Defending Leni Robredo’s “anti-poor” statements

For once, the Philippines’ “vice president” Leni Robredo said something right — and with conviction — rather than pander to populist sentiment like she usually does. Asked what she thought of the reported hardships Filipinos could be facing if inflation rate trends continue, she urged Filipinos “to curb their spending habits, save and find ways to earn money”. Indeed, she makes a strong point. There really is no getting around the need to spend less and make more to stay ahead of the inflation curve.

More important is the notion that nobody else can save one’s self other than one’s self. On that, Robredo was spot on too. The Manila Bulletin report cited how Robredo encouraged Filipinos to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and take initiative to find ways to respond to inflation rather than overly rely on others. “Now that the prices of almost all [commodities] are high, we really need to save up. Don’t spend unless needed,” Robredo said in Tagalog.

Robredo also advised the public to find other means to earn money. “Maghanap talaga ng ibang paraan para maghanap-buhay (Look for more sources of livelihood),” she said. For instance, she urged those who have means and resources to plant fruits and vegetables. “Iyong pagtatanim, malaking bagay iyong pagtatanim (Planting is a big help),” she added, citing that in Zamboanga, some people are able to eat because of the vegetables and fruits they have planted and harvested on their own.

There was mixed reaction amongst the various factions within the Philippine Opposition. The more left-leaning amongst this lot were, not surprisingly, most outraged by Robredo’s statements. This is likely because communists and left-of-centre liberals never see poverty as something that the poor are accountable for. Rather they would prefer to see poverty as the outcome of insidious (even “evil”) forces at work towards the goal of victimising the victims. In short, the more militant of the lot within the Philippine Opposition prefer to see poor Filipinos as “victims” rather than the natural outcomes of readily-explainable strings of cause-and-effect.

What Robredo was suggesting, however, goes against everything these communists believe — that the key to overcoming poverty lies in taking personal responsibility at an individual level over what one can directly influence. Hard as it may be, specially for the poorest of the poor, household expenditure and income are still vastly more controllable than the whims and agendas of politicians from an individual standpoint. Under that light, it is easy to conclude that whining over what politicians do and say and the imagined way these actions and words influence inflation rates is all but a colossal waste of time. Filipinos are better off switching off to the noise created by militants and so-called political “thought leaders” and, instead, focus on thinking — thinking about what’s good for themselves.

No matter what politicians do, no matter how world trade ebbs and flows, no matter how the wind blows or the cookie crumbs, it comes down to the simple arithmetic that governs one’s personal fortunes — that if you spend more money than what you make, you will remain poor. The solution to poverty is therefore quite simple: Strive to make more money than what you spend.

That is really all that “vice president” Leni Robredo was trying to say to her constituents. The trouble with the Opposition is that they pander to too many voices and too many ideologies in the hope of uniting against a “common enemy”. Because their agenda is personality-based, factions within the Opposition merely put up with one another rather than build upon each of their member blocs’ strengths. The factions that make up the Philippine Opposition are essentially in a perverse marriage of convenience. That, suffice to say, is no way to win against a popular and, therefore, formidable foe. Politics within the frame of the law simply don’t mix with the terrorist “revolutionary” virulence of communism and the pretend-legitimacy of its outer circle of “leftist” movements and “front” organisations. It’s time the Opposition recognise what a flaccid force they are and step up to a smarter approach to counterbalancing the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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7 Comments on “Defending Leni Robredo’s “anti-poor” statements”

  1. Working hard is not the solution to poverty. Working smarter is the solution to poverty. Our civilization is based on : oil fuel/energy economy. Whenever global oil prices goes up; the prices of goods and services will go up. Even the prices of goods and basic necessities in the U.S. went up recently. Gasoline prices, went to as high as U.S. $3 per gallon.

