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EDITORIAL: How to Cultivate Culture of Indolence Among Filipinos

At the outset, we want to put forward our position that we are not against government policies on dole-out programs for the poor and indigent population especially if it is due to crisis, emergency, and implemented through one and only one specialized agency.

However, we are apprehensive about when almost every other government office is doing it resulting in inefficient targeting, duplicated delivery, and cultivating a culture of indolence among the people. The work of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal against the growing indolence of the Filipinos because of lack of education under the Spanish colonial regime is now becoming relevant – but not because of education, but because of institutionalized policies on Ayuda or dole outs.

It is easily observable that the projects of almost all executive branches of government, with the help of the legislative branch, are all driven by politics. We have the 4Ps, TUPAD, and other cash, and non-cash dole out initiatives of LGUs clearly implemented in aid of elections.

The latest news is the proposed 40-million-dollar project named FOOD STAMP PROJECT to benefit one million beneficiaries. The objective is to abolish hunger among the poor population. The justification is that we are the only developing country without such a program and that it has been successful in other countries, particularly in Latin America.

There are some experts who has been involved in the food stamp project in Latin America, especially in Jamaica. Reports has been submitted that there were serious problems. The project was fund-driven. There was a donor and so the government proposed the food stamp strategy to feed the poor and had no job. Because the project was in response of a social problem, they forget an exit strategy, both for the project, and for the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries became badly branded as social parasites, lazy, indolent, and forever burdens to society. They were feeling recluses, an internal pariah, and an annoying group of poor people. They remained uneducated and unskilled, used to living through the food aid system, now even waiting and demanding for continued support. When they were invited for a simple meeting they would not attend because of the social stigma, which they do not want to be associated with.

The Philippine version of food stamp project, although improved through a digital card system, must be studied thoroughly. The presence of funding support, specially through loans, and because other countries have it, is not enough reason for its adoption. We have enough social amelioration programs, and adding more is no longer productive, it will just increase the indolence of the Filipinos.

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