PH becoming ‘a nation of pygmies’
“Next generation of Pinoys will be shorter, says study” (Inquirer, 7/21/12) was the saddest news that came out in the weeks of outlandish, optimistic reports and predictions about the national economy. It tells us that because of failed policies, our country is becoming a nation of pygmies.
The report says, three in every 10 Filipino children (30 percent of all children) aged five and below are stunted or too short for their age, while two out of 10 children of the same age are underweight. This stunted condition will be carried over to their adulthood. As physical conditions affect mentality, it is logical to expect that the Filipino adults’ minds would also shrink.
The stunning data were disclosed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute. It conforms to the general feeling that poverty incidence in our country is way above 30 percent and not 27 percent as claimed by the government’s National Statistical Coordinating Board. This is consistent with the SWS survey finding that 51 percent of Filipino families consider themselves poor. It also explains why the Filipinos’ sports and academic performance have declined especially when compared to world standards.
So why have we come down to this pitiable state? Admittedly, this is not just the fault of one administration. It dates back to the decade when the Philippines was second only to Japan in economic growth. In the 1961 election, President Carlos Garcia lost to Diosdado Macapagal who was backed by the American Chamber of Commerce and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Macapagal then scrapped the economic controls and the Filipino First policy that had encouraged industrialization and diversification and resulted in a labor shortage and higher wages. Macapagal’s deregulation, liberalization and globalization of the Philippine economy, policies still in place today, killed jobs and enlarged our dependence on foreign goods.
“Poverty and Welfare in the Philippines,” a World Bank paper, stated, “[S]lightly more than half of the Filipino population lived below the poverty line in 1985, about the same proportion as in 1971… The economic turndown in the early 1980s and the economic and political crisis of 1983 had a devastating impact on living standards.” But that is not all. A lopsided distribution of wealth had pushed the great majority of Filipinos to more extreme poverty.
The blame for this national debacle should be attributed to the wrong economic policies adopted by successive administrations since Macapagal, policies dictated by the US state department and its global surrogates, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Policies are like medical prescriptions. If they are wrong they will only worsen the ailment, shrink the patient and eventually kill him. If we do not alter economic prescriptions, we are doomed to become a nation of pygmies.
—MANUEL F. ALMARIO,
Movement for Truth in History,
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.