    The trouble with some Filipinos, is they spend and spend, as “pasikat mentality “. It is good to show off, to your : relatives, neighbors and friends. The Philippines is a country, where there are many idle lands, uncultivated , with cogons growing on them. Foods can be easily grown on your backyards, or any of the uncultivated lands. What is lacking in Filipino character is : innovation and business acumen. Politics is what we are good at. Politics of destruction is encouraged by politicians of whatever political color, to gain political power.

    This inflation cycle is being used by the Aquino Cojuangco political axis; the Roman Catholic Church; the leftist communist NPA/CPP ; and other opposition groups to destabilize the Duterte administration; and put the fake , VP Lugaw Robredo, as President.

    Unless Filipinos will come to their senses, and work together for the good of all. We will remain in the “cycles of EDSAs”, for a long long time. It is time to put out in our minds the EDSA/coup d’ etat mentality . It did not serve us well; and it will never serve us good !

    1. Farmers wanted to farm the cogon grasslands. Problem is, these grasslands don’t belong to them. The owners do not want it farmed because once farmed the farmers squat on it. To evict them regardless they have typewritten notarized affidavit that they have to evac once land is needed or sold is like pulling impacted tooth; 2ndly, swapang mentality. The owners do not want it farmed because the land owners are swapangs; 3rdly, when there is no rice on the table the swapangs blame the government for not planting rice; 4thly, it goes round and around and around … turo-turo and blame-game.

      I know Filipinos like the back of my hand. All of them are all swapangs.

      1. Whoever were responsible in putting and approving that : “Squat to Own” Law are stupid. These idiot lawmakers were just pandering for votes to the poor. Most of Filipinos have “poverty mindsets”; that they look for government and politicians for dole outs.

        These corrupt politicians come during election siding and promising these Filipinos with poverty mindsets; telling them, that their lives will be better, if they are elected and put into office.

        Unfortunately, that is not the case. After the election, promises are not fulfilled. They cannot even see the shadows of these corrupt politicians.

        It is a vicious cycle, on every elections. We elect corrupt , incompetent politicians, from time to time. Most of the time, they cheat in elections thru SMARTMATIC HOCUS PCOS, to elect themselves…Most of them are , “trapos”.

        When will we ever learn ?

  2. Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao and all the cities in the Philippines are like favelas in Rio. The poors not wanting to work only wanting government hand-outs. When they are offered to work they do not want to work because the pay is not worth it. If they work the Filipino slavemasters throw slippers on them others are flat-ironed on the face, whipped and raped. If they work they do not have time off sick time off overtime no break time no lunch breaks they work late they are roused early. Who’d want to work in this kind of environment and the slavemasters on Sundays go to Sunday mass. Their eyes punched thru the frescoed ceiling of the church with hands clasp to their chest then recite biblical verses.

    Filipinos need martial law provided the soldiers are white foreigners not Filipino brown skin punk’d nose. Because Filipinos are not good soldiers and Filipinos are naturally corrupt.

    Philippines should be given to United Nations to be run like heaven than run by Filipinos like hell as usual.

    This what I noticed in the Philippines, politics and sari-sari variety store are for the brown skin punk’d nose college graduates … industries are run by left-over current mestizo colonist and hated Chinese.

    It’s been 73 years since Philippines was given to Filipinos … the brown skin remains enslaved by themselves. Japan, Korea, Vietnam Thailand and other neighboring countries has exponentially improved while Philippines what has improved are their English.

  3. It’s not about working hard.

    It’s getting angry that something is being STOLEN from you. And these politicians have the nerve to tell everyone to save , while they STEAL your money.

    This inflation was NOT caused by any outside development. But by the INCOMPETENCE of government due to taxes and regulations on rice importation.

    Why are rice imports limited in the first place? Why isn’t this left to the private sector ?

  4. People being moderate consumers and self-
    sufficient wouldn’t be so financially profitable. How dare we imagine living in any other way?! We’re so distracted and compelled to compensate for a dysfunctional design.

  5. I don’t believe in luck or in hard work without the so called “work smart”. It’s not all about how you work hard but it’s about how you manage your time, resources, mind to work together for a better output.

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