No To Trickle Down Theories
What Typhoon Yolanda did to Eastern Visayas was a wake-up call to all of us Filipinos. Since at least the end of the Second World War, successive generations of national leaders turned a blind eye to the extreme poverty of that hapless region that has suffered one of the highest rates of poverty incidence in the country. The percentage of its population living below the poverty line was more than double the national average. Even during periods of higher economic growth, the sustenance fisher folks, the small coconut farmers and the landless rural workers that comprised the vast majority of its population never participated in the economic progress the rest of the nation was enjoying. Before Yolanda, one could have easily forecasted that even if Philippine GDP were to increase at the rates of 7 to 9 per cent for the next ten or more years, there would have been no "trickle down" to Eastern Visayas. The poor in that region are too hungry, unschooled, unskilled, unhealthy and unhoused to even qualify to become overseas, construction, or tourism workers, or much less BPO employees, who are the ones most benefited by the engines of growth of the Philippine economy today. Rural infrastructures have been some of the worst in the whole country. The general neglect of countryside development that accounted for decades of failures in economic development in the country as a whole was most acute in Eastern Visayas.