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The Philippine Working Class: The Backbone of the Economy

Jeshea is a graduate of AB English and is a freelance writer.

The social structure is often depicted as a triangle, where the poor are at the bottom and the rich are at the top, clearly evident throughout history when society was first established. The 1% who make up the top get richer while the bottom gets poorer.

Although in the triangular shape, the bottom is the base, in the society, the working class is the foundation.

An economy, especially one not entirely using its natural resources, is largely dependent on its population’s working class and their taxes. The Philippines is geographically rich with natural resources, but it is an agricultural country that imports rice- the reality of it hitting the farmers most who are deprived of their lands. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) grow yearly, hailed as modern heroes for contributing to the Philippine economy through their remittances, albeit a testament to the unsatisfactory employment opportunities in the country.

It is true that success depends on individual effort, but what is often overlooked is that effort alone is not enough: opportunities, connections, social standing, and even luck are all factors. Government plans must center on creating employment opportunities in the country, attracting investors, maximizing on available Filipino talents. This, in turn, allows the Filipino people to uplift their status of living and at the same time contribute to the economy.

The true backbone of this society is the working class who earn enough to survive but not to improve. The people who are employed, taxed by the government, and forced to live on salaries that do not increase as its buying powers lessen. The workers who tend to our lands and fish on our seas, those who earn through sweat by labor or services.

The chance of a college graduate to find a job aligned in their field lessens every year, as the wage standard still remains at minimum. The future of the Philippines and its people is highly affected by the economic state, and until we are bound in debt we will remain as it is, perhaps worst. We need ample platforms to improve the quality of education and healthcare. Investing in education guarantees financial improvement and future stability, while investing in healthcare ensures the good well-being of the population.

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Securing the working class means as more money is earned, then more money is spent. Growing consumers with the ability to purchase encourages demand, giving way to businesses thriving, whether in produce or service. Developing worker rights, ensuring job security, and creating policies for worker benefits- these are just some generic plans that should come into play.

The Philippine working class must not be oppressed, they must be recognized and be given what they deserve. We must break the chains and allow our present and future generations to flourish- no more should Filipino effort be put to waste.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Jeshea Pineda

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