Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ranting Ranting Ranting

We all know how hard it is to live these days with the current oil price hike, commodity price hike, PUV fare increase and the upcoming enrollment for those who have kids.

Me and my friends are sponsoring college students (scholars) in my school, my friends are living in Singapore so they send me money for the scholars. It's our second year to sponsor the same students who are now graduating.

One scholar is a male, balut vendor by night who manages to stay in school and get high grades which could make him qualify for a cum laude when he graduate.

The other one, a female, has a sibling who is also graduating, meaning her mother cannot support her two children to school. This student worked as a cashier in SM Supermarket and worked as a contractual which ended this April.

Now why am I ranting?

Last Christmas, one of my friends gave them 1 thousand each as a Christmas gift for them. That is a lot of money to give especially to them, I was really hoping that they will save this money in case there is a delay in our funding. They were also earning from their extra work so they have a lot of EXTRA money at Christmas.

Now it is enrollment time once again and I have to enroll them, there is a delay because I was hospitalized and can't contact the benefactors but now that we have the fund I am ready to enroll them.

I informed them that they should borrow money and I will just reimburse the money to them. Now they are texting me that they are not enrolled yet. Last year, first sem, I reimbursed the money for their tuition, meaning they were already enrolled (where did they get the money and what did they do with the money I paid them?)

We only pay for the tuition fee not the miscellaneous fee, I asked one of them, how much is your tuition fee? She said, 3,800 and the misc fee is 1,075. She said she has no money to pay for the miscellaneous fee. I said we only pay the tuition fee.

I asked her, "wala ka bang naipon sa sweldo mo?" she said "wala po".

Grrr. Grrr. Why am I angry? When she was not working, they were able to live and survive even without our support. NOw that she earned some money, where did all the money go? I visited this student's house, they live with their grandmother, uncles etc. They do not rent, their grandmother owned the house. Their house is bigger than our house. They can manage their lives with the little money that they have. Her mother works part time is a sewing shop, her wage is not stable. She sells Avon products as a sideline.

This student was earning around four thousand a month as a cashier for five months that would be 20 thousand minus the travel expenses she would have 15 thousand savings or maybe even 5 thousand savings. But she did not save a single centavo.

Waaaaaa! I want to help people who help themselves. Are we helping parasites? How many people in the Philippines think like this? How many families that we see on television, who are recipient of help from different TV stations are actually managing their finances? How many families are thinking of their future or who actually saves???

If you give money to these people, they will not save it, they will indulge themselves temporarily and then go back to their old lives.

Do you actually believe that if you give a sari-sari store business to a poor family they can make it grow? No, of course not, they will get their food from the store, tapos yung mga kapitbahay nila, uutangan lang sila. They do not have a capital, why are they not making follow ups on what happen to those recipients?

How about the winners of the contest? If you have 50 thousand pesos what will you do?
Baka ilibre mo pa ang mga kapitbahay mo hanggang maubos.

I sound so bad and cynical. Ibinigay ko na nga ang pera sa kanila, di ba dapat wala na akong paki-alam dun? I do not want it to go to waste. I want to help them but they are not helping themselves.

Imagine, one of the sponsor for scholars in our school is Victoria Caruncho, the owner of Victoria Court, did you know that if you have a foundation, you have a lot of tax shield or tax exemptions? That is why some companies has a foundation so part of the tax of the company will go to the foundation. That is also why Arroyo also has a foundation, they can put money there and pretend they have a beneficiaries.
GMA and Channel 2 also has foundations.

I spoke with the scholarship head in our office and according to her, in her four years of being the head, not even ONE scholar went back to appreciate or sponsor another student. Each year we have at least a thousand scholars, Dodot Jaworski has at least 500 scholars when he was the Congressman. Half of our schools population are scholars. There were at least 4 thousand scholars who graduate and not even one of them give something back.

Maybe they got married, cannot find a job, a bum or do not have spare money.

My friends from Singapore are exceptions, they want to help because they too experienced being poor, going to school with an empty stomach, problems of getting money for their tuition, walking to school because they have no money, wearing and washing the same clothes, wearing worn out shoes. But they were able to graduate and help others when they can.

Our family also has financial problems when we were studying. I never experienced wearing new shoes, even uniforms, my white blouse are almost see through so I have to wear sando inside. My mother bought me a new shoes when I graduated from college but the heels were high I do not like to wear them. When I got a job, I really tried to save, I was able to buy a computer, a stereo and even paid for our house renovation. I do not have a boyfriend yet but I was already saving for my wedding dress.

I can sacrifice so I can get something better in the future.

But how can we really help these people? Giving them money will definitely NOT help them, is it their attitude and values that needs an overhaul?

Gloria Arroyo has a big, big problem.

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