Why Is the Philippines A Poor Country?

(Part 13 of the “In Defense of the Filipino” series)

THE usual answers to this question are because allegedly we Filipinos are indolent, thieves, corrupt, undisciplined, crab-minded, divided, and more. Let us have the real answers.

Nation’s Debts. The main reason is because a large portion of our national budget goes to paying our foreign and domestic debts, instead of using it to build more roads, highways, bridges, schools, hospitals, housing units, railroads, irrigation, cable lines, and other public works; to raise the salaries and benefits of our public school teachers, policemen, soldiers, and government employees; and to fund more development and poverty-alleviation programs.

For every peso that the Filipino taxpayer pays to the government, a big part of it (about a third) only goes to our creditors.

An example is our national budget in 1986. It was P250 billion, and 70 per cent of that went to our creditors, while the more than 50 million Filipinos then had to fight for the remaining 30 per cent.

More and more Filipinos are deprived of social services because a large portion of our national budget is just enjoyed by our few creditors. This is only very unjust and unthinkable.

Even if the alleged US$2.4 billion annual public corruption in the country is not stolen, this money will not still be enough to fight poverty. But if we suspend paying our debts for at least two years, we will have a huge amount to solve more than half of our country’s problems.

The saddening fact with our debts is that our government has to borrow more to be able to pay old debts, and thus the more we pay, the more we get indebted.

Former President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies—the people who plunged us all into these massive debts—must be held accountable for this appalling crime.

When Marcos took over the presidency in late 1965, the country’s foreign debts stood at only US$465 million. When he was swept from power in early 1986, those debts had reached US$26 billion—a 26,000 per cent increase! Today, the debts amount to more than US$50 billion already.

Marcos’ successors had to and will borrow vast amounts to pay those debts that he accumulated. It has now become a never-ending cycle, and only a miraculous turn of events can help and save us from being buried forever in it.

Population mismanagement. This is the next major cause. Many people keep building families and producing children even if they are unprepared and have no money.

Through massive population management programs, the people should be informed that before building families, they first must have stable livelihoods, and savings for health care, children’s education, and emergencies, and that they should produce children only according to their financial means.

Fewer industries. Another reason is that there are not enough industries to provide employment to the people, and so the government cannot collect more corporate, business, customs, personal income, and other taxes.

It is not the government that makes business, but the private sector, since the duty of the government with regards to the economic life of a nation is to create an environment where business and the entire economy can thrive and be healthy. It should never compete with the private sector and the people in profit-making.

Our entrepreneurs, instead of bringing their wealth to other lands, should invest them in our country to give those needed employment opportunities.

Low wages. Another reason is even if the people have jobs, they receive low wages, and thus cannot afford the essential food, clothing, shelter, education, leisure, savings, and secure future for themselves and their families. Despite all their hard work, they remain poor.

Negative minds? Anti-Filipinos say that Filipinos remain poor because they don’t think positive: They always consider themselves poor.

Even if we were the most positive thinkers in the world, with those petite wages that we get, our miserable lives will never improve.

Double time. They also argue that we Filipinos should work double-time to double our incomes, meaning we should become entrepreneurs.

This is impracticable, for there is no nation on earth whose citizens or majority of its citizens are entrepreneurs. Most are wage earners.

Many people are asking too much from the Filipinos. Can they not realize that we Filipinos are already doing all we can, and sometime more than what we can?

We work hard, we receive low wages, we earn little, we pay taxes, and we honor our debts. What else can the Filipino do? Should we work eight or more hours a day and pull miracles out of the little that we earn?

We are a poor country not because we Filipinos are corrupt, indolent, undisciplined, etc. There are reasons more sensible than that.


  1. eugene codiamat says

    if i’m going to compare philippines of today to twenty years ago, i would say we didn’t get poorer as a whole.
    if i’m going to compare it to usa … well we are poor.
    philippine population will make a businessman salivate
    that’s enormous consumer potential. i could imagine if i can make 1 cent from every person for one year. i won’t be working next year.
    if you’re filipino i love you … you always do best whatever your heart desire…lol you know what i mean.

