Thursday, November 15, 2007

Isolation And Deprivation

Trickle down effect has yet to reach the lower rungs of society. Gloria's economic reforms has led to the poor to be left behind in her claimed progress. Growth mainly was supported by the growing numbers of OFWs and government spending. While our OFW's contribution is not restricted to mere remittances, government is directed mainly to so-called infrastructure.

Remittances has contributed to the retail as well as the real estate businesses. OFW families have more to spend now. They have enjoyed years of high dollar rates which is now slowing down due to the stronger peso and the dropping dollar value. This had led to our OFWs now in a not so enviable situation.

The social cost of migration far outweigh its benefits. Children are deprived of parental connection. To make up for their shortcomings, parents resort to material expression. Children are left wanting of emotional and moral guidance. Parenting becomes a long distance affair. I am sure that if our OFWs had their way, they would rather stay here than be separated from their loved ones.

The claimed growth of Gloria-nomics has also isolated those who have no means to leave, making life more miserable to the unskilled and undereducated. Social services such as education and health continue to suffer. Schools are overcrowded, teachers are few and other school facilities are nonexistent. The dropout rate has steadily risen. The health sector has its problems as well. With the dwindling number of health workers due to migration, the ration now stands at 1:28,000. Nurses and doctors continue to seek higher paying jobs abroad. Government hospitals are closing down due to lack of personnel and government health subsidy per person is a mere P1.45 a day.

The local workforce has gotten the shortest end of the stick. Utility costs continue to rise which has also increased the cost of living. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. The trickle down the government promises will never reach the poor. The P43/day poverty threshold set by NEDA is simply unrealistic.

As desperation sets in, those who cannot cope with the rigors of the daily grind simply gives up. The case of the 12-yr. old girl had caused quite a stir. Local and national government inaccessibility is the culprit. Now the finger pointing begins. The mayor and the congressman of Davao City are blaming each other. Its sad that these elected officials have short-term memories. After the elections, they forget what their jobs are. They focus on how they can get back the money they spent in their campaigns.

Mayor Duterte and Rep. Nograles are now engaged in an absurd word war that only highlights their ineptness. Duterte being the mayor is hard pressed to sanitize his image. He had even gone as far as to desecrating the the body of the child by having her remains exhumed for autopsy. Duterte had framed an image of a hardworking public servant and the child's suicide is a big slap on his face. Now he is doing everything just to put the blame on someone else.

As for Nograles, his attention is more focused on saving Gloria's ass than serving his constituents. Just like most congressmen, you will see their ugly faces only during election season. The poor girl's family resides in his district and this too has put him in a bad light. Local government is suppose to be at the front line of the fight against poverty. They should be the one going around in a proactive role and reaching out to the people. The national government on the other hand should be introducing programs for poverty alleviation. It should not rely on highly suspicious statistics that try to cover up its shortcomings.

At the end of the day, its the government who isolates and deprives its people. The people are left own their own due to lack of genuine government concern. With the lavish gifts the palace can afford to give to its allies, this further insults the suffering people. The corruption is just too great that it is really the cause of the poverty in the country. The government has no one to blame but itself. And we the people, should now be thinking of good governance, accountability and transparency.