Fetalvero: One more cause of poverty

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By Noemi C. Fetalvero

Two empty bottles

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I WOULD like to add lazy unemployment as one of the major causes of poverty in the Philippines.

For every working Filipino there are at least two to three relatives dependent on his earnings. A lazy brother or a sister quits job hunting after having been rejected two to three times in job interviews.

We are in a sad state when it comes to being at par with the rest of the labor force in this competitive world. There are Filipinos, having been born poor (no offense meant), who are what I would refer to as products of malnutrition.

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There is mahiyain, for lack of self-esteem. Then there is hambug, ashamed to work as a factory worker. There is the “lazy bug” who simply wants to loiter on the street corner, watching pretty girls pass by. There is the “hustler” who waits for a padrino to dole him out some cash to buy cigarettes or a bottle of alcohol.

What is likely to happen to someone who works 24/7 for a measly P500 per week? He gives up working and switches to the "standby mode" (be a loiterer) until an opportunity for an illegal fast buck is offered to him.

The minimum wage always lags behind the rising cost of commodities thus our countrymen find it hard to survive. Our Department of Labor and Employment should get rid of the minimum wages and instead work on survival wages. For somebody to survive nowadays, he needs to earn at least P1,000 per day. Juan de la Cruz will then be able to eat three times a day, pay house rent, send his children to school without having to worry about the children’s baon and transportation money, get health insurance and set money aside for emergency.

According to Pulse Asia there are 18 million Filipinos living in poverty. The “Tawid Pangkabuhayan Program” of the government only encourages lazy unemployment.

The business sector should start changing its mindset like threatening our government to close business if compelled to increase salaries and wages. Social responsibility should be the right call so our government can truly claim economic development thus bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. No more empty bottles for the baby.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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