  2. hmm... says

    WHAT do you mean by double time.?
    Doesn’t it suppose to explain the laziness of the filipinos? it’s not the number of the entrepreneurs that should be doubled, it’s the effort, the willingness, so thus their diligence that should be doubled. Isnt it?. No person will ever improve by just comparing to himself, unless he takes the dare to compare it with the ‘better’ person. Filipinos!, compare yourselves with others. no countrymen sleeps as much as you do, no countrymen talks and eats during work as much as you do. think about it.

    Furthermore, with the one of the lowest wages in the world, isn’t it strange that no manufacutring business has developed in the land as expected? no more to say on the service business. Think about it. why.

    Stop. Please stop reading the ‘old’ textbook and decorate ourselves, filipinos, as ‘hostable’, ‘friendly’, ‘caregiving’. Just try it once, to step out of that silly textbook and ask a foreigner what they think about us. hah… Immigration? aiport? taxis? malls? shops? just try it. Promise you won’t punch him on the face.
    Then you will know, why philippines also failed in devleoping their toursim business.

    Get real. Being positive on a matter is not always good. That is sometimes just an excuse.

  3. Jon E. Royeca says

    If that’s how you look at Filipinos, fine. I can’t force you to believe that we work and strive hard.

    Many of us take whatever jobs we can, and so in almost every nation on earth, you will find Filipinos working as bottom-wipers, street cleaners, garbage collectors, etc.

    There is no need to tell the world about being friendly, hospitable, and others. All races possess those traits.

    • Manny says

      Don’t blame the people of the Philippine they want to work but no one will hire them because they have no padrino. No one to take care of their sibling, the bonuses , the perks corruption in the governments, plunder left and right.high taxes and lot more. blame the Marcoses, Ejercit Arroyo, Fidel Ramos,and the Aquino with his friends running the government want more. Philippine is not one of the poorest but the most corrupt

      • gordon jones says

        Though corruption does play a part in your poverty Filipino pride and nationalism is the problem. Your constitution deters foreign investment, Other Asian countries have welcomed foreign investment and as a result jobs and infrastructure have resulted. Your country is in the hands of 25 families who manipulate the politicians.
        You blame your politicians but who votes them in, who sells their votes? Too many Filipinos have given up, your children are poorly educated and play games unlike other Asian children who study. Parents do not ensure the future of their children. further as Pope Francis points out you do not have to breed like rabbits. The equation is simple, less children means more wealth for the family,

  4. Joma says

    The Philippines is poor because of an ever-meddling Catholic church, that has time and again been opposing artificial birth control and the reproductive health bill. The biggest problem is overpopulation, with most of society uneducated and below the poverty line. It’s not about meager wages, we need to keep labor cost down in order to be competitive, besides our cost of living is low with respect to Malaysia or Singapore. I also disagree with your statements on capitalists and entrepreneurs. Filipinos are inherently lazy and subservient, that is why few choose the entrepreneural path. It is easier to be employed than to start your own business, and Filipinos always choose the easier way out. That’s laziness in action. More entreprenuers are needed to create jobs, but the Catholic church should first shut up and allow the government to implement population control.

  5. Jon E. Royeca says

    It’s our foreign and domestic debts that make us poor. Population mismanagement is next only.

    If the government and other concerned groups and individuals will only inform the people when it comes to founding families, our problems of poverty will be lessened.

    Filipinos are not lazy. When the first foreigners arrived in our shores, what they saw were trading Filipinos.

    These days, we have capitalism icons like San Miguel, Shoe Mart, Bench, Jolibee, PLDT, Smart, Natasha/Nathaniel, etc. These are Philippine-based industries.

    According to the IMF-WB ranking in 1989, out of the 182 countries, from the biggest to the smallest national economies, the Philippines was ranked 48th.


