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In what ways is the Philippines a poor country?

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hamdizzel
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In what ways is the Philippines a poor country?

Post by hamdizzel » May 1st, 2009, 9:50 am

can someone tell me what the mean when they
say the Philippines is a poor country
in material wealth?
do they have enough to eat live and breath
that's what matters




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ladislav
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Re: question

Post by ladislav » May 1st, 2009, 11:08 am

Compared to America, Philippines is poor but compared to Luxembourg, America is poor.The Philippines is a middle income, middle class country. People have enough food, color TVs, cellphones and live OK lives. There is no starvation or homelessness. All people can find some kind of job. The main problems in the Philippines money-wise is paying for education and paying for medical care. These are not free or easily covered by any program. Otherwise, everything else is OK.
Manila is full of skyscrapers and glitzy malls. Traffic is murder. That is not 'poor'.
Laos is poor so is Cambodia. Bangladesh is poor. Not the Philippines.
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Post by gmm567 » May 2nd, 2009, 3:20 am

thanks for the clarification,ladislav.

That is so true. The philipines is middle income.

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Re: question

Post by Mr S » May 2nd, 2009, 1:10 pm

ladislav wrote:Compared to America, Philippines is poor but compared to Luxembourg, America is poor.The Philippines is a middle income, middle class country. People have enough food, color TVs, cellphones and live OK lives. There is no starvation or homelessness. All people can find some kind of job. The main problems in the Philippines money-wise is paying for education and paying for medical care. These are not free or easily covered by any program. Otherwise, everything else is OK.
Manila is full of skyscrapers and glitzy malls. Traffic is murder. That is not 'poor'.
Laos is poor so is Cambodia. Bangladesh is poor. Not the Philippines.
Huh? Middle class? I don't think so... The majority of the population are poor in comparison to any first world and many second world countries, that is why the country is still considered third world. The majority of the population struggles to make 8,000 pesos a month, if that. Take a drive around Manila and Cebu and you will see both worlds quite clearly, more so of the poverty than the glitz in my opinion.

I think people are conditioned to see what they want to see and if you have an idealized vision of some place than you will perpetuate that view point. The Philippines is a very poor place and in no way should be considered middle class. There are middle class families, yes but they are not the norm. Families put up the front that they may have a middle class life style, but this is when the entire family lives in one domicile where they can conserve funds and of course they may look like they are doing ok. But sleeping 4-6 people to a room in either one or two bedroom places is not a middle class life style, it's a deception to the casual observer that doesn't know any better. (most of these are shanty buildings that would not pass any kind of quality inspection in comparison to a 1st world building)

The majority of the population working an honest job is lucky to break 5000 pesos a month...

I don't agree that Philippines is a middle class environment and I've been to various cities and provincial towns. Thailand is closer to middle class than Philippines and that ain't saying much. The population does not hold middle class values and are in survivalist mode generally unless they truly come from the middle or upper class. (read this book to understand class value systems: between 40-50% of the population is in severe poverty, that is not middle class. And with the global economic problems it is rising. Even the news here admits it, You can go on their online newspaper websites and check out what they say about themselves there.

There is a lot of homelessness here, many squatter areas. The thing is the homeless don't generally live on the streets they live in illegal squatter areas so of course its not as apparent as in a developed country. But i still see plenty of homeless in Manila, especially street children. Actually all over the place.

There are sky scrapers in Manila because during the dictatorship the Philippines became an economic power house and this had enabled a solid foundation to be able to develop a somewhat decent commerce in comparison to the rest of the country. But the only thing that is keeping Manila going right now is the overseas call center industry. If the country did not have that they would be in serious trouble. All the buildings are pretty much call centers or head quarters of regional businesses. None of the other cities in Philippines can even come close to what Manila is in regards to being a major metropolitan city, not even Cebu. Manila is somewhat of a mirage, once you live here for a considerable amount of time and not a tourist, you realize its not what it displays itself as being.

The school system here is in serious trouble as all their good teachers and professors have been enticed to work overseas in western countries to teach. So who teaches the students now? The losers who are so f***ed up they can't even get a real job. I've seen so many bad ones here and also hear so many complaints about how their professors don't have a clue. And it's all true, I've experienced and seen it with my own eyes. The Philippines is actually regressing, not moving forward with the rest of Asia. In another couple of generations if they don't get their head out of their ass they will be one of the poorest countries in Asia. Especially with the over crowding and population on the rise. They can't even feed their own people, they have to import rice to maintain stocks. What's going to happen when commodity prices rise again and millions of more Filipinos are born that has less and less education and can't compete in the global economy? They have sent all their best prospects overseas, its the dumb ass ones that stay behind and make the problems worse here.

A serious brain drain has occurred here and its not being fixed anytime soon. If the Philippines was such a great place to live why do many want to immigrate to other western countries? They practically kill for a chance to get the hell out of the country and live in a western one. They may say they love their country but when they have to choose they leave and only come back on vacations flaunting their new lifestyle to their poor relatives back in the islands still. I see it and hear about it.

