It is not poor people but rich people who have a BIG problem with poverty

So according the the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), 2015 will be “The Year of the Poor”, a declaration which coincides with the arrival of Poper Francis earlier that year…

“We as the Church of the Poor are called to renew our commitment to Christ’s mission and to always take the side of the poor and the oppressed, especially when and where there is injustice and denial of basic human rights. The farmers that till the land to bring us food, the fisher folks who navigate the seas for us and the workers who run the industries are still materially poor after decades and generations of work for living. Their dignity as co-creator of the Lord should be reclaimed,” Fr. Enrico Martin F. Adoviso, chairman of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Commission on Social Services and Development (CSSD), said.

The inconvenient truth about Philippine society

The inconvenient truth about Philippine society

Why declare a “year of the poor”? Perhaps it is because at any other time, the Philippines is anything but a society that is of the poor despite it being saddled by an overwhelmingly impoverished majority. Indeed, being majority impoverished does not necessarily make a society empathic of poverty. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. Poverty is such an in-your-face condition in the Philippines that Filipinos have become desensitised to it. Morning and evening commuters slogging through Manila’s appallingly gridlocked traffic are familiar with — and obvlivious to — the sight of wretched children begging and selling cigarettes on the city’s steaming streets.

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For that matter, the neglect of the devastated areas in and surrounding Leyte that Typhoon Haiyan left behind became more acute as the world’s cameras turned away to more newsworthy stories. Perhaps the arrival of Pope Francis promises the return of the spotlight to the conditions suffered by Haiyan’s victims. That remains to be seen. And so, we are led to believe, declaring 2015 “The Year of the Poor” might help. It will, as the thinking goes, create that much-needed awareness of poverty among Filipinos. Or so we think.

Who exactly is a “Year of the Poor” supposed to benefit? The poor don’t need to be reminded of poverty. They live it day in and day out, year after year, generation after generation. They have no need of such token gestures of “awareness” like declaring an entire year of awareness of their plight.

Rather, it seems, that the rich are really the ones who have a bigger problem with poverty than the poor. Indeed, pity the Philippines’ rich. They are forced to live in fortified residential enclaves, hire 24-hour armed security guards, and carry around guns to protect themselves from the poor swarming around them everyday. The poor cramp the style of the rich too. That’s clearly evident whenever there is an international conference coming to town and the screens and fences come up around sections of roads and bridges between the airport and hotels and convention centres where delegates congregate lest they see the squalor just a stone’s throw away from their airconditioned cars.

And lest we forget, the government Filipinos suffer today is a government created by the poor. Filipino voters are overwhelmingly poor and are thus susceptible to bribery, clever marketing and persuasion tricks, celebrity endorsement, and empty but seductive populist rhetoric. The poor amongst the country’s electorate is where all the wrong arguments, flawed thinking, and moronic ideas of ill-bred, ill-educated, and borderline-criminal politicians take root. The Philippines’ poor is where bad strategy, bad policy, and bad execution thrive. Because poor people lack sufficient critical thinking faculties, Philippine government will, for the foreseeable future, be a stark reflection of this profound intellectual bankruptcy of Philippine society.

So, really, there is no need for a “Year of the Poor” to be declared. The true rulers of the Philippines are the poor. Their vast colonies are nurtured and farmed for votes by Filipino politicians and their impoverished thinking is pandered to by sloganeers, public relations consultants, and copy writers every election campaign season. The Philippines, contrary to popular belief, is a tyranny of the masses. Every year in the Philippines is a Year of the Poor whether or not a bunch of men in robes declare any one of them as such.

35 Replies to “It is not poor people but rich people who have a BIG problem with poverty”

  1. “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich” JFK.

    WOW, a whole YEAR!!! The Church really does love the poor; it never had a whole YEAR for the RICH!!!

  2. “Church of the Poor”, eh? Nice to see them finally admit what they are: the driving force behind Philippine poverty. If the Pope does one and only one thing while he’s here, perhaps he’ll tell the poor to stop producing more more people.

    1. @marius: Good point….the Catholic Church’s birth control sanctions are helping to bring about a society where everyone is barefoot, poor, and pregnant. I have lived among the poor. Most of them have huge families. Why? Are they afraid of going to hell if they use a condom. I do not think so. It seems rather to be about the “bahala na” mindset.

  3. The gap between the rich and the poor, in our country is growing wider and wider.

    What is the position of the Catholic Church with regards to Agrarian Reform?

    Hacienda Luisita is there…Friars lands are there. They are tilled by serf/tenants; that live way, way below the poverty line…

    Oligarch political leaders who owns vast landholdings are there. Their tenant/serfs are the poor of the poorest. Barely surviving.

