Last week, I was in the Philippines to be with my fiancee. I had the time of my life as every moment was dedicated in spending it with her.
However, it was not lost with my eyes, the poverty which still permeates among the mass of hard working citizens. I could not believe the sharp contrast between the middle and upper classes and those who were just at, or below the poverty line. Men, women, and children with ragged clothes cross the street filled with luxurious vehicles. A few times, I was asked by children who were asking for spare change. I did my best to give more, not with just the amount of money I shared, but advice that they should study hard to have a brighter future. To my disappointment, almost all children replied that they are not in school because they could not afford it. It made me wonder because I assumed that public education was free (as they are here in Canada until the last year of high school). I was later corrected that this was not the case (there is a nominal fee, but a fee nonetheless).
If there's anything that would help the country's poorest to escape their dire social situation, education is the key. One way or another, I hope that the government and the private sector can find ways to invest in the country's growth via a more affordable educational system. The return would be a stronger workforce in the future which is both good at a personal level for those who'll have a better earning potential and as a whole, better for the Philippine economy. ~ Marck Salamatin