    One meaning of this ranking is that there are countries poorer than the Philippines. Are those poorer countries also lazy?


    Indolent. That Filipinos are indolent is one of the anti-Filipino remarks that the Spaniards triumphantly created.

    It was the Filipinos who plowed the lands, while the Spanish landlords came only during harvest time to collect unlawful taxes from them. It was Filipinos who built forts, government buildings, churches, roads, highways, bridges, schools, galleons, and other public works. The Spanish authorities, friars, and lay citizens were only watching and forcing them to work. They would:

    “… employ the Indio in building houses and large vessels, grinding rice, cutting wood, and carrying it all to their houses to Manila and then pay them little or nothing for their labor” (Antonio A. Morga, “Reports of Conditions in the Philippine Islands,” Emma Blair and James Robertson, The Philippine Islands 1491-1898, Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Company, 1903-1909, Vol. X, p. 96).

    It was also the Filipinos who cooked for and fanned their Spanish masters, while the latter were having siesta (after-lunch nap), merienda (snack), or lamierda (promenade). It was they who slaved as muchachos y muchachas (servants), while their masters had all the luxurious life styles. It was they who worked for their masters, yet their masters still called them indolent.

    Rizal argued that the indio would really be idle because of harsh climates, disasters, pests, lack of support and incentives from the government, and the unfair sharing of income—he tilled the land but most of his harvests went to his Spanish landlord (Political and Historical Writings, Centennial Edition, Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964, pp. 227-265).

    In the Noli, Rizal depicted how the Spaniards reviled Filipinos for being indolent. The domineering Spanish friar Father Damaso glorified the anti-Filipino Spanish bashing that “you can find no other indolent in the world like the indio” (offset printing of the first edition published in Berlin, Germany, in 1887, Centennial Edition, Manila: Comisión Nacional del Centenario de José Rizal, 1961, p. 6).

    That the Filipino was indolent was a common verbal abuse during the Spanish colonial days. Because it was a daily expression, it became institutionalized in the Filipino consciousness. It became part of the Filipino in thinking and believing about himself.

    From this verbal abuse arose the Juan Tamad (John the Indolent) myth, where the Filipino is likened to an indolent and useless person. The Spaniards were so successful in portraying Juan Tamad as the very character of the Filipino, for until now, many people still believe that the Filipino is really very lazy and useless, despite his industry and perseverance.


    • gordon jones says

      The Philippines has a relatively small external debt, only 32% of its GDP compared to other much richer nations. As a percentage of its tax revenue the figure is higher but still less than other Asian countries. clearly foreign debt is being used as a scapegoat and fits in with the Filipino trait of always blaming someone else (in this case previous governments) for the failures of present day Filipinos and Filipinas.

  6. Jon E. Royeca says

    @ Joma

    That IMF-WB ranking was in 2009, not 1989. Sorry.

    A Filipino carpenter, if he works in the Philippines, earns only about P200 per working day. That amount is not enough to give his family enough food, clothing, and other basic needs, as well as to pay for their monthly housing amortization/rent, electricity, transportation, schooling, and other expenses.

    But if the same Filipino carpenter works abroad, as a carpenter also, say in North America, Europe, or the Middle East, he earns ten times bigger (or more) than what he earns in the Philippines.

    Thus, today a big number of the clients of private housing units in the Philippines are OFWs or former OFWs. And many of those who can send their children to better schools are also OFWs or former OFWs.

  7. kevin mirador says

    we are poor because of our wrong policies…

    others being said are just secondary. Filipinos are not just aware of reason why we are poor. they just rely on what the president says…

    we have wrong policies in foreign trade and investments, our nature of industries (agricultural), our being foreign goods lover, etc…

    the truth is that we are not free. we don’t gain Independence, indeed. our economy now is dependent on others economy. their crisis is also our crisis. their downfall is also our downfall.

  8. mimingyaw10 says

    Forgive me but this article is such a crap: one of those articles written by misinformed people.. its not always about mr tongressman plundering on pork barrel or primitive views of the CBCP on using condom.. they are a factor, yes, but what a typical filipino does not know is that the it is the oligarchs that drags the country and its people to mud..