    I am interested to know what action the Churches have done…

    1. Your propaganda is outdated by 100 years. The gap is created by the people’s difference in productivity and outlook in life.. Rich are rich because they worked for it. The poor are poor because they didn’t do anything about it. In our society, You can become poor even if your rich or become rich even if your poor. They are poor people not because of hacienda Lusitania or your so called oligarchs but because of the poor people themselves who refused to become better in life. Had you said this 1898 I would believe you. But all this nonsense you said is all commie propaganda in 2014.

      Oligarchs exist in all countries. Even in China, Europe, usa, and North Korea there are oligarchs. Sa China it’s the communist party who are the oligarchs, sa Nk it is Kim Jong un and his lackeys are the oligarchs.

      1. The inequality in our country is not due to the “laziness” of the poor. We still have Feudalism…Feudalism has long been removed in other countries. Some of the rich oligarcha are politician thieves.

        The Oligarchs monopolize everything, because they have power and money. Hacienda Luisita is the icon of Feudalism; owned by the Aquinos and the Cojuangcos…

        This is the reason the “Anti-Trust” Law was enacted in the U.S. To prevent monopolies; and to give everybody a level playing field.

        1. Feudalism was placed by the Spanish Colonizers…if you travel around the Philippines. There is a town (Poblacion), surrounded by Barrios (agricultural lands), tilled by tenant/serfs, supporting the residents of the Poblacion.

          It is the same set up in Mexico, and other South American countries. Mexico removed its Feudalism, thru the revolution initiated by Emiliano Zapata, a century ago…

      2. @Deep Throat:

        What an idiotic thinking you have…who have an outdated in thought…a guy who believes in Feudalism in this Age of Information Technology. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening everyday, in our country…you must be blind, not to see it; or you refuse to see… monopoly is the name of the game. The Oligarchs have both the political and economic power. And they built family political dynasties…I believe in Agrarian Reform…and I am not a communist. Communism is an outdated ideology…it does not work.

        A guy like you who believes in Hacienda Luisita Plantation economy, does not know what he is talking about.

        If Oligarchy exists in other countries..and widespread, as you say it…it does not mean, it is Right. Slavery was widespread in the Middle Ages…it does not mean slavery was Right, during that time…

  4. Papaano pa tayo makakaasa ng tamang serbisyo sa ating gobiyerno kung ang mga tao na niluluklok natin diyan ay nagaagawan, naguunahan at nagdadayaan, makaupo lang sa trono. Tapos kapag matatapos na ang termno nila ay parang nag aalinlangan pang bumaba sa puwesto at kung ano-ano pang dahilan ang iniimbento makapanloko lang ng tao para matupad ang kanilang mga pansariling interest kahit lumalabag na sa saligang batas, ipagpipilitan paring itama ang kanilang mali!

  5. It seems clear that the CBCP didn’t actually know (moronic to bluntly say) that the Failippines was poor “for a year”. Excuse me, this country has been shit dirt poor since time immemorial, in just about everything. Sory, epic fail again, for these bozos. Please try again.

  6. It seems clear that the CBCP didn’t actually know (moronic to bluntly say) that the Failippines was poor “for a year”. Excuse me, this country has been shit dirt poor since time immemorial, in just about everything. Sorry, epic fail again, for these bozos. Please try again.

  7. “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” – Karl Marx

    I am not a communist, but i do agree with this 100%. Church of the Poor? Blessed are the poor? Jesus H. Christ, the catholic church is one of the main reasons why the poor stay poor. They promise everlasting life free of poverty and disease, but only after DEATH. They do not encourage people to better themselves, but rather to “put everything in god’s hands”. And the masses do so. What a bunch of fucking sheep.

    1. @ ‘T’ ,There are some people who profess that Christianity was/is the single biggest fraud ever perpetrated upon a population, by the people that made it up: The Jews.

      1. so that’s it, its a jewish conspiracy.
        hitler was right all along!
        its just like that one where muhammad was a secret christian agent.

    2. The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines owns Friar lands. Vast tracts of serf/tenanted lands; tilled by poor serf/tenants…the Church is one of the biggest Feudal Lords in our country. So, it supported the Aquinos; their fellow Feudal Lord…

  8. Why not church of the rich? Is being rich and happy in this life too much of a sin people have to prove their worth by always being in the bottom and wretched until we get our just rewards after death?

  9. ..Christian understanding of the poor has more to do with the “poor in spirit”, at least that is my understanding. It is the state of the mind more than anything else. There is an ocean of difference between the two. So, a bus driver, who is conscientious about driving well, courteous to the pasengers, demands the right salary so his family does not starve, is poor and poor in spirit – his only talent is driving, but gives his best to it as his contribution to society. But, a cashier in SM, who cheats, thinks all day about living in Ayala Alabang or Dasma and driving a Merc one day, is poor, but not poor in spirit.

