KADAMAY squatter mentality at heart of chronic Filipino poverty

Whether one is rich or poor, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everyone pays their way. Rich people are rich because they were likely to be exceptionally clever or industrious (or both). Poor people are poor because they likely habitually enter into commitments they are inherently incapable of honouring. The common denominator, however, is the same for both the fortunates and the “less fortunates” — nobody gets stuff for free.

So the initiative of “urban poor group” Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) to mount “a nationwide protest to call for the distribution of all idle housing units in the country to the homeless poor” is ludicrous at best and, at worst, representative of the very sort of thinking that keeps Filipinos mired in chronic impoverishment. It’s the Philippines’ infamous squatter mentality at work again — the thinking that one’s “neediness” constitutes strong bases for entitlement to favourable treatment. Kadamay has turned this primitive mentality into a potent activist card…

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“There are millions of Filipinos without a home or are under threat of demolitions. Throughout the country there are idle homes spread across numerous housing projects merely deteriorating in communities with little access to basic utilities,” Kadamay chairperson Gloria “Ka Bea” Arellano was quoted as saying in the statement.
“This is something we already know and can change.

Kadamay will conduct organized efforts nationwide to push the national housing agency and the Duterte administration to distribute idle housing units to the poor as an immediate source of relief to those who need it most,” she added.

Here are the two key flaws in the Kadamay Mentality — a.k.a. the Squatter Mentality — that activists propagate: (1) that some public housing projects are “idle” does not necessarily make them free to be taken, and (2) neediness does not make one special in the eyes of the law.

The first one plays into the renowned balato mentality of the typical Filipino — the idea that those who have a surplus of resources owe some of that to those who have less. It’s that all-too-familiar emotional blackmail perpetrated by leaders of the poor that keeps churches in tony enclaves like Forbes Park full every Sunday. The rich are “evil” and the poor are “blessed”. So to assuage some of that “evil”, the rich need to give to the poor to find favour with God. This brings us to thinking flaw number two — that the poor ought to occupy a special place in the eyes of the law. This is the sort of thinking that justifies stealing for some — like stealing is the poor’s only option. This is what the poor — and their apologists — use to justify illegally occupying property that they do not own.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had set a dangerous precedent acceding to the demands of Kadamay members who had forcibly occupied public housing units meant for police personnel. It is one thing to be “pro poor”. But it is another to be pro poverty. This sort of dole-out culture is the sort of thing that breeds impoverished minds — minds that have been conditioned to believe that neediness is rewarded.

It is high time Filipinos junk this impoverished style of thinking and stop acting like squatters. To be true winners, Filipinos should see hard and smart work, creativity, innovation, and intelligence as the only paths to prosperity. The alternative is to remain the insecure wretched lot that has characterised Philippine society for centuries.

Chronic poverty is caused by a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently incapable of honouring.

It begins with Filipinos getting better acquainted with what they are good at and what they suck at, and build their nation around a regard for themselves grounded on reality.

[Photo courtesy Inquirer.net.]

13 Replies to “KADAMAY squatter mentality at heart of chronic Filipino poverty”

  1. I didnt know what Kadamay was so I had to find info about it. Thank god, Wikipedia has a page about it: Link

    I also checked out Mrericx YouTube video suggestion.
    What I really dont understand is that a president/prime-minister (or any other leader) tells those poor people what they are doing wrong. I do think and I am convinced that poor people do have more kids (which doesnt help and doesnt benefit their situation they are in). A life is far better and more manageable when there are less or even no kids (especially for those who are poor).
    So lets start with the root cause of all. When poor people will stop procreating, then poverty will end in a ‘natural’ way (and it wont cost the government a dime.). And that doesnt apply for the Philippines solely but for all ‘poor’ countries/people.

    I therefore find it strange that that option is never talked about in public. Not even by the UN when it comes to the latest problems in Africa. Probably procreation is more an entitlement and right than the possible future of the kid that is born in a useless environment without any chance of having a decent life.

  2. “Give a man a fish, and he will have a meal. Teach a man how to fish, and he will have many meals thruout his life”…from a Chinese Philosopher,,,.

    Filipinos have “freebees” mentality. They also have “pandering mentality”, or “beggar’s mindset”…they will not work and sweat, if they can beg and have it free. This mindset is shown during the elections. Political candidates give Filipino voters free: “tuyo”, rice, sardines, noodles, etc…in exchange for their votes.

    Giving these “squatter mindset ” people free housing, will encourage other “squatter mindset” people , occupy houses, they do not own. Occupying houses will give them free housing. This is not a good decision of Pres. Duterte.

    It destroys, the initiative, resourcefulness of people. It is like the “welfare mentality” of the Urban poor, here in America. The “Urban poor”, mostly cannot escape the cycle of poverty, because, welfare is there.

    Instead of giving freebees to the poor. Pres. Duterte should put programs, to teach the poor: family planning, technical skills, money management, agriculture, business start up courses , and other income generating skills to help them earn a living.