    Philippine policy on trade keeps the foreign business out. (allow me to speak in tagalog para maintindihan ng karaniwang pinoy).. Dahil sa protection na tinatamasa nang mga may-ari ng mga negosyong eto, ang mga companya sa ibang bansa ay hindi nakakapag negosyo sa pilipinas. maitatanung natin sa ating mga sarili, eh anu naman ngayon mabuti nga iyon dahil makakapagrow ang bussnes ng pilipino. Pero hindi po ganun ang nangyayari..

    Bakit? dahil sa ang major life lines (basic necesities ng mga pilipino: pagkain, ilaw at tubig at kuryente) ay hawak ng mangilan-ngilang mayayaman na protektado ng batas laban sa panlabas na kompetisyon. Halimbawa na lang, sa bansang Hapon, maraming distributor (parang meralco) ng kuryente. dahil dito marami silang ka kompetisyon. Kung halimbawa ang serbisyo ni ditributor-A ay hindi maganda, may choice ang tao na lumipat kay distribyutor-B o C na makpagbibigay sa kanya ng maayos na serbisyo.

    Eh sa pilipinas? ala! Magtyaga ka sa meralco na napakapanget ng serbisyo. Bakit? tingnan mo ang bill mo Juan! ang daming systems loss at kung anu anong charges! kung maayos ang fascilities nila, ung nawawalang kuryente sa kanila (transmission charges) eh baba.

    Pero bakit hindi nila ayusin ang tech nila? Bakit pa? Eh sila lang naman ang distribyutor? Walang competisyon, walang dahilan para gandahan ang serbisyo.

    Juan gumising ka naman! imulat ang mata at tingnan, wag takbuhan, ang tunay na problema! At wag mong sabihin na ang mga may-ari ng mga kompanyang eto eh foreigners! Hello alam mo ba na mga pilipino ang mga yan? ang isang dayuhang businessamn hndi pwede magbusiness dito discouraged sila dahil mababang porsyento lng ng pera nila ang macocontrol nila! at hindi nla talaga eto pag aari..

    Kaya bago mo ibulalas sa iyong mga labi ang isyu nang paghihirap ng bansa, alamin mo muna ang totoo.. dahil hindi man mangurakot, kung ang ihahalal mo sa posisyon ay nagmula sa angkan ng mga oligakiyang ito, ala ring mangyayari sa Pilipinas..

  9. Jayo S. says

    First of all, The Philippines is classified as a “middle income country”. Although poverty is a problem in The Philippines, it is a problem with all developing countries including Brazil, South Africa and The People’s Republic of China. Even industrialized nations have their own share of poverty just like the homeless that you will see in American cities.

    Take People’s Republic of China for example. Even it its the 2nd largest economy in the world, it is still a developing country. Its progress are mostly concentrated in urban areas and economic zone but if you go to the most remote parts of the country, you will find people living conditions there are as bad or even much worst than the poorest places in The Philippines.

    Also, countries such as Brazil and South Africa are set to be a major economic powerhouse in their specific regions. But their gap between the rich and the poor is much worst than The Philippines.

    And these countries share the same social problems The Philippines face such as corruption, crime. etc.

  10. Jon E. Royeca says

    @ kevin mirador. Of course, wrong policies result in political, economic, and social disasters. Like the foreign debts that our government has accumulated since the 1960’s. Those debts deplete our government’s tax collections, our foreign reserves, and eventually our nation’s entire finances.

    @ mimingyaw10, kanya-kanya lamang tayo ng pananaw. Kung sa tingin mo ay kaya mahirap ang Pilipinas ay dahil sa mga sinasabi mo, iginagalang ko ang inyong mga opinyon. Subalit mayroon din naman akong mga pananaw na sa tingin ko ay ang siyang mga tunay na dahilan kung bakit tayo naghihirap.

