A way out of poverty

October 17,2018 - 11:46 PM

Not a few tears were shed, nor were there fewer groans of despair heard when it was announced that there were two winners of the P1.180 billion ultra lotto grand prize, the biggest last Sunday evening.

The confirmation ended months of long lines of bettors whose numbers grew just as the prize grew bigger with no one getting the right number combinations since February this year.

Coincidentally enough the announcement came two to three days after the Social Weather Station (SWS) released its latest survey that showed that about 13.3 percent or 3.1 million Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger in the past three months.

This was the highest percentage since last December, when the SWS survey showed that 15.9 percent admitted to experiencing involuntary hunger or the inability to find food in December last year.

Combine that with higher taxes and worsening inflation caused in no small part by fluctuating global oil prices and aggravated by the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and one gets the reason why a lot of people went to the lotto outlets to buy that lone winning ticket out of their economic misery.

Thus, it was understandable that there were no shortage of collective groans that greeted last Sunday’s announcement as well as interest over the identity of the lucky bettors.

That said, while it is a person’s legal right to make bets in hopes of winning that elusive multi-million peso prize — the likelihood of winning being 40 million to one — a person shouldn’t be led to pin his or her hopes for getting out of poverty or improving his or her lot in life by buying lotto tickets left and right.

Speaking of taxes, state auditors have questioned why the government failed to fully implement the conditional cash transfers for the country’s poorest of the poor despite a multi-billion budget for this purpose.

Again, this is not to say one should be dependent on either doleouts or lotto tickets to survive in this country. Doing so encourages a mendicancy mindset that will render Filipinos as liabilities and government as a welfare state that will push its resources to the limit to support its constituents.

There are ways to sustain oneself which this present administration had failed to create the environment to make it possible for its citizens owing to its dangerous obsession over its war on illegal drugs. If it cannot even handle a rice crisis, how can it be expected to deliver on its promise to provide comfort for Filipinos?

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TAGS: hunger, lotto winner, SWS Survey, Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, train

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