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About Benington

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    Interested in anything that will make everyday life here easier and more entertaining..on a budget!

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  1. Welcome back to the topic, OP. First of all, I'm not your mate. You claim I have got your topic all wrong, when you said in your OP. "Maybe I have got it wrong ..I thought this was a Poor Country (or so I was led to believe)". It's so obvious you are really questioning whether this country has as many poor people as you thought. The 20m or so in extreme poverty, ie those on $2 a day or less got discussed maybe too much in the thread and there is a difference between them and the many more bringing in the minimum wage, or a bit higher, per day. Of course these people are getting by however they can. The Philippines has many ways to do that, maybe more than in most "First World" countries. But the fact is these people have no savings, the subject of a recent thread here, often have large families and so when events like illness come along they are struggling. Spend some time in a PCSO office in the Provinces to see that. You asked another question: "Can it be that Dumaguete and Area are not so poor after all?" Well it isn't that poor...haven't been there but just know from my knowledge that it is a University City, attracts many tourists, including foreign and, of course, many Expat retirees. And can back that up with average income statistics...but don't worry, I note your sensitivity so won't quote them. Anyway, you are reporting places there are packed..and it's not Fiesta time. I really need to get out more? Talking of insults....!. Do you know how much I do get out? I've been coming to/from and living here for 30 years...been to many Provinces all over. I know Bicol very well, and it's definitely poorer than your neck of the woods....only Naga City comes even close to Dumaguete. Again, this can be backed up with statistics. I'm showing disregard for other members, am I? You mean I'm not agreeing with some of them. Forums are for debate, and in debates not everyone will always agree. I have no problem with "Man in the street" type observations, opinions etc. But when someone suggests that the Philippines is not such a "Poor Country"..."as I was led to believe" I have to assume that he did once believe it was quite poor and now may change his mind, following some observations in Duma. And I have to disagree with that. There's been a good variety of topics aired on this forum over the last two years. But I do notice that eg somebody might post a question about internet speeds, he may be just an ordinary Expat who wants to run his email, watch a few videos and play a few games. After a while the debate gets very technical, IT experts pile in and lose some people with the technicalities. I never see them being criticised for that, and they shouldn't be. So why is it that when someone tries to contribute from his professional knowledge some economics 101 concepts or quote simple statistics easily available online some people throw the word "academic" at him and suggest he should go to the MENSA forum? One can only speculate why they think being "academic" is an insult. And, by the way,I wouldn't qualify for the MENSA forum! If I talk with someone, like the OP did , about them going to the BIR to pay back taxes, (so what...it's something we all know is rife here, just see all the notices encouraging people to pay up), I may post it one day if that small thing is at all relevant. In the meantime I will contribute on certain topics from my own knowledge.
  2. Apologies for late reply. Certainly with you about the poor here having too many children. But on the overall population increase here I'm not so relaxed as you. The demographers say the Philippines population is growing at 1.6% pa, the world growth rate is about 1.1. They say the current population here is about 104m, maybe well over that if you doubt the reliability of the last census they held here. I looked for those countries with population growth rates over 1.5% pa and with populations of around 100m and produced a short list: Pakistan,Nigeria,Ethiopia,Egypt, DR Congo Somewhat concerning to me that the Philippine is in such company. But elsewhere in ASEAN Vietnam and Indonesia are two other member countries with large populations. Vietnam has a smaller population but a much higher growth rate, Indonesia a much higher population but a lower growth rate than the Philippines. So along with the Philippines they are both going to be adding large numbers of people a year. So, maybe this is not so much of a problem for the Philippines? What do people here think?
  3. "Poor? Just what is poor, especially here in the Philippines?" That was the topic question set by the OP. And he then said he wanted us to look at the Wider Picture to get a sense of just what is going on here. And he has just doubled down on that. When I first saw this topic posted I immediately had a suspicion that here was a topic where someone was looking for his views to be confirmed by posters and not interested in posts from people with a different view. And, by and large, that's what I have seen from the OP and some others. The OPs real intent is made very clear in his latest, colourful, as ever, post. His view seems to be that poverty here in the Philippines is dramatically overstated. Not getting the unanimous support he expected for that view he now says he's done and out! But,OP, most supported you! There were some interesting posts describing how people with low incomes here can play the system to do better....they do that in every country. But to answer the OPs question I would argue that, sorry!...you do need to look at the statistics. I know that's getting a lot of push back these days from certain politicians with their disdain for scientific evidence,facts etc. but how else are you going to get that Wider Picture on anything? For sure you don't get it from the observations and anecdotes of a few Expats..or from what some mate of yours said. You can argue, as one poster did, that statistics here are very unreliable.This is a developing country, so we can expect some to be questionable. But it's not in the same league as countries like Nigeria, where their population count is the subject of expert mockery. Philippine poverty survey results are bad and cannot be explained away by doubts on reliability. The last poster wanted a civilised and lighthearted discussion. Civilised discussion has certainly sometimes been lacking eg "fuzzy eared academics", "spouting". In fact the word "spouting" seems to have caught on here to put down someone who they can't, or don't want to understand. Some lighthearted posts are a good thing...and some posters in this forum make a habit of them. Fine! But the subject is Poverty. Many people here are suffering extreme poverty, and this needs to be pointed out. We can all then decide whether we want to care about it. And something that did not come out in this discussion is how easy it is here for families here to loose their self sufficiency just by eg not having the money for hospital bills.
