The Philippines is a country with some of the greatest inequality. There are 16 million Filipinos who suffer serious poverty out of a population of 107 million. Six million live in extreme poverty.
Children are the worst affected. Their alleged survival strategies – petty theft and drug use, are not crimes but an unconscious response to live. They endure injustice, greed and selfishness of a society that condemns them as criminals and does little to change their dire situation. They are the first line victims of a Philippine economy dominated by a tiny rich elite where an estimated some .00001 percent own as much as 70 percent of the national wealth.
The wealthy politicians are mostly members of the economic elite, the ruling dynasties that buy their way to government positions of power to protect the wealth of the .00001 percent of the Philippine super rich. They pass laws to benefit themselves and their rich supporters with lower taxes and low level of regulation so their corporations and multinational partners can more or less do what they want to save money like disregarding environmental protection laws.
The inequality grows greater with the globalization of the world economy. Corporations are moving production to poorer countries that allow the lowest wages and overhead costs. They frequently have sweetheart deals with politicians and pay bribes to get ahead with illegal transactions. The rule of the rich through dynastic families keeps the poor very poor, uneducated, jobless, and ready to sell their votes for a trifle and reelect their oppressor.
It allows the global corporations to exploit natural resources and earn vast profits and this concentrates the wealth throughout the world in the hands, pockets, and bank accounts of very few people. They are known as the one percent of a world rich population. So while a few are very rich, many hundreds of millions of people are very poor, hungry, unemployed or earning starvation wages.
The most equal countries in the world starts with Iceland, a small country with a vocal and vibrant democracy that tolerates no corruption. It is followed by the Scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia and then Austria and Sweden.
The Philippines is among the most corrupt, according to Transparency International and among the greatest unequal countries of all where thousands of children marked as criminals are jailed.