My topic today is about remittance and poverty level.
My views are purely personal, because neither am I an economist nor am I a social scientist expert that I can talk deeply about the effects of the remittances Filipino expats send from abroad in connection with the poverty level in the Philippines right now.
But as a Filipino, I must say that I am deeply concerned about what is going on in the Philippines specifically on the aspect of economic growth and development. I have a lot of questions in mind but I think I do not have much space to write them all down. So I would rather give a more general view about the topic I chose to expound on today.
We are fully aware of the fact that Filipino expats contribute a huge chunk of money to the GDP of the country, 10% to be exact. Filipino expats remit an amount of 21.3 Billion US Dollars to the Philippines. The World Bank has listed our country as the 4th largest remittance recipient country in the world. The Philippine government itself admitted at one point that the remittance received in the Philippines is actually keeping the country’s economy afloat. It’s an enormous effort on the part of the government to admit such. It’s more or less like an admission of its “incapacity” to provide resolutions to the economic condition of the country, while at the same time, it shows the passivity of our political leaders to seek appropriate solutions because part of the problem is already being resolved for them.
Poverty in the Philippines has always been one of the major issues the Philippines is facing today. The Social Weather Stations has in fact reported that there are more or less 30 million families that have considered themselves as poor. Moreover, it stated that the number of Filipinos under the poverty level has increased.
Despite the large participation of the Filipino expats who are “burning their eyebrows” to send money to their relatives back home, it seems that it is not actually helping the country contrary to what our political leaders have stated as it helps keep the economy afloat. To my mind, the government could in fact work on alleviating the condition of the poor by utilizing part of the remittance volume percentage received abroad. If it could only earmark at least 2% from the 10% volume it will surely contribute in decreasing poverty level. A lot of case studies, researches, investigations and reports have been written about overseas remittance and how it affects economic growth and development. Yet despite these studies and reports, our political leaders remain silent and numb as they practically do not give notice to what these experts have recommended.
Poverty level will keep on as it now or even more as experts have already forecasted. Unless something drastic is done about the situation, the Filipino poor will remain poor. Despite the fact that the opportunity to have a better life is just around the corner and in sight, it remains unreachable and evasive to millions.
This is my view.
Have a wonderful day…. Eric