Unemployment spikes around the globe following the economic crash of 2008. In poor countries without social security, this can mean starvation. Genelyn Mercado and Juna Avina seek employment in the Philippines.
Attempts to create a social safety net in the Philippines go back to the 1950s but are insufficient to keep today’s workers from going hungry. Rene Ofreneo explains why universal social security is a human right. Bienvenido Oplas expresses opposition.
Asia experiences a banking meltdown in the 1990s. San Isidro Mayor Sonia Lorenzo recalls the hopeless conditions and explains her decision to focus on improving healthcare. Philhealth and wider access to medical care helps residents better endure financial crisis.
The modern industrial estate on the edge of Manila attracts foreign manufacturers and lifts locals out of poverty. Thousands of young people line up for work every day. Mercado and Avina elaborate on their financial circumstances.
The Philippines spends 3.3% of the gross domestic product on social security; Ofreneo wants that to double. Social Security Secretary Esperanza Cabral suggests that figure may be overly ambitious; Oplas opposes a safety net.
Antonio Imbag receives a health checkup in San Isidro and learns he is on the mend. Mercado obtains a temporary contract with a textile firm. Avina no longer looks for a factory job in Cavite. Linda Wirth explains the concept of a minimum social floor.
Credits: The Philippines Fights Back
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Reverberations from the 2008 financial crisis are still being felt around the world. We travel to the Philippines to see if measures introduced after the Asian financial crash in the 1990s are helping during the current global recession. Asia, more than any other part of the world, is feeling the true implications of the downturn. We also hear from business leaders in the Philippines and government ministers about whether a social services system would help to alleviate poverty in the country.
Length: 23 minutes
Copyright date: ©2010
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