    Remember Jesus was not dirt poor. His father, Joseph, was a carpenter; so he must be an equivalent of an SME entrepreneur today, more of the middle class. Why would the Roman soldiers in Calvary not spoil His outer garment; it must be of good quality. Even the Zebedee brothers, James and John, seem to own a fishing company, and Peter seems to be the same, at least that is what archeologists and bible scholars are beginning to conclude. They were more upper middle class. How could Peter enter the inner courtyard of the high priest during Jesus’ trial if he looked squalid? They were definitely poor in spirit, though.

    To explain further, take Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the Ayalas as an example. We call them the filthy rich or the 1% on the top. Bill, who must have been influenced by his wife, Melinda, a Catholic, are now giving a lot through their foundation. Warren has joined them and has already willed that upon his death, all his personal wealth, not the company’s, go to charity; he does not believe in leaving this to his children, who, he say, should work for their own independence. The Ayalas, I know through the grapevine, own only one car each per family; mind you, not one car per member of the family. Sure, they are Audis and BMWs, but see, people will think they are eccentric if they drove Toyotas or Kias. They are also very frugal in their personal spending. The most luxurious thing they have are the cameras of Jaime for his hobby in photography, and the two off-road BMW motorcycles of Jaza and Fernando, when they go for a breather in the mountains. (Compare that with Hans Sy, son of Henry, who has 12 cars just for himself; and I am not making any critical judgement of him, but just driving a point. Plus, Henry Sy Sr. gives a lot to charity, and not just for tax deductions.) Would you consider Bill, Warren, and the Ayalas poor in spirit? I think they are.

    But you say these guys are still accumulating wealth. Sure they are. It is their job and responsibility as investor, chairman of the board, CEO. But it is just a job. They protect the companies. If something happened, how are they going to react. At that level, it is not just competition, it is a war in the marketplace, and they need money as their guns and bullets. The bigger the company, the bigger back-up or emergency fund is needed as there are so many unforseeable factors the bigger you go. How will they answer to employees, stockholders, banks and finance companies, if they renege on such responsibilities.

    So, there are (1) poor and poor in spirit, (2) poor, but not poor in spirit, (3) wealthy and not poor in spirit, and (4) wealthy, but poor in spirit.

  10. France in the 1890s definitely had our problems. Rich being the rulers of everything and the church that was in cahoots with the rich.

    But something sparked the rage of the poor and thus began the French Revolution. One of the bloodiest moments of history.

    Now, the Philippines has resentment built up – you can tell from popular opinion on the government. Except what will spark it is a mystery. Because even today, no-one knows what sparked the French Revolution.

    1. French Revolution was SPARKED by French Thinkers and Philosophers…the French masses were CLUELESS, until they learned, that they were exploited by the Aristocracy.

      It was the first revolution in the world. Showing that the people, can overthrow their unworkable government…it was followed by the Russian revolution; the Chinese revolution; etc…

  11. Everyone knows that the Philippines is the third world. and the third world is just a synonym for poverty.
    The thing is , the rest of the world is becoming the third world and as Filipino’s try to seek employment outside of their own country they are realizing that the country they are going to is no better off than their own.

    it’s called ‘globalisation’ and it is nothing more than the exportation of the third world to the first world.

    1. No…it is “slavery” in our times…Third World countries are sources of Cheap labors; and low paying servant jobs. These workers/servants can be abused , at will by their employers…

  12. FAIL-ippines will remain poor forever as long as the Church will continue to block responsible and economical family planning. “Be fruitful and multiply” means nothing in today’s generation.

    Good thing I’m an Atheist. Religion is indeed the opium of the masses.

  13. Read this:

    Catholic Church is a fake Christianity teaching people to stay ignorant and poor so as to worship them and see the Church as ‘savior’ instead of faith in Jesus and self-responsibility. RCC is nothing but an extension of the Roman Empire.

    Nonpracticing Catholic here, critic of the Roman church’s pagan ways of distorting the masses. No wonder devout Catholic countries are poor, including PH.

  14. Really ? Then the Church should broom in front of their own doors… Philippines Church is the richest Church in the World !!! And when we see how rich is the Catholic Church throughout the world…
    You don’t believe me ? then read here : and here :

    It seems that hypocrisy is the master word in the Church nowadays… I wonder how would react Jesus if he was to come back… He would probably be cast out as an heretic anyway…

  15. Are you serious, the poor of the Philippines are not the ones to blame! It is the corrupt government that does nothing to educate the poor so that they’re unable to choose a government that will ACTUALLY benefit them. This article demonizes poor people is for some reason trying to sympathize with the selfish rich. What the fuck.

  16. Escaping poverty is harder than just finding a job and moving up in that job. The Philippines doesn’t equip it’s impoverished citizens with proper education and doesn’t regulate jobs enough for enough for these people to actually advance in this society. It is not a choice to be impoverished, these people have been failed by their government and don’t deserve you going around spreading false information. Check your privilege.

