Today’s front-page was yesterday’s privilege speech by Sen. Poe and I commend her for bringing in the situation of the country’s food sufficiency status. It is sad to know that the Philippines is actually near fully sufficient in terms of food supply and even now that it has gain momentum in its economic capabilities and yet lots of Pinoys are still hungry.
The good senator has already enumerated good points on how we as a nation can fight such hunger but let me just take another point of view.
The problem in the Philippines is not the lack of money but rather it is the lack of knowledge handling money. Yes I have been saying this already and as a financial advocate this issue is dear to me. A lot of Pinoys are hungry because they are by choice poor. Again this may sound crazy but most of our kababayans who are poor and hungry are poor because they choose to be poor.
The poor choose to be poor once they put their life under the government and politicians. It is a sad fact every election day that the biggest influencer in the Philippines is the so called “masa” which mostly under the poverty line. It is a sad fact as well that these underprivileged Pinoys are kept to be underprivileged as long as politicians want so that they will secure their seats in the government. The situation of these people is abused. These people look up to politicians as their savior from poverty but reality is you yourself are the only person who can make your life better. It is not the government’s job to feed you but rather it is you who must do something for your country rather than being a burden. Again it is a sad fact that most Pinoys under the poverty line think that it is the government’s job to save them and thus they are abused by those who seek seats in the government during elections.
So what should we do to make sure no Pinoy is hungry ever? Yes the good senator did mention making the best of our resources in agriculture. Let’s make sure our farms are in use to the fullest and also the funds for agriculture is not handed over to corrupt few. But besides that it is a must to make each Pinoy a contributor to agriculture by making all resources available. We have so many lands and even empty lots in the cities to be use as planting ground. Vertical farming and hydroponic technology is available. And yet we never employ them. Restaurants and other institutions could set aside left over foods to be donated to soup chickens to really help those who really have none but besides feeding them let’s make sure they will have a way to earn money to feed themselves and not rely everyday on soup kitchens.
And that is why financial literacy is also a much more important matter to give to people so we can have a well informed working force on how to use their earnings to help our economy grow and have that inclusive growth effect. If even the poor can actually make well use of their money or small funds and have a habit of saving and investing, no matter how small that fund is once accumulated turns into a huge fund that can secure the country’s financial capabilities.
My co-worker argued that we need to work harder to earn more but rather I would say we should work smarter. Today is no longer a labor driven economy alone. We need to make well use of our limited resources thus the need to work smart as well as making smart financial decisions may that be budgeting day to day family expenses or making decisions to invest to a better method that will help and save in the long run.
Many Pinoys are poor by choice, let’s end that. Let’s open their eyes and help them choose financial freedom by working on their finances and not depend on the government. Let share not only the food that we eat but also the knowledge that we have used to attain our financial freedom. Let’s raise a financially responsible Pinoy “masa”.