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Essay: Poverty in the Philippines: A Speech by Carla Patricia O. Azucena

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  • Published: 1 October 2019*
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  • Words: 1,237 (approx)
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Poverty
A speech
by Carla Patricia O. Azucena

Good day, everyone. It is a wonderful pleasure for me to have this kind of opportunity as a representative of the Republic of the Philippines. Being able to speak to you about a topic that has affected the entire world, particularly the country I am representing, the Philippines, makes me very happy to stand in front of you. Since poverty has long been an issue in our country, I want to talk about it and the initiatives the Philippines is doing to address it.
Philippines is one of the poorest country in Asia and it has a fairly high poverty rate. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic caused the Philippines’ poverty rate to rise even further. It has an impact on impoverished people’s employment since lockdown forces the majority of Filipinos’ jobs to close. We all understand that poverty is a state in which a person’s or family’s basic demands for a minimum quality of life are not satisfied because there are insufficient funds available. In general, a lack of material things makes it harder for people to meet their basic needs, particularly financially. Impoverished people, especially some of the poor children in our country, are unable to get the education they needed for themselves due to a lack of financial resources. Additionally, because of the norms that society has established, there are poor people who continue to be unemployed. It is one of the barriers to every human life and the source of other problems that every country is currently dealing with. Since poverty has been a concern in the Philippines, I want to discuss about it.
Being aware that unemployment and population increase are two of the many factors that contribute to poverty in our nation. Many Filipinos have experienced unemployment, particularly since the Covid-19 lockdown that occurred throughout the country. Due to inequality or the norms set by society, some Filipinos remain without jobs, and often, the wealthy are the ones who find employment more easily. They are unable to support their family since they are unable to obtain a job for themselves. Because they are unable to meet their basic needs due to a persistent lack of income, they are unable to enjoy a high standard of living.
It is difficult for them to meet their family’s needs in this situation, especially if they are struggling financially and have a large family to support. They will find it difficult, and it makes them poor. Also, most of the Filipinos depends on agriculture as a source of income. To feed their families, they often sell vegetables and as another source of income, they also do local rice production. However, they find it difficult to meet the needs of their family’s basic needs. They do not have enough money coming in to support their family. They spend more of their income for their food and it is just exact to what they need. They didn’t experience affluent because the exact amount of their earnings are just right for the food they need.
Poverty made some of the Filipinos experience food crisis. They also experience relative poverty due to economic inequality in a society. It is one of the reason why some Filipinos doesn’t have the access to some opportunities that government is providing, especially when it comes to education and healthcare. Experiencing poverty leads Filipinos to lack of education since they cannot go to schools because they can’t afford it. Some are able to go to school but due to lack of financial needs, the student doesn’t have a choice but to drop out of school. Also, poverty also leads to being homeless since they can’t also afford to pay for their house. To provide food, they don’t have a choice but to sold their houses. Being homeless made them experience more about poverty. When they reached the point that they can’t really provide food for themselves, it affects their health and it resulted them to have some diseases. That’s why there are number of Filipinos that dies because of poverty since they are exposed to hunger and diseases. It is sad to see children that experienced malnutrition and are unable to have a good education due to poverty. Also, due to poverty, some Filipinos are doing crimes to provide their needs. Poverty has badly influence some of the Filipinos and it has been a problem that needs to be solved.
The Philippines still wants to lower the poverty rate despite its local governments’ limited capabilities to do so. We cannot avoid poverty or we cannot erase it as one of the problems in our country and all we can do is to reduce it. We plan to reduce extreme poverty and to take actions, we implemented various programs to reduce poverty by focusing on education, healthcare and the overall economy.
The first program is one that places a high priority on granting more people, especially the poor, access to education. The Government has passed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in 2017 because access to higher education is restricted by poverty. By promoting the idea that higher education is accessible to everyone, this act seeks to reduce the number of dropouts and children who were denied the opportunity to attend school due to poverty. This benefits those who are impoverished, particularly children, and who wished to attend school but were hindered from doing so due to financial issues. Since some institutions now offer free tuition, they won’t have any issues. The second program aims to assist all low-income families that are experiencing financial difficulties. In order to help every family, the government launched the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, often known as the 4Ps, in 2007. About 20 million Filipinos, 9 million of them are children, benefit from the 4Ps initiative. As a result, the initiative aims to reduce poverty by more than 20% of the population. Every family in need of financial support, especially those with children, is helped by this program. The money that the parents could get through this program could be used to pay for their children’s basic needs and education. The last program is to improve the economy of the Philippines. To reduce poverty by improving economy, the government strengthens the economics. In February 2019, President Duterte signed the Rice Tariffication Law amending the Tariffication Act of 1996. The goal of this law is to prioritize the local price production for the population by stabilizing the supply and placing a 35% tariff on imported rice. It also has a goal of giving benefits to local farmers by creating a more efficient and competitive agricultural system. This would help poor people who’s the main source of income is from agriculture.
We anticipate seeing the changes in our country by the year 2023. Since change is inevitable, we hope that our initiatives and policies have contributed to decrease the country’s poverty rate. In order to effectively reduce poverty in the Philippines, we will implement more programs, and I eagerly await your comments on how well we are doing so.
Here I will put an end to my remarks. Good day, everyone. I’m a representative of the Republic of the Philippines, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this kind of subject with you all today. I appreciate you for listening and being attentive. Thank you, everyone.

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