  4. Interesting to read your observations from Cagayan. Your local economy is doing particularly well from OFW remittances, and across the country there are probably other areas also showing a dramatic economic improvement due to OFWs. You mention the seamen... the Philippines has developed that as a brand respected worldwide....25% of the total on the seas. People "cry poverty" when they have money in the bank. One can only speculate why. Maybe they don't want others to know as they will be asked for "loans", or they know that those remittances may not always be coming. Without the OFW option your area would mainly offer only low paid employment in agriculture. In the Philippines as a whole there is a high unemployment rate, with also much disguised unemployment. Low wages are on offer for the bulk of the workforce. The current non agriculture daily minimum wage in Manila is under P500.This situation is recognised by the government with their help for the "extreme poor" and for OFWs. A third of OFWs are coming from the low paid sector helpfully categorised as "elementary occupations", nearly a fifth are from the generally low paid service sector. Professionals, managers and teachers only make up 17%, in contrast to 1st world overseas workers where they are a much higher percentage. Without the monetary inflows from OFWs and relatives abroad the Philippine economy could not sustain its present growth rate. School fees are paid, small businesses started etc. But it is government policy to reduce dependence on OFW remittances...."jobs at home" is the slogan. They can see that depending on jobs abroad is risky, that OFWs can be subject to bad treatment, that workers often end up being "deskilled" and therefore not able to bring back higher skills to the Philippines and that the absence of one or both parents can cause family breakdown...even increased drug use, according to the President. Also, running services for OFWs is expensive. And what does it do for the long term development of the economy when some of the best teachers and nurses are going abroad, often for good? Or female college graduates are maiding abroad? Unfortunately the Philippines got on this economic track in the Marcos time, when an opportunity was missed to develop a broader based industrialised economy, alongside agriculture. Overseas employment quickly started to fill the gap. Despite its recently much touted record economic growth the Philippines has about half the GDP per head of Thailand, who have successfully developed an export led industrialised economy. Vietnam will probably soon overtake the Philippines on GDP per head. Policies to improve the situation will take years to work, and labour exports are not the answer. If they were the Philippines would not now be in this position.
  5. FYI, episodes of drought and famine,are treated as different from poverty, which is a long term concept. It can be absolute, where the most basic needs are not being met or relative eg maybe someone without their own transport in the US. I would say the World Bank's International Poverty Line, which I have referred to earlier in this topic, at $1.90 a day is definitely an absolute poverty level or very close to it for the Philippines. Maybe "extreme" wasn't a good choice as there are so many people included. Poverty is an academic concept. My explanation not too academic for you? If you want to discuss this further you'd better just PM me, as you obviously can't help mixing up insults with ignorance, as shown by your use of the OBE. It's an award in Britain, but here it's your One Big Explanation. Yes, over population is a cause of drought and famine..so are climate change, war and agricultural policy failures.
  6. I mean the same sort of basic shop as you describe...here in Tagaytay it's a bit more, at 50 or 60. They don't attract the better heeled locals, so many Malls they can go to in Cavite and Manila, so that's maybe why they are not that busy. Tagaytay is a bit spread out, no one central area, maybe people don't become regular enough in any one shop to feel they should give a tip?
  7. ,,,40 actually...doesn't leave much for beer and cigs.....could have a cheap haircut instead. Sure, Ph is one of the easier countries in the world to find cheap, crowded places to live in or even to live outside. Many may see it at first as a short term solution to their problems and they do get some tangible benefits, But then it can become long term. With plenty of ways to get illnesses like TB, which you can die from. For many in long term poverty their needs will have been influenced by feelings of hopelessness. So,I don't know if the people running programs like the 4Ps try to ensure that the people they are aiding genuinely want to get out of extreme poverty. It's a "conditional" program, but are they really going to take people off?
