Why is the Philippines poor?By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines ranks 67th among the 142 countries in the world with the happiest citizenry.
Norway is No. 1 and the United States ranks 12th.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore ranks 19th; Taiwan, 20th; Vietnam, 53rd, Thailand, 56th; Indonesia, 63rd.
How ironic that Vietnam, which suffered decades of civil war and whose economy is practically just starting to grow, beat the Philippines by 14 points.
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The criteria for the citizenry’s happiness index are economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety and security.
You will notice that the happiness index of a citizenry is based on the country’s wealth and its people’s well-being.
If Norway is the happiest, the Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country of five million people, is the saddest. Only two percent of the population have Internet access in that part of the world.
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Most foreigners who visit the country notice a ready smile among Filipinos. But behind that smiling face is a very negative interior.
The negative disposition of the Filipino shows in the words that come out of his mouth.
Such statements like “mahirap ang buhay (life is hard),” “mahal ng Diyos ang mahihirap (God loves the poor),” “nakakatamad ang araw na ito (this is a lazy day)” are self-fulfilling prophecies.
What’s so noble about poverty that the Almighty favors it?
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The poor Filipinos who have a negative disposition remain mired in poverty because their minds dictate their situation.
Rich people the world over become richer because their focus is on acquiring more wealth.
Whatever the mind conceives, the body achieves, according to “The Secret,” a book on self-development by Rhonda Byrne.
If only Filipinos change their negative attitude, our country will become progressive in no time.
Instead of saying, “Mahirap ang bansa natin (Our country is poor),” why don’t we say, “Mayaman ang ating bansa (We are a rich country).”
Our country is rich in natural resources. Our seas abound with fish and seafood.
There’s plenty of gold and other expensive minerals waiting to be dug up.
It’s a matter of shifting our consciousness from poverty to that of wealth.
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Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is making the country not only self-sufficient in rice, but also in vegetables.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched an aggressive campaign to convince farmers to grow vegetables on a massive scale.
Alcala has targeted Palawan, as a vegetable-growing area. The province, despite its vast land area, imports its vegetables from Iloilo.
I have volunteered my farm in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City, as a DA demonstration vegetable farm, my way of contributing to the country’s food self-sufficiency program.
I believe in Alcala’s sincerity in trying to eliminate hunger among Filipinos.
President Noy couldn’t have chosen a better man at the helm of the agriculture department.
More from this Column:
- HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
- The President’s heavy cross
- Thoughts on Holy Week
- Why college grads end up in the PNP
- The resilience of Boholanos