Poverty in the Philippines should be abolished

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

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By the time one has finished reading that sentence, a child would have died from poverty-related causes (www.worldpoverty.org). That’s a life every 3.5 seconds –on average.

Poverty affects everyone; globally, regionally, and locally. To be living in poverty is a horrible state to be in, for the individual will be lacking in essential aspects needed for life. Half of the world’s population survives on a dollar a day, and while 10% of the Philippines population controls all its wealth and land, 50% are living below the poverty line. There is no such thing as a perfect world, hence, society can never be equal. But to have a child die every 3.5 seconds so that the ‘fortunate’ can live as they please is simply unfair. People deserve to have equal human rights, yet why does half of the world still live without a home, education, healthcare, or food? Poverty is caused by three main things; corruption (lack of good governance), lack of (poor quality) education, and low wages (a poor economy).

“In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius.

Corruption causes poverty because it subtracts from the budget of both the country and its citizens. The Philippines isn’t a very poor country, its just that most of it’s money is being directed into the pockets of corrupt officials instead of improving the country. The money could be directed to improving the country and the lives of the poor or community projects, such as providing clean water or more hospitals. Additionally, corruption has a role to play in the context of increasing taxes. The higher the taxes, the more money the people lose; since education and healthcare isn’t legally free in the Philippines, the money just goes to politicians and the government.

Lack of education causes poverty; this is due to the fact that individuals with education get more jobs than those without it. Hence, jobless people have no income to live on, and fall below the poverty line. Also, their children most likely wouldn’t be able to go to school as well, starting a vicious cycle of a continuously poor family.

Low wages, or a poor economy, cause poverty because more often than not, people in poverty earn wages that aren’t enough to support them. Thus, they wouldn’t be able to afford basic needs, such being food, water, shelter, and health care.

Poverty has a bad impact on society because of three main reasons –it can serve as a breeding ground for terrorists, riots, and infectious diseases, which present themselves as imminent threats to society and its concerns. Experts* link public aid education with terrorism, after seeing that they had called for increased aid and educational assistance to end terrorism. This proves that poverty and terrorism are linked issues, and that occasionally terrorists come from poverty, posing imminent threats to the safety of the public. On the other hand, people in poverty are more bent to wanting change in their lives more than other groups in society, therefore, they are most likely to riot in order to get their requests and messages across. Riots also pose as threats to the

* Vice president Al Gore (2002), President George W. Bush (2002a), and academics, including Joseph Nye, Richard Sokolsky and Joseph McMillan (2002) of the National Defense University, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government, and Laura Tyson (2001), Dean of the London Business School.
safety of many other people. Examples of riots due to poverty would be the riots that
Senegal [Africa] experienced on November 22 of 2007, wherein protestors burned cars, threw stones, and violently robbed their mayor’s office in Dakar (the capital).

The last main reason as to why poverty is bad and should be abolished is that it is the perfect breeding ground for infectious diseases. 13 million people die each year due to infectious diseases, one in two of them coming from developing countries. 1.3 billion live on less than a dollar a day in developing countries (World Health Organization, 1999); hence, one in three children are malnourished while one in five children aren’t fully immunized by their first birthdays. After considering the limitations in healthcare of those in poverty, infectious diseases are bound to spread. This could mean a rapid spread of disease in the world and the country. According to the World Health Organization (2006), the countries with the highest adult HIV prevalence rates are in Africa (15-34% of the population). Africa has the most countries with populations that live below the poverty line (20-60%), as specified by the CIA World Factbook. One should take concern of such epidemics and outbreaks because it is negative for society, as well as his or her well-being. Despite all this, poverty can still be stopped by abolishing corruption, having more schools, hospitals, infrastructure (housing), clean water, and donated food (basic rights).

By abolishing corruption, in the Philippines can attain a balanced budget, so it can be spent wisely for the right things in order to better the country. This can be done by changing the government, or adding rules and re-electing positions of power (President, Vice-president, etc.) By ridding this country of corruption, the Philippine economy can have more means to try the following solutions to poverty. If poverty still stays, Filipinos will still be taxed high (rich or poor) and their quality of life will seem exponentially worse than how it would have been, had they abolished corruption.

By having more (and cheaper) schools, society will be giving the next generations of impoverished children a chance to succeed and pull themselves out of poverty later on in life. Furthermore, if there were more schools, then more teachers would have to be available, thus providing the economy with more jobs.

The Philippine economy should have more (and cheaper) hospitals so as to attend to the needs and illnesses of more impoverished people. Hence, there will be a less likely chance of epidemic and infectious disease.

Finally, the Filipino society should abolish poverty by attending to the basic needs of those in it, giving them better quality of life. Building homes and water irrigation/plumbing systems takes a lot of manpower, thus doing so will provide more jobs which will help pull the economy out of being poor. This will content those in penury, making for significantly smaller chances of riots and violence that may threaten the public amongst them.

Having poverty is unfair, unethical, and dangerous. The Philippines should abolish poverty because its people deserve to be free of it.

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