    We lack innovative, responsible and resourceful people in the Philippines…most Filipinos want to become employees, but few want to start business to employ people !

    The “pandering mentality” of Filipinos must be removed, in order for us to progress !

    1. I have never heard Duterte granting these illegal settlers “freebies”. In fact, he was fumed by them being law breakers. I don’t know where you get that piece of info from. Duterte is impartial to anyone when it comes to law, unlike many others out there. Sadly, if he had to use force to remove them out of those houses, it might stir up another controversy from the idiotic anti-Duterte media and the world would see again this wrong view of Duterte being gun-toting dictator.

    2. Did you not read up that Duterte has been pushing for that RH Bill to get enacted already by 2018? Because he’s really aware of these problems you’re raising. Just saying.

  3. The squatter mentality is ingrained in many poor people throughout the world. Many poor people think they are entitled to other peoples’ money. In my country they go on welfare and expect a “free lunch.” These same poor people have babies even though they cannot even support themselves. I don’t see the crab mentality going away in Filipino culture and families; it will continue to destroy the pamilya.

    Having babies is considered the greatest blessing in the Philippines. One must, however, have money to support the babies or poverty will destroy life. Filipinos have a live for today mentality, and there is no concept of planning for tomorrow, next week or next year. This is also why squatters are so poor.

  4. I just finished reading “Hillbilly Elegy” by JD Vance, in order to understand why poor white, uneducated people living in the hills of Kentucky, or poor areas of Ohio aka The Rust Belt of the United States would vote for a lunatic like Donald Trump, who I will not refer to as President, but simply #45. These “mountain people”, basically have a serious work ethic problem and will blame Obama, the US government, have a welfare mentality, have children they cannot afford, and to make matters worse, have an epidemic opioid drug problem. The truth is, the problem IS them. They are lazy, and unwilling to make the time to show up for a job that pays health benefits, yet they have ALL the time in the world to procreate and have babies. Sadly, squatter mentality begets squatter mentality. Growing up in the US my mother deliberately ignored collect calls from the Philippines, because unfortunately my fathers relatives had no shame in constantly begging. Sad, but true. It bothered me a little until I grew up, and recently connected with a relative, a 4th, very distant cousin on my dad’s side, who was working with her mother as an overseas worker in Dubai. She asked me for money to pay a “mule” to help her get to Canada. I thought she wanted a few thousand for airfare. She asked for U.S. $10K!!! She has a 4 yo kid out of wedlock back in the Philippines who she dresses like a whore INHO, and God help them. I did not give her money and she as far as I knew, went back to working at the sandwich shop in Dubai Airport. 6 months later I saw her with her compatriates in Dubai on their days off, getting drunk on bottles and bottles of liquor that littered their dining table, she was dressed like a whore and obviously spent money on trying to be someone she wasn’t. I am a graduate student in the U.S., who is lucky to have received a scholarship so I don’t have to borrow money and go into debt, but I worked hard to get it. When my friends were partying and posting dumb duck face pictures on FB I was studying. WHen I wasn’t in class I worked at a job so I could have food to eat and save for my future. Instead of paying rent when I start next semester I am buying a small house which will be an investment here in North Carolina. I am also a CHristian and I truly pray for my distant relatives but I cannot, will not help those who cannot see that they need help.

  5. These Failipino squatters aren’t just aliens, drifters and undesirables. They’re new world barbarians, conquering free spaces and making them their own.

    1. REALLY? How many of these people do you know personally? How many of them do you know that have opiod drug problems? Have you tried to get an opiate RX in the USA recently? IT IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE, unless you are dying of cancer. You watch FOX NEWS too much and believe the Bull-shit you hear on tv too much,ITS FAKE NEWS and there is NO TRUTH in it what-so-ever! there are NO FUCKIN JOBS in the USA, and 40 Million manufacturing jobs were suppossed to start coming back to the USA, according to Donald Trump….that is why they voted for him….if he was lying to them, well what are you going to call them next? GULLIBLE? When no one else running for the office was promising to bring back the people’s stolen jobs back into the country, SO WHO DO YOU THINK THEY WERE GOING TO VOTE FOR?

  6. OH NO ITS NOT, The problem with Filipino poverty is there are NO FUCKIN DECENT PAYING JOBS ! As long as Filipino’s continue to allow themselves to be outsourcing slaves to USA Banks and work for $10/day instead of $15/hour…NOTHING WILL CHANGE. I mean really? is someone suppossed to be grateful to have some shit call center job that is only his or hers because the people paying them to answer the phone do not want to pay the people in the Banks home country,the USA, $15/hour with benefits such as medical insurance ?

  7. Being rich is not mainly due to smarts and elbow grease. Most rich are rich because they were born rich. An advantaged head start extends their lead. Sure, poor people can get rich. But its easier to get richer than to get rich from a poor start. Check out your assumption about this. Its not just about hard work and super intelligence.

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