By Hope V. Hervilla
When I said the poor are not lazy, I didn’t mean I am for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as government’s long term solution in eradicating poverty.
Though, I fully agree that 4P’s is an immediate, short term palliative solution that at least provided immediate relief among the poorest of the poor who have no income at all making them country’s dependents. (This is not to mention the controversial problem of exclusion of deserving beneficiaries and inclusion of not deserving ones.)
POVERTY is a structural problem. This is not a personal problem that should be fully blamed to individuals nor can be solved by palliative measures such as 4Ps or being hardworking.
There are lots of Filipinos that are physically or mentally hardworking but they remain poor in their lifetime until their next generation. Yet, there are also hardworking Filipinos that have raise their level of income or economic status as middle class.
To enable everyone or the majority of us if not all to be productive, there should be government measures that provide sustainable jobs for us. Jobs that serve the country’s economy towards industrialization and agricultural sufficiency not an economy that is dependent on foreign loans, exportation of raw materials, importation of goods, and dollar remittances of OFWs. Jobs that made us human and dignified not slaves and milking cows of foreign countries and local big capitalists.
Everyone will then have decent jobs not dependent on government’s palliative measures such as 4Ps or measures anchored on political patronage.
If and when there will still be lazy people despite available decent and sustainable job opportunities, then it’s the individuals sole personal accountabilities. Consequently, they should be reoriented to be socially responsible individuals and should work depending on their capacities and skills.
Hervilla was undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development from 2016 to 2018.