The Philippines is only a good place to live if you have a large income and can afford to live apart from the general populous. Then you can isolate yourself in your own fantasy world that it's heaven on Earth. Well of course it is if you can hire your own maids, live in a luxury condo or house, have your own drivers or helpers to do all your shopping or errands, security guards that treat you like your royalty whenever you enter your building, woman that will sleep with you cause they think they might have a chance to taste the life style you live and maybe you might even date them a few times or even fall in love with them, then they win the jack pot! etc, etc, etc... This is the life a westerner can have with no debts and just $1500 or more a month in income. But the reality is most people in the country make less than $100 a month and this is why they can be exploited like this...
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Post by Winston » May 2nd, 2009, 3:50 pm

Yeah it's true, most Filipinos say they are poor. But what I don't get is, who keeps all those SM Malls in business then? People who make $100 a month can't afford $20 jeans. So where is this huge population that can afford to shop at the mall?

Also, even though most Filipinos claim to be very poor, they always find a way to survive. Even when they need surgery and don't have the money, they still end up surviving. I wonder how.

I mean if they need $200 for an emergency surgical operation, and they don't have it, and they aren't able to find a sympathetic foreigner to give them $200, how do they manage to get through that? That's what I don't get.

Also, even families with no income, like Dianne's, manage to eat and drink everyday and send their children to school. How is that possible? Dianne claims they simply borrow money from their neighbors and friends, but how can they do that continually forever? It doesn't add up.
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Re: question

Post by ladislav » May 2nd, 2009, 5:08 pm

Michael, you know, you are right. By the way, here are countries by GDP by purchasing power parity. So, the Philippines is somewhere in the lower part of the list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... per_capita
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Re: question

Post by Hero » May 9th, 2009, 1:09 pm

Mr S wrote: The school system here is in serious trouble ... So who teaches the students now? The losers who are so f***ed up they can't even get a real job. I've seen so many bad ones here and also hear so many complaints about how their professors don't have a clue. And it's all true, I've experienced and seen it with my own eyes.
...
When I read this I didn't know whether you were talking about the Philippines or the U.S. :lol:

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Re: question

Post by ladislav » May 9th, 2009, 3:02 pm

Hero wrote:
Mr S wrote: The school system here is in serious trouble ... So who teaches the students now? The losers who are so f***ed up they can't even get a real job. I've seen so many bad ones here and also hear so many complaints about how their professors don't have a clue. And it's all true, I've experienced and seen it with my own eyes.
...
When I read this I didn't know whether you were talking about the Philippines or the U.S. :lol:
An apple does not fall far from the apple tree.

It is bad in the US but at least students get books and can finish HS without having to pay for everything. And yes, the teachers are not very bright in the US, but in the Philippines it is far far worse. There are different degrees of 'bad', you see, Many people cannot finish HS there because they need to pay for so many things, and many parents cannot afford it; but those that do are often even less prepared than Americans.
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Post by momopi » May 10th, 2009, 5:48 am

Statistics that show averages don't accurantely reflect uneven wealth distribution. PH is under 1% upper class, 20% middle, and 80% low income.

Of those in low income, half of them (or 40% of overall population) live in poverty, according to the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4245422.stm

The World Bank used to specify poverty as earning less than $1 USD/day, that figure has increased to $1.25/day in recent years.

India is in similar situation with more than 80% of its population in "low income" and 42% in poverty:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_India
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India

India's GDP per capita is $2,900. But 80% of its population earns less than $2 per day, and 42% earns less than $1.25 per day.

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Post by gmm567 » May 10th, 2009, 4:00 pm

Very interesting. S The low paying call center incomes may be wiped out by computers. Voice recognition has been pretty much perfected . It costs about 500$ set one of those operations up.

I'd love to find out employment statistics.The government probably collects data on that;but, I am not sure where to look.

Here it's the Department of Labor. You may have a very good grasp on what employment is about, S; but then again it would be nice to see whether the real statistics back that impression. up

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Post by Winston » May 11th, 2009, 8:03 pm

gmm567 wrote:Very interesting. S The low paying call center incomes may be wiped out by computers. Voice recognition has been pretty much perfected . It costs about 500$ set one of those operations up.

I'd love to find out employment statistics.The government probably collects data on that;but, I am not sure where to look.