  8. I saw one or two 40s a few years ago, but 20 is worryingly low for both barbero and customer! He would need large tips to survive if it was a long term price..and in over 10 years here I've never seen a local give a tip in a regular barber shop. Yes, there's the 4Ps cash transfer program, targeted at the lowest income families. It's one of the most sophisticated and far reaching poverty reduction programs in the world. Something to admire, but it also draws attention to the acuteness of the problem. Keeping track of people who move from squat to squat must be very difficult. Sure, the helper "did all right", but the official aim of the 4Ps is for families to graduate from the program. How hard that is can be seen from this Davao report: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2017/02/14/21-4ps-reach-self-sufficiency-525642 Despite rumours to the contrary the Aquino 4P program has been kept and expanded under Pres. Duterte, with the DSWD budget upped by 17%. Critics view it as a "stop gap" measure. They prefer to talk about "quality growth" as an aim and would prefer that the government concentrates more on areas like agriculture, not spending so much on infrastructure, which they feel won't help the poor much. I tend to agree. Possibly, some of their measures will make things worse. Increased excise taxes on fuel as part of the Tax Reform package are going to increase inflation, already rising due to Peso weakness. The poor don't benefit from lower income tax. The recently not confirmed DSWD secretary had promised to compensate them, but then that money cannot be used on the government's growth agenda items.
  9. Poverty is relative, but I think everybody would agree that P100 a day is about as low as you can go here, and over 20m are estimated to be down there. I would have thought P200 would be pretty dire too. Poverty is more a rural than urban problem, a small proportion migrate to the cities and obviously fare better, partly because government poverty reduction programs are better there. Food does "grow on trees", but what if you don't have enough land, or any land? Hunger rates here follow the poverty rate, with over 3m families experiencing some hunger last year. Again mostly affecting the rural areas. The Philippine economy is at present growing probably as fast as it can. New cars are everywhere. Poverty is out of the sight and out of the minds of most in the middle and upper classes. And lawmakers. And yes, probably of most Expats too. A haircut from P50. Cheap trolley loads of local products. We love to see our savings and pensions stretch.
  10. Isn't this thread about poverty? And if you care to look at my link you'll see that OFW remittances have not translated into its reduction for years. That's the World Bank "spouting".
  11. DH, I won't lengthen the page with your post, readers can just refer up...yes, for years economists have been trying to find better measures of a country's prosperity, but with all it's faults GDP is still the accepted measure, especially for international comparisons. Sure, remittances here from the OFWs and the much larger Filipino diaspora (estimated at over 10m) contribute to the growth of the economy. But just read down that Manila Times article......they say that they do not help poverty reduction! Remittances have been important for growth for years, but poverty here is still a massive problem...in the ASEAN comparison it's only Laos and Myanmar doing worse. http://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/international-poverty-line-has-just-been-raised-190-day-global-poverty-basically-unchanged-how-even Only up to 2012, but it says that poverty levels have been slowly increasing, and that its a mostly "an overwhelmingly rural phenomenon", more progress has been made with urban poverty, and the Visayas and Mindanao are the worst regions.. Despite the recent good growth I don't think the picture is much different now, OFWs are seen as national heroes and the government looks after them, but I hear development experts and even some politicians now coming out to say that this country's large OFW exodus may not be so good for the economy in the long run.
  12. https://psa.gov.ph/content/2015-survey-overseas-filipinos-0 Not a particularly relevant issue for the main Philippines Poverty picture. But as it has been picked on I don't see it as natural that OFWs would be proportional to the population. As I said most of those from Luzon are from Manila and around...if you do the calculation for the NCR plus Calabarzon for 2015 it is over-proportional. To put remittances in proportion they were only just over 1% of GDP in 2015.
  13. https://www.adb.org/countries/philippines/poverty According to to the not-so-poor statisticians at the ADB what is poor is over a fifth of the population of the Philippines, who are estimated to live under the currently used international poverty line of just under $2 a day. Recently increased from the $1.25 a day level, set in 2005. Certainly would be a higher fraction in the Visayas, as incomes decrease here the further you are away from Manila. I was surprised how badly the Philippines does in comparison.with its ASEAN neighbours. Communist run countries like Vietnam usually do well on international poverty comparisons. But worse than Cambodia, which is also a market economy? Can't find out if remittances are included. The Philippines is one of the top receivers of remittances in the world, but as about half of all OFWs come from Luzon, with most of those from the NCR and around ,I don't think it would have much effect.
  14. http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/07/27/congress-leaders-to-pass-38-priority-bills/ It's not included. and I recently listened to an interview on ANC on legislative plans and it didn't come up there either. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/882843/87-of-bills-still-pending-in-17th-congress Not surprising when you see the legislative record so far of this present Congress. Difficult to make meaningful comparisons, but during the 3 years of the previous Congress about 180 bills were passed into legislation.But then so much is going on now. For one thing there are so many Senate Hearings Some might see their inability to pass legislation a good thing, but Sen Lacson has drawn attention to an issue which will become more urgent with 7% over 60 now, rising to 11.5% in 2030. Care of the elderly within the family here will come under increasing pressure.
  15. https://qz.com/830058/pawnbroking-is-huge-in-the-philippines-and-its-going-online/https://www.benzinga.com/small-business/17/02/9049051/what-cities-in-america-have-the-most-pawn-shops Why save when there are so many pawnshops around? More than twice as many shops as in the US. While online pawnbroking must be much more developed in the US, the Philippines has so many money lenders operating from home.