    @ Jayo S. Nearly all countries in the world have social defects and social ills, such as poverty, crimes, corruption, and the others things that we mention. No nation is free. What I am trying to do here is to point out one by one the major root causes of why we are poor, and to suggest solutions to solve them.

  11. akoito says

    For me, the reason why PH is poor because of corruption. Currently, not only this problem existed in the government, but also in the AFP. Imagine the millions and billions of money taken away from the people. Next in line is perhaps the debt of our country in the world bank. During the time of Marcos, huge amount of money was borrowed and up to this present time we are still paying such liability. Debt of Marcos’ time + the debts after his regime= huge amount of money that we are going to pay lifetime.

  12. Jon E. Royeca says

    Is corruption really the main reason why majority of Filipinos are poor?

    According to a recent World Bank study, public funds worth US$48 billion were lost to corruption in the Philippines from 1985 to 2004.

    That’s about US$2.4 billion a year or P105 billion based on the current peso-dollar exchange rate (P44 to a dollar).

    This P105 billion is about 6.6% of the country’s P1.6 trillion budget for 2011.

    The country’s current population stands at 94 million. Let us assume that 50 million of us are poor.

    If we divide the P105 billion equally among the 50 million poor, each of them will get P2,100 only.

    Will it be enough to pull each of the 50 million poor Filipinos out of poverty?

    Of course not. It is too little.

    I am making this calculation to show that even if there is no graft and corruption in our country, and even if public funds are spent wisely and properly, majority of the Filipinos will still remain poor.

    Therefore, it is not graft and corruption that is the main culprit.

    Sources of statistics:



  13. says

    @jon your calculation is good,but we dont need to divide the money to the people instead the goverment will create more projects to give filipinos lot of jobs,a school project to the student,and more scholarships

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      @john: That calculation is wild, I know, but it serves my point well: Even if there is no graft and corruption — even if public funds are spent wisely on public education, health, housing, infrastructures, and job-creating programs — majority of Filipinos will still remain poor. Therefore, graft and corruption is not the main reason why majority of us are poor.

  14. john says

    but atleast we know that the tax are use in public education,health,housing,infrastructures and job creating programs

  15. A Filipino No More says

    Your arguments and perspectives are manifestations of the shallowness of the Filipinos. Dig deeper Mr Royeca. Once upon a time PHP=USD. Perhaps you should really do more research, inductive & reflective readings … and please take time before you write anything again as your pieces are annoyingly simply gloss-overs. You can’t even adequately present your arguments amidst equally appalling opposing views from your fellow Filipinos. Have your pieces grammatically edited so you’d sound coherent. If you’re thought process is in Filipino, then write in Filipino. If you are processing your thoughts in English, then you can write in English. Strive to be a good reflection of the Filipinos. As it stands, you are just perpetuating the already known facts about Filipinos being who they are as stated above. Thanks and I hope to read a much better sampling of your communication skills, both in form and in substance

    • Robert Sarmiento says

      To one who confesses as “A Filipino No More”

      How stupid and arrogant of you to write: “… the shallowness of the Filipinos” ? If you don’t agree with what Mr Royeca wrote, why not line up your own arguments? Or better yet, post your own article. I am sure this website will give you an equal, if not more, space. Why waffle in generalizations and personal attack?

      And why hide behind “A Filipino No More” label? Ano, takot ka bang magpakilala kung sino ka?

      With your lack of decency and anti-social behavior, it’s good you no longer consider yourself a Filipino, because no self-respecting Filipino would like to associate with you, anyway.

      • Jon E. Royeca says

        Robert, I agree with you. If what I am saying here have already been told before, then what really are those things that keep us from getting prosperous? They should tell us. Thanks for reading and for the defense.

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      English has already become a global language, and with it come its variations in every place where it is used. Hence, we have Indian English, Chinese English, Japanese English, Korean English, Singaporean English, Philippine English, and so on. No one should expect the Asians, Africans, and other non-native speakers of English to use English the way the British, the Americans, and other native English speakers do. That’s just impossible.

