I cannot understand why people pointed the Catholicism as the cause of poverty in the Philippines. Catholicism does not teach people to steal, on the contrary, it teaches to love your fellow as you love yourselves. Had the Filipinos followed this commandment, Philippines might be one of the rich nations on Earth. The U.S. became great because of their Christian belief. I came across a blogger who told that it’s because priests are corrupt and have secret affairs with women. If a priest has an affair with a girl, is this the deed of the Catholic Church? does the Church teach their priests to be immoral? If a priest has an immoral affair, does he steal the money of the nation? How many government positions that the Catholic leaders hold?
The Philippines becomes poor because of the massive corruption in the government. Most of its politicians if not all are corrupt. They love money more than their neighbors. They are Christians not in their hearts, they just worship Christ on their lips. Another cause is the ever existing war in Mindanao, Muslim extremists keep insisting their sovereignty. We know that their god doesn’t like Christians. If a Muslim becomes devoted to his religion, he will end up killing Christians and Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to kill Jews and Christians). The Malaysian government founded and supported these rebels as admitted by Nur Misuari.
Another cause is China, which founded and supported the NPA which has been warring against the Philippine government for a long time. China also made the Philippines a shabu market. The politicians and the enforcers just seize their shabu for money. If the Chinese are willing to pay a large sum, the officials just let them skipped, just what happened recently where Billions of pesos worth of shabu slipped past the custom twice in a row. Duterte instead of penalizing the heads of Bureau of custom, he transferred them to another positions. Officials are not afraid to commit corruption because they are backed by their government connection.
China also keeps harassing the Filipinos, depriving them to cultivate the oil-rich area in the West Philippine Sea even if it is well within their Exclusive Economic Zone. Chinese coastguards keep chasing the Filipino fishermen and drive them out from their fishing ground, letting their own fishermen to monopolize the area. Today, Filipinos are now importing fishes from China which most probably caught from their own fishing territory.
Another cause is the annual calamities that strike the country. Millions or even Billion of pesos and lives are lost per year.
The China’s grabbing of the Scarborough shoal reminds me of the collapse of Cebu’s furniture export industry. In the past, Cebu’s furniture export was doing well esp. in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and early 2000’s. I could say it was doing well because it gave our family and neighborhood decent living. In 1985, I remember my father earned 2,300 pesos a month, greater than a teacher’s salary in that time. He worked as a foreman in a certain furniture company. I couldn’t recall of the company’s name, but many called it Cenapro because it was at the previous plant of Cenapro Chemical Corp.. The company was located in Alang-alang, Mandaue City. It started with only one carpenter (my father) who made the samples. When the samples clicked, the company grew vigorously that they rented another two plants nearby, making it three 3 plants in total. Majority of the workers were coming from Barangay Mactan. In that time, Barangay Mactan was the main source of export quality furniture makers.
Unfortunately after 2 years, the company went bankrupt due to corrupt management. In 1986, Maitland-Smith was erected in MEPZ and was giving good salary. Until now Maitland-Smith is still operating, but is no longer giving a good salary. In 1987, I learned wood carving and started working at Santos Lumber under a subcontractor. I earned 600 to 700 pesos a week at a very young age, my rate was not fixed because I worked in a piecework basis, the regular daily wage in that time was only 30 pesos. From 1987 onward, furniture export companies in Cebu were dramatically increasing, the number of carpenters and carvers were also increasing. In 1995, I worked as a carving subcontractor at Wicker and Vine, but the income was no longer good. In that time, Furniture companies started to suffocate the labor cost, because they sensed that there were ample of carpenters and carvers available in the area, so they had luxury in looking for workers who were readily agreeable to their preset cheap labor. Though they were already enjoying lucrative profit, they unmercifully kept pressing down the labor cost _thus making the furniture workers suffered extremely. In 2000, I also worked as a carving subcontractor at Berben Wood Industries, but still the labor cost was insufficient. Battered with low labor cost, furniture makers in Cebu were forced to work abroad in different countries. China lured our skilled workers with good compensation and they bit it. They (other countries) had learned from the know-how imparted by Filipino skilled workers, and they became our strong competitors. China for example, after learning the skill and processing technique from us, begun producing furniture in mass volume for export. China stole our customers by offering very low-priced furniture products. For me, this is the main cause why Cebu’s furniture export industry declined. Some furniture businessmen ascribed the decline to the US recession, but even prior to the US recession, American customers already begun importing furniture products from China. It is the failure of our businessmen and government to acknowledge the value of their skilled workers. If only they were able to nurture our skilled workers and protect our know-how from not being disseminated or copied, we might be in the hectic schedule today catering our heavy orders from abroad. Government and businessmen should not neglect the living condition of our workers so that they will not leave and teach other countries with their skills. The manpower is our asset and the pillar of business organization. Without them an economy will collapse.