Here it's the Department of Labor. You may have a very good grasp on what employment is about, S; but then again it would be nice to see whether the real statistics back that impression. up
W: I doubt it. Computers can't talk back to people or answer their questions. Even with automated info, there will always be questions that computers can't answer, and many prefer to talk to a live rep than a computer. If computers have artificial intelligence someday, then maybe.
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Re: question

Post by Winston » June 19th, 2018, 9:30 pm

ladislav wrote:
May 1st, 2009, 11:08 am
Compared to America, Philippines is poor but compared to Luxembourg, America is poor.The Philippines is a middle income, middle class country. People have enough food, color TVs, cellphones and live OK lives. There is no starvation or homelessness. All people can find some kind of job. The main problems in the Philippines money-wise is paying for education and paying for medical care. These are not free or easily covered by any program. Otherwise, everything else is OK.
Manila is full of skyscrapers and glitzy malls. Traffic is murder. That is not 'poor'.
Laos is poor so is Cambodia. Bangladesh is poor. Not the Philippines.
What do you mean there's no homelessness? There are tons of beggars in the Philippines. You see them everyday in Angeles and Manila. They are annoying and harass you and follow you around. Pisses me off. Also most people claim to have no extra money to buy anything, not even a complete meal at McDonald's or Jollibee. So how do those businesses stay in business? I don't get it. There's like a big middle class there that never associates with foreigners, so I never meet Filipinos with money. They dislike foreigners. But then again even many well fed girls there claim to be poor. Go figure.
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Re: In what ways is the Philippines a poor country?

Post by Horahngee » June 22nd, 2018, 3:11 am

This is what I have evaluated of the Philippines since coming here to the PI in January, and currently visiting my GF (now fiancé) in the countryside (Illocos Sur province), in terms of wealth and the infrastructure.

If you visit Manila, it's the capital city of the Philippines, and a lot of foreigners visit, do business and live in the greater Manila area. It seems to me that the better buildings and houses, cars, and material wealth seems to be concentrated in the Manila area. I have yet to visit Cebu, but I also feel the better/cleaner looking neighborhoods in the Philippines are concentrated in the Cebu, Manila, some parts of Baguio (yes I have seen their golf courses and resorts...looks nice) and "maybe" Davao area. I don't know.....I have not visited Davao.

HOWEVER, drive out to the countryside, like here where I am staying right now in the northern Illocos province area (and I am sure this is the same for the countryside for most of the Philippines) is that the buildings are run down, partially built. Very shabby looking.

I don't know how to describe it, but the houses out here look non-livable in terms of US standards. Heck, my GF took me around her neighborhood and she took me into one of her relatives' house yesterday. No carpet, just plain concrete floor. The walls are just bricks layered on top of each other. No wall paper, no interior paint for the interior walls.
There is no color painting to the outside of the houses too. Unlike in the US where houses are typically made of wood and is painted white, yellow, brown, or basically has some kind of paint on the outside. The floors in US houses either have carpet (which I really like!), and/or laminate wood flooring.

Here in the countryside of the Philippines, it seems like most of the houses out here are made of concrete, or white/gray bricks layered on top of each other. The roofs are okay with metal roofs. The kitchens in some of the houses here look gross! There are also some houses with no doors, so the flies come into the house, and while serving meals, you have a shitload of flies swarming, sitting on a bowl of food. Bleh.


My fiancé comes from a middle class family and her house, the interior, is waaayy cleaner and modernized compared to other houses in the neighborhood. Her stove is gas-operated stove, flooring is marble flooring and interior walls are painted. Nevertheless, my fiancé's house does NOT have a water heater. Not like I need the water heater now since the weather here is soooo damn humid, and it feels refreshing to shower in cold water.

In terms of income, I heard that the average Filipino makes wwaaaayyy less on a monthly basis, compared to their US counterparts. Average monthly income here, in terms of US dollars, is around $800-$1400 per month. that is really small money.

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Re: In what ways is the Philippines a poor country?

Post by Winston » June 22nd, 2018, 6:52 am

@Horahngee I think you misunderstand something. The average Filipino salary is NOT $800 to $1400 USD. No fricking way dude! You kidding me? The average salary is 300 pesos a day, that's like SIX DOLLARS A DAY, for a 10 hour shift! 6 x 30 is $180. So the average salary there is LESS THAN 200 USD PER MONTH! Nowhere near what you presume. Someone must have badly misinformed you or misled you. Some even make less if they work under the table. If they make more than the minimum wage, than they are lucky. But it's not easy to get a job that pays more than that.

I don't know how they live on that, but they do. No one can explain it well. It doesn't add up though, because their cost of living makes their salary unliveable. Many things are expensive there. So I don't get how they live on less than 200 dollars a month. It's not enough to even eat twice a day, let alone have money for transportation or utility bills, etc. Filipinos can't explain it except to say "we use survival skills". But no one can make those numbers add up on paper. Many Filipinos live on zero money, as the unemployment rate there is about 60 percent I hear. So if 60 percent live on zero money, then I don't know how they do it. It's a big mystery. No one is willing to add up the numbers for me to show me how they survive. I've been asking this question since 2007 and no one will add up the numbers for me on how they survive.

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Re: In what ways is the Philippines a poor country?

Post by Zambales » June 22nd, 2018, 1:08 pm

I'm amazed that people who have been to the Philippines don't consider the country as poor. Never heard of pagpag (a recycled meal made from garbaged food) and the landfill sites where people live such as Smokey Mountain?

Over 20% of the population live below the poverty line and for the rest, the majority just exist in survival mode.

The south-west part of Mindanao is the poorest part of the country but westerners rarely venture to this area due to Abu Sayyaf. A far cry from the glitz of Makati City.

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