Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Less Poor But More Hungry Filipinos

There is a profound enigma that came out recently about a supposed recently made survey on the present socio-economic phenomenon in the Philippines as published in this and that newspaper – and broadcasted nationwide as well. It is not hard to decipher the over-all basic intention behind such a statistical research and finding being done and heralded under the present government. And this is to gather good news about the developmental status of the Country and to consequently heap tribute upon the Chief-in-Command.

But then, there is something strange, queer or bizarre about the supposedly updated statistical report on the matter. This: There are less poor Filipinos but more of them who are hungry! Strictly speaking, while the “poor” may not necessarily suffer from hunger, the “hungry” cannot but in fact be poor. In other words, while poverty and hunger do not necessarily make a paring, hunger and poverty does. Again: While the poor may not be hungry, the hungry are poor as a matter of fact – not unless the fat rich intentionally go hungry to lose weight. This does not require a doctorate in Economics, neither a doctoral degree in Philosophy.

By way of a relevant observation, it is good to take good note of the maxim: “Empty stomach has no ears!” Among other things, the following reminders are in order: When the stomach is empty, that is when it is full of dejection and despair – if not anger in one’s heart and/or revolt in mind. To fool around with an empty stomach is loaded with cruelty and ire. The saying is not simply logical but empirical. Hunger neither responds to but promises no matter how well crafted they are, not becomes pacified with endless rhetoric and/or rosy statistics. These are all but the proverbial pie in the sky. Needless to say, what hungry people need and want is food on the table for the children and their parents to eat. The reality is that even brute animals with empty stomachs are fierce and dangerous.

Those who have ears to listen, do listen. This has special relevance to the government under the present national leadership. No romantic talks will satisfy the poor, will appease the hungry. Such remain but basically gossip although coming from hallowed halls, from powerful and wealthy individuals. Instead, let there be work for the poor to earn and to buy food to eat – not to mention to have clothes to wear and houses to live in. The obsession to punish the past President, to get rid of anybody and everybody identified with her, to continue singing the tiring tune of “Matuwid na Daan” – all these are not enough as they do not necessarily bring about economic development or social progress in the Country. One more thing, let the now perceived dictatorial intent on account of some kind of a personal megalomania, be but just that – a mere perception. Please!