Friday, August 30, 2013

Destitution in the Philippines

Widespread poverty is one of  the problems facing the Philippines. There are significant differences in poverty levels between regions and provinces.  Poverty problem just keeps on piling up as the  poverty gap between urban and rural areas widens.

Poverty is more severe in the Cordillera highlands and Mindanao Island.  Filipinos living in these rural areas are among the poorest in the country since most only depend on agriculture, fishing and subsistence farming for their livelihoods.

The root problem goes deeper than the lack of economic growth as the country’s poverty level remains high compared with the other Asian countries. Access to basic needs like clean and health care is difficult if not available. There is illiteracy, unemployment and continued rapid population growth further aggravating the problem. Indigenous people with have high illiteracy rates are affected by the influx of new modern technology onto traditional  practices. Fishermen encounter increasing reduction in their catches as they have few opportunities outside of fishing. The roles of womenfolk  are limited to family responsibilities.

The local government should exert more effort in alleviating the flight of the poor. They should aim at helping indigenous people cope with the situation.  Programs should also look into lessening the exploitation of farmers and fishermen, and providing security for vulnerable poor people, including children and women.  Since 80 percent of the rural population comes from poor families, more efforts should be directed towards improving the quality life of the poor rural people.

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