      English, just like any language, has many usage levels, peculiarities, and shortcomings. Don’t ask for its universal homogeneity.

      With regard to grammar, pardon me. If the native speakers of English themselves commit mistakes in their very own tongue, what would you expect from others whose first language is not English?

      When someone points out my mistakes in English, I correct them. That’s the best that I can do. So if I am told that skillful writers and communicators don’t use ampersands in a written rhetoric (and I have already used them), I will immediately remove them and replace them with the correct one.

    • MaliPalaAko says

      @A Filipino No More

      You stated “Once upon a time PHP=USD”, so when was that?

      I only know what I read in college history books that when the Philippine Coinage Act was created in 1903 the exchange rate was 1USD = 2PHP. You appear to be very intelligent so please enlighten us.

  16. john says

    @jon your right jon..tnx for this article atleast we know the different opinion of our fellow filipinos…we dont need to fight we are here to post our opinion .tnx.godbless all…hope the goverment will read this article so that they wll know what is happening for our country….:)

  17. Jim Foster says

    Jon, your comments on the English language are correct in as much as there are actually 3 different English variations now – English English, American English and International English. I speak the first one but the most people of the world will speak the latter. English is a growing and an expanding language of business, academics, air control and travel. One thing is certain without it the non-English speaker will be confined generally to his own country. With it you can travel the world with ease, obtain work and enjoy the wealth of the earth in history, science and art. You are correct when you say some do not know how to speak their first language properly. Even here in the UK lots do not know when to use I, me or myself correctly!
    If trade is to expand and filipinos to become better informed of world opinion and events it is essential English is understood and used more widely. For me – apart from action needed to curtail a spiralling population fuelled by the FILIPINO version of Roman Catholic religion T^(condoms not widely available in 2011!!!!) the need to inspire confidence in foreign investors is of prime necessity. The other surprising factor I see as unbalanced and needing immediate reform is the adopted model of an American type of economy – imposing those ideals on a developing economy which cannot really adapt to the parameters. It is a real shame that so many people live below the poverty line, cannot afford proper nutrition or can access affordable healthcare. Finally I feel that both crime and terrorism need defeating by a sound and non-corrupt police force plus a strong military before greater foreign money pours in from more saturated tourism.

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      @ Jim Foster

      Thank you for giving additional perspectives on the use of English. The kinds of English in your country are one negative result of the multiculturalism that your country has embraced for a few decades now. Peoples from many parts of the world have now become permanent residents in your country, and each ethnic group has decided to use its own brand of English. I really wish that the King’s English would still prevail and be the standard English, since the other Englishes have all come from it.

      You are also absolutely correct about own own recipe for Catholicism. The Catholic Church here is recalcitrant against birth control methods, but it doesn’t seriously take the ill-effects of having no effective population management.

      But the majority of Filipinos—probably because of the never-ending cycle of poverty, and because of the rapid technology and exchange of information—are now realizing the benefits that can be had from keeping our population within manageable growth.

      The Catholic Church fought many battles against the Government in the past, and history has proved that it is the usual loser.

      The economic system we have here is the one embraced by most countries in the world—laissez-faire—and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

      About terrorism, well, it should really be curtailed. But I wonder why investors from other countries are afraid to make money in the Philippines when other territories have worse crime statistics. Besides, after many of those foreign companies have been penalized in other countries for cheating customers and other forms of corporate corruption, they still have the face to tell us, “We don’t want to invest in your country because you have graft and corruption there.”

      In 2009, the world’s top ten countries with highest reported crimes were the following:

      1. United States—11,877,218 reported crimes
      2. United Kingdom—6,523,706
      3. Germany—6,507,394
      4. France—3,771,850
      5. Russia—2,952,370
      6. Japan—2,853,739
      7. South Africa—2,683,849
      8. Canada—2,516,918
      9. Italy—2,231,550
      10. India—1,764,630

      Source: http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-highest-reported-crime-rates.html

      The reported crimes of the top ten countries mentioned above were many times bigger than the reported crimes in the Philippines, which totaled 101,798 during the same period (Source: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/01/10/crime-rate-63-percent-2009-pnp).

