Philippines: Export oriented-Import dependent Economy

All of us are hoping for a better year in fact anything that is introduced as lucky charms to attract good vibes and prosperous living is deliberately being adhered to for the hope that it will bring us positive result. Unfortunately, there are inevitable events which are not controlled by these lucky charms. These are events which are not perceived even by the toughest fortuneteller. One peep on the year ender reports from different Medias will attest to this fact because if not, thousand of people who were killed from so many calamities and wars might have been spared. Even the toughest and mighty countries were not spared from this. Their technology and forecasters never perceived that this economic turmoil would end up to economic downfall like a plague.

The Philippines alone has reduced its population by death tolls from sea vessel’s accidents, plane crash, storms, floods, massacres, death in Mindanao due to war, political killings and natural deaths. I guess we need another Merlin or the wizard of OZ for best predictions. Well, these are just the repercussions of men’s greed and neglect of environmental issues. You reap what you sow according to old saying and yes, it’s true.

The other day, as I walk home, I meet an old friend, my co-worker at the company where I used to work. According to her, IWSPC, a subsidiary of SWS Japan, has announced their recent work schedule. They are now working 6 hours/day and 3 days/week. I was stunned by that news. How will an employee survive with that scheme? She told me that her recent earning is only 800php or a measly $17 and she has to budget it for 15 days. How can she make both ends meet with that income? I guess she needs to enroll herself to Harry Potter’s school and aim for the wand. I can’t sympathize further for I, myself is suffering with the same grief. If we lost the court battle with demolition issue, we will be losing the roof on our head at the end of this month.

Despite GMA’s denial that Philippines is not affected by recession, the gleaming truth is slapped right in the face of many workers who are being hit by different inhumane labor schemes just to cope up with the economic turmoil. We all know that most industries and factories in the Philippines are run by Multi-National Corporation from Japan & the US and these countries are in the midst of recession. The final way out is thru retrenchment or at the maximum is to close the company and return to their homeland leaving the Filipino workers jobless with no separation pays.

This only proves that we can never achieve a genuine progress unless we change our economic system. An economy which remains to be an export oriented and import dependent will always ends up at the dumping area. We are more than 80 millions Filipinos, producing our own local products and selling it at the local market is the only way to move out from this dreadful situation. More than 70% of the products we used are being produced by other countries. Look, from the tip of your toe to the tip of your hair, you are using imported products. “Imported per se” is not just products available at Clark or PX stores, these are products produced by non-Filipino owned companies. Though their companies were erected at Philippine land, their sales and profits will be returned to their own countries. The only reason why they are here is not because they want to help us but because they want to take advantage of our cheap and docile labor.

Japanese will only buy cars made by Japanese corporations, but the local artists in the Philippines seldom uses beauty products made from the Philippines. Remember, each time we buy imported products, spend our vacation abroad, purchase property outside the Philippines, our money go out leaving our peso floats and drowned by inflation.

money-cycle-pkp

Money Cycle

Thanks to the living heroes who untiringly take back the money we spent outside the Philippine territory, despite the loneliness, dangers and abuses, they remain meek because of the call of earnings for the sake of their families. Do you have an idea who are those people? They are the OFW workers who are unceasingly working to earn not only for their family but for the country’s economy as well.

And Kudos to online workers like us who are also earning dollar from home. You are helping our country to get the money back and return it to circulate here. And to those who are hoarding the money and investing it outside the Philippine territory, you are one of the reasons why the Philippines remain poor.

Gumising na sana tayo….

 

~Juliet Corpuz~

Health and Poverty

It’s very surprising how different websites and health magazines are flaunting how they are geared to promote modern health and lifestyle. They claim to understand the needs of families, men women, teens and children when in fact they are just promoting artificial foods, books, vitamins, dietary pills and other forms of products.

Digging deeper on the issue, we know the real score, they are there for one reason…Profit not Health. Are they really serious that our health is their main concern? I doubt it.

Health is a worldwide issue and it’s agonizing to know the sad truth that the very people that we’re depending on to promote and create programs for a healthy living and environment are the one who are destroying it. They are the one who are launching war from one country to another leaving thousand of casualties.

Philippines is one of the poorest country in Asia, despite of its richness in natural resources, millions of Filipinos are surviving hunger everyday. While the present government is claiming that health and other social services is one of their priorities, records will not conform to it.

Based on statistical data, the United Nations ranked the Philippines 90th out of 177 countries for the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2007. The HDI is a survey on the quality of life of citizens in UN member countries. It measures life expectancy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita. It was developed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a standard means of measuring human development, a concept, which according to the UNDP, refers to the process of widening the options of persons, giving them greater opportunities for education, health care, income, employment, etc. It was also reported that in 2006, infant mortality rate in the Philippines is 24 per 1,000 live births.

According to the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), ten mothers die daily of pregnancy-and child-related causes. The group also said that seven out of ten Filipinos die without medical attention. Malnutrition and hunger is one of the major problems in our country and it is escalating everyday. A survey by IBON Foundation in April this year showed that 75.3 percent of families could not buy enough food.

Despite this devastating fact, The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed its budget allocation for health.

Year

Health

Debt Interest Payments

Defense

2001

13.64 B

181.60 B

32.78 B

2002

14.49 B

185.86 B

38.91 B

2003

12.40 B

226.41 B

44.42 B

2004

12.88 B

271.53 B

43.85 B

2005

12.93 B

301.69 B

44.19 B

2007

11.66 B

318.18 B

49.34 B

2008

19.77 B

269.85 B

50.93 B

Average allocation per year

13.84 B

257.10 B

43.58 B

While I was typing this article, the news airing on our TV caught my attention and stopped me. 24 Oras, a news and current affairs program of GMA 7, one of our local TV is making a report about the poorest municipalities in the Philippines and according to Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) NCR is on top of the list. Very poor families are scattered in different places of Manila, considering that Manila is one of the most modern places in the Philippines.

My hub took these photos today, while he is on his way to school to deliver students’ IDs. His way was blocked by these people swarming around the corner, curiously, he made his way to know what’s going on, and it’s the same scenario that we see on TV everyday, these people are patiently waiting to buy NFA rice. I told him jokingly why he didn’t buy a kilo for our dinner. Well it’s not a really a joke as we are also surviving hunger everyday. We are having hard time to make both ends meet.

Due to continuous oil price hikes which trigger unstoppable price increase in commodities, we are poorer now than we were 2 years ago. We can’t even buy a half cavan of rice unlike in the past that we already have a sack ready even before our rice dispenser runs out of rice. We are already using coal to save gas and my kids are complaining of eating noodles for their breakfast.

The only luxury that we have in our house now is my internet connection because I am using this to earn a living. But the kids are having a hard time in adjusting but I always console them that things will get better soon and I know that we have to double our work and I have to spend sleepless nights in my online works to do this.

Just like the many poor families in the Philippines, I am taking my sincere call to the government to prioritize health and employment, for a strong republic will remain a dream if these issues will not be properly addressed. And lastly, how can it be a strong republic when its people are weak, sick and dying of hunger?