    1. News flash: governments don’t care if you live or die. It’s not the government’s job to fix your life for you.

      Don’t have an education? Read books instead of watching retarded teleseryes. Browse Wikipedia instead of Facebook.

      Nobody wants to employ you? Take a good hard look at yourself. Perhaps you’re unreliable, tardy, entitled, or unwilling to learn how to do your job properly.

      Don’t have enough to eat? Well, see those two hectares of land that the government granted to you under CARP? Get out there and plant something. Put some chickens on it. And put some effort in instead of sitting outside the sari-sari store whining that you have nothing to do.

      Poverty absolutely IS a choice. Does the government make it hard? Oh yes. They do. If you want to run a business in the Philippines, you’re in for a world of pain. That doesn’t mean that you have to be destitute.

      1. Although it not the government’s job to “fix your life”, it’s still necessary for a governing body to provide more support for their country. The citizens of the Philippines can as you say use their land to harvest food, but they will never be able to escape their impoverished situations when their government doesn’t uphold their responsibility to provide opportunity for their citizens.

        1. What sort of “opportunities” are you talking about, specifically, and how might a government provide them?

          I agree that the Philippines government does everything it can to make poverty WORSE. But since the government is what it is, the poor have only two choices: (1) Accept oppression and government incompetence or (2) work around it.

          There are actually plenty of opportunities for (2), but Filipinos are famous for saying “oh, that’ll never work here” when offered some useful idea. The truth is, it’s easier to sit around complaining than to do something constructive.

  17. What opportunities do you mean? Do you see how a person could advance in Filipino society in the state that it’s in? I would really like to know. What I mean by opportunities is: providing an education system that can better benefit their citizens, from what I see good schools like De La Salle and Ateneo are extremely expensive and obviously cannot be afforded by a lot of Filipinos. I know there are other options, but I see how the wealthy can easily advance and society and gain more money, while the majority are having trouble surviving. I truly don’t have an extensive understanding of the day to day for many Filipinos, but if you have any more information you could share I would appreciate it.

    1. The Chinese are a good example of people who prosper regardless of the state or quality of a government or even of a society that hosts them. Henry Sy, for example, probably did not even know how to speak decent Spanish or Tagalog when he first arrived and planted the seeds of what would become his retail empire.

      Fixation on excuses is the handmaid of poverty.

    2. >> I see how the wealthy can easily advance and society and gain more money, while the majority are having trouble surviving
      Welcome to Planet Earth. This is the way it has always been throughout history, on every continent. Filipinos are not unique, although they love to believe that they are.

      Yes, inequality is worse in the Philippines than in some countries, but the poor fail to realise that what works for the rich will work for them too. The rich exploit a weak State presence (ie., weak rule-of-law) coupled with extensive co-operation networks. They can build large, monopolistic businesses because (a) the government doesn’t stop them and (b) all their friends help them.

      The poor, in contrast, use weak rule-of-law to steal their meager possessions from each other. They refuse to co-operate in even the smallest ways. For example, in farming areas, you’ll see everyone sitting around complaining that “there aren’t any jobs”. There are hundreds of jobs. There just isn’t any currency. All they have to do is go and help their neighbour with some project X, and write out an IOU note (otherwise known as scrip currency, ad-hoc c urrency, or local currency). Then they can ask their neighbor to help out with their own project Y. Or you can do it formally and set up a labour exchange with verified record-keeping. Everyone prospers. I’ve suggested this to some of the more people who work for me and they just look at me like I’m mad.

      They’re not entirely stupid. They KNOW this can’t work in poor communities, because too many poor people are untrustworthy and dishonest. The rich man’s word is his bond, even if he’s a BAD rich man, because if he doesn’t keep his word, he’ll soon cease to be rich. The poor person, among other personal failures, will always find some excuse not to keep his word. The all-purpose fallback is “because I’m poor”.

      As for education and suchlike: well, the fact is the government does not provide it and never will. In fact most governments don’t. Education in most countries is poor to average. The successful people educate THEMSELVES.

      I live in a “poor” community and I see this stuff every day. The poor do not lack education or opportunities. In fact they would be best off ignoring government schools and “development” programs. What they lack is integrity, self-respect, and motivation.

      1. Honestly, your opinion that the Filipino people can educate themselves out of poverty is insane. Rich people do not educate themselves, expensive colleges educate rich people. Majority of the poor don’t make close to enough to provide college for their children’s education, they can’t just educate themselves out of their impoverished situations, they can’t just take time out of their day to look at articles to ”educate themselves”, most hard-working Filipinos need to provide for their families scraping together whatever they can to meet the bare minimum. When you are constantly facing struggle, and constantly needing to provide for your current needs, it’s hard to just educate yourself enough and think ahead enough to become rich.

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