  18. Jim Foster says

    Crimes ARE more likely to be reported in those countries to the top of that list because of people wanting the crime solved, the chance of sueing or having a criminal incarcerated, the faith in the police and judiciary, needing a crime number for insurance purposes or a wish to highlight an injustice.. In the Phils many crimes go unreported because of worries of a possible corrupt incompetent police involvement with perpetrators, the drawing of attention to a problem which would not be solved at all, the difficulty of having to show up at court regularly at own expense if you are a witness, thus incurring publicity to the criminal’s friends with related consequencies or the fact that there is very little personal or property insurance,,,certainly the normal populace would be unable to obtain burglary insurance through non-availability or excessive costs. You can change views with statistics or questionnaires but you have to look closely at how the questions are constructed, how asked and to what sector taken as a target or how data is gatherred. Go to France, Canada, Scandanavia, Germany, Holland, Belgium or the UK – you will not see bars on all the windows or properties ring-fenced with high security walls and gates with plenty of barb wire as you see as the norm in the Phils. Open plan properties? Never and unheard of: these observations are far better wake-up calls than trying to prove its safer in the Phils!

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      It’s a common belief that in poor countries, many crimes go unreported because the people don’t report them, since the authorities are corrupt; while in advanced countries, people go to the police because the police there are incorruptible. That’s one way of thinking, and I can’t challenge that.

      However, it would be too much if some will claim that more than one million crimes in a poor country each year are not reported. Besides, if more than one million private citizens in an advanced country commit burglary, robbery, shoplifting, and other forms of taking what are not theirs, it would also be too much if someone will also claim that the government authorities of that country cannot commit corruption.


    hey, think about the debt part.
    we had an “initial debt” to the americans because of the treaty of paris. for 20M. that’s our initial debt. but, how did that happen? WTF is our initial debt for?
    June 12, 1898 – the Katipuneros were fighting for 2 years for freedom, and on that day, that was the last push for the Spanish colonizers. They were driven to the last place to go, Intramuros (walled city).
    but while that is happening, America had a battle ship docked. watching and waiting for the Philippines. (also Germany, Great Britain, Japan, etc.. but lets focus on america) They were there in Manila Bay, to check the land, because at that time, US and Spain were at war, and PH was a colony of Spain so the US were to check the status of the country.
    And i’m sure you’ve learned about the mock battle. August 13, 1898?
    What kind of battle lasts for only half a day? Why was the treaty of paris needed? Deception.
    They wanted to show that they are our saviours. so we would welcome them with open arms, and cling to their side. already a terrorist strategy. we fall right into the US.
    One minute the Katipuneros were fighting the Spaniards, and the next minute US. At the bridge when that US soldier fired the first bullet. why didn’t our ancestors know this were to happen? since they were deceived they did not know. And what’s worse is: during that time, the Katipuneros, from freedom fighters became outlaws, rebels!

    imagine you’re watching a movie, in that movie there is a quiet little town. but one day, bandits came and pillaged. And the towns people fought the bandits.
    Attackers – Bandits
    Defenders – townspeople
    Attackers – America
    Defenders – Filipinos (Katipuneros)
    but the people were once again deceived. Even until now, the schools in our country teach that the Katipuneros were outlaws. when infact, the US were invaders. we are the guinea pigs of the colonizers. Why did they attack? what did we do to them… nothing.

    other countries who were victims to this.. Vietnam: were once a colony of France. but when the colonizers were being pushed back. what did they do? run to america. Result? Vietnam war. 2million Vietnamese died. 52 thousand american soildiers died. but what did the Vietnamese people ever do to the US? Nothing! But in books, they teach that the US were the hereos and Vietnam the Villain.


