mouths to feed, many people take to crime to survive. Without proper employment, people find stealing a better way to provide for their families.
Opportunities to reduce poverty
The Philippine government has successfully reduced poverty using a mix of cash grants, better educational opportunities, family planning measures, and improving livelihood programs for the poor. However, delay in crediting cash grants and corruption at all levels impedes the mission to reduce poverty.
The Feed the hungry organization and other like-minded institutions are working hard to help those in need. Many of them have been working for the betterment of the poor for decades. They have helped skill many young people to live independently with their own income, besides providing invaluable help to the poor in any way they can. Out of the organizations that help the poor in the Philippines, the Catholic Connect Foundation helps raise funds and aid to distribute the same amongst like-minded organizations.
You too can help the poor with your generosity. Even a small $10 donation every month can help feed the mouths of those less fortunate.
Donate Now and get God’s blessings.