OpinionsEcon 101Of the living and the dead

Of the living and the dead


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Does the living have duties to the dead? Or, are we to believe that the cessation of life results in the cessation of all connections to the living?

Filipinos, of whatever faith cannot seem to let go of their beloved dead.

Personally, I know of a wife who still sets a plate on the dinner table for her husband, who died more than thirty (30) years ago. This is just one of the stories you hear about how Filipinos celebrate death, as much as they celebrate living.

While death occurs regularly in a community, the rhythm of life admits another human being born, every minute. The increase in our population, year after year, show that more Filipinos are born exponentially, every year.

With every birth is an increase in the wants, needs, and other requirements for a better quality of life for a new generation.

In 1960, our population was estimated to be around 27 million people. By 1981, the figure ballooned to approximately 50 million, with one million more people every year, and today our population is estimated at ninety (90) million, more or less.

Take note, there is an increase in the number of people, there is no increase in land area, economic growth or gross national Income, exponentially in the same pace as the increase in the population.

Reality dictates that with the increase in medicine, more and more diseases are treatable, increasing the lifespan of the population. In fact the new middle age is 60. We have to make plans today in order to successfully meet the challenges of more wants –food, clothing, shelter, houses, education, jobs, etc. in the future.

The size of the population does not guarantee, an increase in income. Engel’s Law stated that: “As income increases, the percentage of income spent on food decreases with the percentage spent on non-food items increases.”

The applicability of Engel’s law depends on the income bracket. For Engel’s law to hold true, the family had not have enough income to meet food requirements, with the rest of the income spent on other non-food items.

Unfortunately, most Filipinos earn than the projected threshold income of P15,000.00 a month, clearly most Filipinos are of the low income bracket.

This is the reason why Filipinos should ponder on their views about population increase and its implications- if majority are existing on a “hand to mouth existence”, and more and more people are in that category, then, the existence of true DEMOCRACY is at its precarious situation. There is no real freedom, if the stomach is empty. There is no real democracy, if money can buy votes, as there is no real freedom of choice. Vote buying was rampant during the barangay elections.

Such is the reality of the living, and some people say that the dead are lucky, as they are now at rest.

The living pray for the eternal repose of the souls of the faithful departed, just as they pray for more blessings with grateful hearts.


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