    • Jon E. Royeca says

      “Even until now, the schools in our country teach that the Katipuneros were outlaws. when infact, the US were invaders. we are the guinea pigs of the colonizers. Why did they attack? what did we do to them… nothing.”

      I have yet to see a textbook saying that. Social Studies textbooks cannot state that Americans were invaders and murderers because textbooks in Philippine public schools are financed by the World Bank.

      For me, America is still a very important country. I wish it would not fail as a nation. In 476 A.D., the Roman Empire fell, and the world lost a superpower. The next thing that happened was the Dark Ages. It took civilization more than a thousand years to recover.

      • gordon jones says

        The concept of the dark ages in history has been discredited long ago, That history was written by ethno centric historians, for instance the tribes that brought about the downfall of the Western Roman empire were more Roman in their habits and education than the actual Roman Emperors at that time.

  20. Greg says

    Thank you for writing. This is my first time to read many of your articles. Very interesting and thought provoking, I would say. I know about the population being one of the causes of poverty, but it is my first time to learn about our nation’s debt. Imagine, if the national debt will be paid sooner!
    Please write more. By the way, I am also Filipino, from the mountain to be exact-others call us Igorot, ‘a misnomer ‘ invented by the ruthless Spaniards in mockery of my tribe because they failed to conquer and subjugate the land of my forefathers.

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      Thank you also for reading the articles and for your comment. Because of these articles, I have received so many kicks already, and there are also maligning emails. But I am prepared for those. I know that I would encounter individuals who cannot accept my pro-Filipino stand. I also know that there will be people like you who share the same sentiments for our race and country.

  21. whyphilwillalwaysbepoor says

    philippines will always be poor

    1. lazyness. whole famillies leeching of one OFW. instead of taking an opportunity to start a small business or work they choose to do nothing

    2. Poor climate for investors – although labor is cheap, corruption is rampant and a negative to invest in a production plant for the o so much needed blue collar jobs. incentives should be given not obstacles!

    3. Lack of justice – potential investors/entrepeneurs will not be backed by a juridical system who is in favor of them, au contraire!, even foreigners are being targeted by various government deparment.

    4. overpopulation/influence of church – the piece of the pie has to be shared with a larger group of people leaving a smaller slice for everyone unless this newcomer can bring in income but thats hard when there a no extra jobs. The influence of the church should be reduced and be separated from the state. state and relgion cannot be one. Less population means more youngster got a chance of going to college and getting better jobs.

  22. Philip Harding says

    Until the most powerful countries of the world dissolve and reform the world bank and provide an amnesty and dissolution of all so-called ‘third world’ or ‘developing world’ debt, countries such as the Philippines will remain mostly impoverished with little or no improvement in the basic quality of life for the majority of its peoples.
    The demand for continuance of outstanding interest, this enormous and compounding out-of-control interest burden, benefits no one- not even the credit institutions who would rather squeeze blood from stones with their stranglehold on national economies than invest in truly profitable ventures such as massive housing projects and building infrastructure. It would be far better even for the creditors themselves if world-wide we were developing and growing economically in double digits and producing the world’s next generations of scientists, doctors, and engineers rather than letting our precious human resources rot like some much wood on a riverbank as is the miserable waste we witness today.
    The problem is a systemic one requiring reform, regulation, as well as refusal to cooperate and the dogged pursuit of litigation on the part of debtor nations.
    Fight the power, and give power back to our youth. I think we will be amazed at the world we’re capable of building.

    • gregory jones says

      Unfortunately you have to explain why countries with much higher external debts as a percentage of GDP do a lot better than the Philippines. In fact the Philippines has quite a low ratio. 26.8% of national debt
      Whereas for example
      Thailand 35.6%
      new zealand 44.9%
      japan 51.3%
      luxembourg 5207%
      singapore 430%

      Indeed most countries have a higher proportion of external debt to gdp. and it has not stopped them from improving. I am afraid you have to look elsewhere and inwards to find out why the Philippines is so wretched.

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