Effects of poverty in the Philippines


  • Malnutrition

The hunger situation is alarming. Food insecurity is blamed for the fact that many preschool children are underweight and malnourished. An economist pointed out that “inadequate food can adversely influence workers’ productivity.”

Food supplies are stable but they are available mostly in areas where people have enough income for food expenditures. The unequal distribution of income in the country explains the seemingly low demand for food in low-income places.

An analyst also noted that the prices of some basic commodities are getting higher.  The higher cost of these basic commodities will force more Filipinos to spend less on food.

  • Poor Economic growth

The poor remain poor because they cannot borrow against future earnings to invest in education, skills, new crops, and entrepreneurial activities; they are cut off from economic activity because many collective goods (such as property rights, public safety, and infrastructure) are under-provided, and they lack information about market opportunities. 

  • Child Labor

According to the National Statistics Office, 3.6 million Filipino children, aged 5-17, are child laborers. When the parents just don’t have enough money to make ends meet they usually force their children out of school and send them to work out on the streets, haciendas or factories. Earning money for their food and shelter became their sole purpose, no longer the education that should have served to bring them a better future.

Children from the ages 5 to about 17 are usually the ones found laboring under the hot sun or behind machines for small companies or syndicates. This figure alone comprises roughly 15.9% of the total Philippine population or one out of six children. In a breakdown, 216,000 are within 5-9 years old, 1.6 million for the 10-14 group and 1.8 million are 15-17 years old.

  • Bad living conditions

Because of poverty, many families are forced to occupy public and private lands without the right to do so. And, because this land is not theirs, it tends to overcrowd. Because of overcrowding, the environment usually becomes unsanitary and heightens the chances that disease will spread. Also, their houses are close together/connected to each other, this makes it easy for fire to spread and giving fire fighters a hard time to extinguish the flames due to the small roads between these houses.

  • Crime/ Theft

Due to the hardships in life caused by poverty, many people can’t even get enough money to live. This causes them to do whatever it takes to be able to sustain their and their family’s need even when it involves stealing. The researchers observed that the major reason for theft is poverty. Because of poverty, the thieves need to steal to be able to live.

source  balonkayjohn

Cause of Poverty in the Philippines


  • Income distribution/ Inequality:

In 1994, the richest 20 percent of the population received 52 percent of the country’s total income, nearly 11 times the share of the poorest 20 percent. These figures had changed little since the 1980s and had even become slightly worse: in 1985, the richest 20 percent of the population received the same share of national income as in 1994 and their average income was about 10 times that of the poorest 20 percent. The distribution of assets has also shown little improvement over the last few decades.

  • Lack of quality education

The 1995 higher education task force showed generally poor performance of college graduates in the various professional board examinations. The task force only found 20/1000 universities/colleges to be recognized as good teaching institutions by a sample of selected countries.

Elementary schooling is compulsory, but 24% of Filipinos of the relevant age group do not attend, usually due to absence of any school in their area, education being offered in foreign languages only, or financial distress.

In 2005, the Philippines spent only about US$138 per pupil compared to US$1,582 in Singapore, US$3,728 in Japan, and US$852 in Thailand.

  • Lack of Jobs

The Social Weather Stations (SWS), a survey group, found that 11 million people or 27.9 percent of the adult labour force (over 18 years) were unemployed.

The government estimates that 935,700 workers are at risk of losing their jobs both locally and abroad this year. Over 362,000 jobs in the export sector are under threat—90 percent of those are in the electronics, garments and ignition wiring sub-sectors. More than 500,000 overseas jobs are under threat. There are 129,000 temporary workers in the recession-wracked US. Also in recession are South Korea and Taiwan, which between them employ 200,000 Filipino factory workers. Another 48,000 housemaids are employed in Hong Kong and Singapore, which are both contracting economically.

In addition, the government estimates that 130,000 seamen on cruise ships are facing layoffs. Japanese ship owners, according to Agence France Presse, have notified the government that more than 40,000 crew members on car carriers, bulk carriers and container ships will be laid off as world trade continues to slow.

  • Corruption

Corruption in the Philippines is very prevalent. It is considered normal for high government officials to get very rich during their tenure of office and then their spouse, children or their relatives will run for an elective position if they can no longer run for office and the process of taking over and corruption goes on.

An example of a corruption case is the NBN-ZTE deal.

The scandal erupted when a losing bidder for the project went to the media and complained that the deal by the government with the winning bidder ZTE is full of anomalies and that the supposed deal was brokered by Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos. Comelec is the government agency in charge of all local and national elections. The whistle blower was the son of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He claimed that Abalos was wined and dined in China and was given women for his pleasure and that Abalos will get a hefty commission from the deal. Joey de Venecia, the whistleblower also claimed that he was offered a bribe of ten million dollars for this silence and cooperation. The ZTE deal is worth more than 300 million dollars while deVenecia’s(AHI) losing bid is only 130 million dollars.

  • Natural Calamities

Natural calamities are very dangerous and cause millions worth of damage to property. An example of which is typhoon Ondoy. This damaged P108.9 million worth of infrastructure and affected about 90,000 families. The Department of Agriculture also said that crop losses have reached P3.2 billion.

  • Over Population

The Philippine’s population growth rate is 2.36% per year. A rapidly growing population also makes it difficult for the Government to keep up with the delivery of what are already deficient public services in health, education, water supply and sanitation, and so on. The empirical record shows conclusively that larger families are more likely to be poor. Many poor families have many children because of poor family planning and religion. This is a big problem because these families only earn very little and they have to use this to feed so many mouths.