Manila : Philippines | Dec 18, 2009 at 6:44 PM PST
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There are 94 social issues mentioned at When I read about all of them, I realized that all those issues are familiar – those are the same issues covered by the Philippine press in various media – TV, newspapers, radio, etc. It’s hard to deny that life in the Philippines, indeed, is not hassle-free. Everywhere you look, problems abound.

Now, the question most people ask is, who should start the change? The government or the people?

I actually don’t see any reason to ask who should act first because if we are to give solutions to social problems, then we should all act now.

Let me recommend top ten solutions to these problems.

1. Acknowledge that there is a huge problem that has to be solved. Don’t say “there is no problem” when you know something is wrong somewhere. The massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao calls for serious action. We ought to do something about it.

2. Work things out on a local level. Each province, each municipality, each barangay has its own sets of problems and the totality of all these problems are dubbed as “SOCIAL ISSUES IN THE PHILIPPINES.” Why not work things out on the local level? If there is, for example, prostitution in your area, why not start an advocacy campaign that will drive men away from prostitutes? Yeah, I don’t advise that you stop the prostitutes from being what they are because they seem to enjoy “easy money.” If you’re a man, educate yourself about the consequences of availing yourself of prostitute’s service. Remember that if there is no demand, there will be no supply. Get it?

3. Stop being “maawain.” Most Filipinos have this trait. “Nakakaawa naman,” this is what I always hear people say about street children. How can you help get rid of the 1.5 million street children in the country if you always spare few bucks for them? Try ignoring them or reporting them to DSWD.

4. Demand for receipts from professionals who deliberately don’t issue them. This may sound cliché but this is the way to help in increasing tax collection in the country. Asking for a receipt will not just give you a record of your expenses, it’s also a way of teaching the non-salaried professionals (doctors and lawyers) to be honest! Besides, if you’re a salaried individual, it’s unfair that you pay your bills and they don’t pay correct taxes. See the point?

5. If you can, don’t work for a company that cannot pay the minimum wage. I heard that sales ladies in some shops get P100.00 a day. That’s not a job. That’s slavery. Why would you let a company grow while you starve? Go find another job—the one owned by a company that complies to the Minimum Wage Law.

6. Don’t wait for the president of this country to deliver goods right to your doorstep. Why would you put all the blame to the president when your stomach growls? Have you examined your lifestyle? If you still drink, gamble, sleep, or enjoy videoke all day even if you’re just a minimum wage earner and with five kids to feed, then, look at the mirror and point to yourself. You are to be blamed. Go out and find a decent job! If full-time jobs aren’t enough, then get part-time jobs instead of being “tambay” the rest of the day. By the way, I’m not exaggerating here. I’ve been in a place (in Malabon, to be particular) where men would do nothing but play cards, drink Red Horse beer, bet on jueteng, or enjoy videoke showing women in skimpy clothes.

7. Report irregularities. Don’t be afraid to let authorities know what’s happening. You don’t have to bring issues to Imbestigador and have it aired on national TV. It the issue concerns your barangay, then give your barangay chairman something to solve. If it’s the school that gives you headache, then see the principal or dean.

8. Do community service – even once a year. It can be as simple as giving free blood pressure test in your barangay. I know a BS Nursing student from AUF who does that. She’s young and yet she serves in her own way without expecting a return. If you’re a doctor, why don’t you allot two or three hours of free consultation? If you’re a teacher, maybe a two-hour teaching session in the barangay daycare center won’t be too much to do. Can you do that?

9. Vote wisely or never register at all. The people you’re voting for will definitely and indirectly help shape your kids’ future so you know what to do. Don’t surrender your integrity for P200 or even P1, 500.00. You’ll be a loser in the end.

10. Don’t contribute to the problem. Picture this: Our country is the 4th most corrupt in Asia; there are 4 million children working the country; there are 10.8 million who are unemployed or underemployed; 26 % of college graduates are unemployed. There is an endless list of social problems and issues. Wouldn’t it be nice if you won’t do anything that would make you a contributor to the problems? Don’t tolerate corruption. Don’t let your own children work. Strive to get quality education so you’ll not end up unemployed or underemployed after graduation.

There is no one-way and overnight solution to all the problems in our country. But I hope that it won’t take a lifetime to solve all these. The future is all in your hands.


virniel is based in Angeles, Central Luzon, Philippines, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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