Friday, May 8, 2015

Poverty in the Nation

The poor of the earth has always remained upon the earth since ancient times. The Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 26:11, "the poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me."

There is a kind of poverty inherent in the human condition.

We each came to our life in pain of death; the most feeble and vulnerable of all of God's creatures. For all men and women are born to this earth stripped of our original freedom.

As babes, none of us can even make the choice to live. Somebody had to make the choice for us. In this way, every human being upon this earth begins life poor.

This is the poverty of our human condition.

It is an evil impressed upon the memory of our beginnings as a characteristic of our exile.

At its roots, it is a physical and not a moral evil.

There is also a kind of poverty inherent in the human social condition.

The kind of poverty we must live through from our birth and the kind of poverty we live with in and among ourselves as we go through life though distinct proceed from each other.

Both of these are evils rooted in the physical characteristic of our exile and are therefore, in their basic forms - transient by nature.

In ideal national conditions, as each of us grows into bodily and spiritual maturity, we gain in wealth what we shed in poverty.

This is so because our Nationhood itself is intended for the purpose of providing adequate means for our humanity to transform the poverty of the human condition into the Wealth of Nations.

To think therefore, that somehow poor people causes poverty in the Nation is erroneous.

(Neither my citizenship inform me through my humanity nor my religious conviction inspire me through my faith that this is so...)

The poor is not the cause of poverty in the Nation.

To unravel the evil of poverty, we must begin again along the lines of a new thinking - and accept that there are poor people - millions of them - in this Country.

Accept that poverty is a moral problem that is national in scope.

And that the poor of this Nation neither caused this problem nor desire for this problem to persist.

Furthermore, if we are to perceive poverty in the Nation as ugly, then let us think it ugly not because of what many others see as repugnant in the physical evils abiding with the lives of our Lord's poor.

For these evils are but an indication of a deeper moral question rooted in the spiritual maturity of our culture. Indeed, more ugly and repugnant is not to address this issue.

So we pause for doubt.

There are poor people in the Philippines. Of course, there are!  

There is also crippling poverty in the Nation. So much so that the Republic itself finds it perplexing how difficult it is to move our poverty index up even a slight notch.

So much so that many in the Nation have seen and considered the widespread phenomenon of poverty in this Country to be a grave concern of State, able to affect matters of national security.

There is poverty and there is poor people in the Philippines.

The poverty is a large part of the problem. The poor people are not.

In fact, the poor are fundamentally part of the solution.

Poverty as a moral evil is a social justice issue. 

As with all issues concerning Justice, it is not the presence of evil that is the problem.

To fail to act on it is.

Poverty that persists in the way that it does in the Philippines nowadays feels unnatural. It is seems in no way an evil that is transient any longer but one that seeks to dwell with the people.

From the evil of poverty arise many other evils that cause more misery and suffering among our people, most especially in the least of our people...

Evils such as human trafficking and other criminal trades that exploit despair as well as violent forms of dissent that in turn cause more weakness, bitterness and discontent in the Nation.

This in itself breeds conditions not suitable for the larger successes Country must aim for.

2015 is the Year of the Poor

Reflection on the current state of poverty in the Filipino nation

Every President of the Philippine Republic after the Commonwealth period from Roxas to BSAIII has been engaged in poverty reduction and national stabilization efforts.

To be fair on all of them, it must be said that each of them had worked to address the problem of poverty in the Country and contributed in varying degrees toward durable solutions meant to address the same.

While some Presidents were more successful than others, to honor them all as their lineage within our Republic will profit us most in this reflection.

If we were to look closely at the lineage of our Presidents from Roxas to BSAIII, it shall be worth our while to notice significant efforts have also been made by previous administrations toward national stabilization right alongside poverty alleviation.

This is so because our internal divisions directly coincide with our poverty rates. The more fragmentation we suffer as a Nation and as a Body Politic, the more persistent the poverty among us tends to become. And the longer this divided state of affairs persist, the worse off the plight of the poorest Filipinos tend to likewise become.

Our nationhood can endure a lot of ruin. In the sense that our capitalist economy, faithful to its original form, may absorb many failures in favor of even only a few successes in behalf of giving opportunity to all but war makes us poor indeed. This is what I have noticed.

Most of the present Aquino administration's efforts at curbing graft and corruption in the Republic are also efforts directly connected to poverty reduction. Kung wala ngang kurap, walang mahirap.

This platform is clearly laudable to a great extent of our people but not uncommon to the lineage of our Presidents, one in which President Noy has been modestly successful - if not for the current state of our politics.

The political atmosphere of the Philippine State is stormy and uncertain during most days. I will not blame the President alone for the current state of our formal politics in the State as he too is wont to endure this weather of our own making...

Our political culture is something I think we all are responsible for. But the burden of our politics must always fall upon the shoulders of all worthwhile political parties in the Nation who consider themselves loyal to Constitution and State - to lead the change for the better.

In the political sense, the work of climate change in 2016 here in our Philippines is to make the climate within our Republic Sky more certain of itself and less a reflection of the uncertain climate patterns that now persist in our external world - we all have a stake in it.

That the ball may be carried forward from this administration to the next with greater efficiency.