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Creating change in society is a generic statement often thrown around in school

interviews and election season. I used to throw this statement around myself when entering
college and in my first year (although I wanted to focus on solving the traffic situation in
Metro Manila). The thing is, everybody talks about this yet people complain that the changes
that they know are needed are not happening in society. Is it that the problems in society are
too big to fix, or the people who say they would fix them dont actually end up doing it?
A major and urgent problem in society is poverty. A lot of people tend to blame this
problem on corrupt officials, lack of infrastructure in education, lack of discipline (babymaking), etc... However, there should be a point made that all of these problems feed into
each other, creating multiple cycles that overlap and take the problem to even worse levels.
One avenue towards alleviating the problems of poverty could be found in Financial
Literacy. The talk we had in class makes some important points about saving for retirement
early, looking into stocks/bonds, and breaking down finances into exact figures. However, it
also points out the problems on lack of financial competency in many households in the
Philippines. Although it makes a huge difference to our lives if we can properly assess and
strategize our finances, it still only affects less than 1% of the total population who have even
bigger problems than ours.
Change in society however is still possible through changing of the collective
mindset of the people. When people say every peso is important, they dont mean that that
peso can get you through college. But whats important is the mindset that money should not
be wasted, and this thinking multiplied through every day actions can mean the difference
between someone pulling his family out of poverty and someone heading deeper into it. And
it starts with knowledge. First there must be the knowledge mentioned in the talk explained
to people who can advocate it in their lives. Next would come initiatives to spread this
knowledge to greater masses (something MEcO and NSTP already do but with a limited
scope). With some mindsets already changing, its important that the message is bombarded
to them every day or on a larger scale, and this is where a famous face/advocate could
make a difference. Warren Buffet is a great global figure about being frugal and smart about
finances. What we need is a young Filipino financial advocate, and not just a Chinese
business tycoon, that can tell his story and help others emulate his success. This is what I
hope to do in the future (though maybe after I solve traffic ).
Its easy to think that no one in the government is working towards change, or all the
lofty goals set are just empty promises. However, Armando Tetangco Jr isnt a globally multiawarded governor of the BSP out of luck. The eight Millennium Development Goals of the
UN didnt meet their expectation of halving global poverty, but just exceeded that in only 10
years. Although the Philippines may look like a sinking boat that needs to be abandoned,
whats important is that there is still a collective hope with people that can actually have
change happen in society. Regardless if conditions are getting worse or problems are deeply
rooted in society, I personally would commit to hoping, and staying in the Philippines to help
a nation properly and positively think about what it should need, and what it should deserve.