Tuesday, June 12, 2012


“The Corona impeachment is over. But abject poverty is still a sad reality to millions of our countrymen. Let’s all help our fellow countrymen NOW.”

This quote came as a comment from EQ, someone who had obviously monitored my articles on the Corona impeachment trial.

I responded by saying that in fact, I plan to devote a whole article on it and by way of introduction, I wrote:

Poverty alleviation requires Commitment. But the amount of Commitment is always commensurate to the amount of Responsibility that one has. Likewise, the degree of Responsibility is commensurate to the degree of Power that one possesses. Correspondingly, the amount of Power is commensurate to the amount of Resources available to enforce that Power to meet that Responsibility in order to fulfill that Commitment. Rightly appealing NOW denotes and connotes urgency and necessity because, as we write and speak, many of our countrymen could be losing their lives due to sickness, hunger, poverty.”

GOD the Almighty is All-Powerful. He is the Creator of all beings and all the resources on Earth and the whole Universe. So with all the resources available to satisfy the needs of every human being and with strong preference for the poor, He should be made responsible in fulfilling the commitment and obligation to uplift the economic conditions of the poor.

In fact, to Christians, GOD sent his only son Jesus Christ to save all of mankind. Endowed with awesome powers He could feed big crowds and serve them unlimited bottles or jars of wine in an instant.

It would have been easy just for GOD to create everybody equally: no rich, no poor. Furthermore, no fortuitous events, no natural calamities – earthquakes, floods, typhoons, tsunamis, fires, famine, disease, hunger.

Yes, but as EQ said, “abject poverty is still a sad reality to millions of our countrymen.”

Why? Didn’t somebody say GOD only helps those who help themselves?

Poverty is an economic but a finite, material and human problem – not a spiritual one. Finite beings and human institutions should assume the responsibility of solving it.


The highest institution that requires a greater commitment because of its powers and resources is the government.

The Philippine government estimates that 26% of the 95 million Filipinos are poor.  That means 24.7 million of our countrymen are not earning enough to provide food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and most especially education for their family and children. You can just imagine their Net Worth in a SALN declaration!

The PNoy Administration claims that in order to reach 4.8 million families composing the poorest 20% of the population, it allocated P34.4-B ($800-M) in its Budget for its Cash Transfer Program.

Expressing Aquino’s views, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said: “Education is the great equalizer for the poor.” According to him, the scheme will also help ensure that healthier and better-educated children will improve the work force in the future,

“Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” If there is no corruption, there is no poverty. I have always appreciated the logic and the rationale behind this slogan during the presidential campaign of PNoy, which I fully supported.

Numbers tell better stories. In a study, which I wrote about in an earlier article, about P300-B is lost to corruption in the government budget yearly. Indeed, if there is no corruption, and if the entire savings are used to finance poverty alleviation programs, “healthier and better-educated children who will improve the work force in the future” is assured. The savings amount to 8.7 times the allocation to service the poorest 20%. The government can increase the beneficiaries; increase the services; or better, both. Compute and sustain it over a period, poverty could be a thing of the past, sooner than we think.


Profit or stock corporations use Money, Manpower, and Machinery to capture a targeted Market. The main objective is to make a profit for its investors/stockholders. But providing employment for the needed manpower services would provide income to support the families of the employed. That helps reduce poverty. Allocating part of the profits to finance social programs, as part of corporate social responsibility should be of help too.

My last job in the Philippines was as Director for Personnel of GUEVENT, a conglomerate that included Volkswagen, Toshiba, Avis, Radio Wealth, Magna Services and a dozen other companies, employing over 7000 people. I was also concurrently the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Magna Services Corporation, which was one of the most profitable among the group. I remember instituting an employee profit-sharing plan. I felt very sad leaving the job because I had to escape with my family from the Marcos dictatorship.

By assuming dictatorial powers, Marcos also assumed virtual control of all resources and therefore, the full commitment and responsibility to alleviate the conditions of the poor. He had more than a decade to do it. He failed miserably!

Why? CORRUPTION! That’s why PNoy’s slogan continues to resonate!


Part II will feature The Church, Gawad Kalinga, and other organizations


  1. We can feel your patriotic fervor despite the fact that you are thousands of miles away from our

    The only sad thing is the fact that your nationality is now "American" in FB.

    Come back home,Ben.The country needs you!

  2. The word "American" in FB means American University where I finished my Master of Laws. FB just used it because I mentioned it as one of my networks re American U alumni which by the way are mostly international lawyers. This is another one of those "ambiguities" in life which could be subject to misinterpretation. I finished my M.A. (HRD) in George Washington U, but if I change it to that, I am afraid that somebody would ask, "why not Emilio Aguinaldo or Quezon or Aquino?", thinking that I am describing my favorite President. I understand where you are coming from though.

    For your other point, a previous column touched on it a little: http://benmaynigo.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html