September 23, 2014
Across the Philippines, a recognizable need has developed for the provision of services geared towards the underserved youth population. While the obstacles that must be faced by this demographic can be seen as immeasurable, some of the most pressing issues facing today’s community are the number of families living in poverty and amount of students not completing their education. Each year the statistics become more disheartening, illustrating the dire need for programs that seek to break these cycles and begin reversing these disturbing trends.
Poverty remains a critical social issue in the Philippines that needs to be addressed immediately. The National Statistics Coordination Board released a report in 2013 discussing the poverty rates in the Philippines. The results of the survey showed that 27.9% of Filipinos were living below the poverty line. These results are devastating to the Philippine government because the reports show that despite the officials targeted efforts, poverty levels have remained relatively unchanged from their 2009 levels. According to the World Bank, the number of families living in extreme poverty has dropped in every other developing country in the world, leaving the public to question why the Philippines has not seen the same decline.
In order for a Filipino family of five to no longer be classified as “extremely poor” in 2006, they would have had to earn P1,681 ($39.09) a month. In 2009, the monthly income required had increased to P2,042 ($47.49). The 2012 statistics showed those income requirements more than doubled since 2009. The most recent NSCB report shows that families must earn P5,458 ($126.93) a month to put food on the table every day. If they want to meet non-food needs, such as clothing, they would have to earn P7,821 ($181.89).
With so many families struggling to afford food, clothing, and adequate housing, completing a quality education is a challenge for many Filipino families. Similar to the United States, the Philippines has created an extensive and highly inclusive system of education. The United States continues to influence the modern Philippines’ education program, as many of the country’s teachers and professors have earned their advanced degrees from United States based universities. However, for the struggling Filipino families, the additional expenses incurred in the schooling programs are insurmountable resulting in their children not being able to attend school at all.
Although the Philippine system of education once served as a model for other Southeast Asian countries, in recent years that system has deteriorated at an alarming rate. This is especially true in the more remote and poverty-stricken regions of the country. While Manila, the capital and largest city in the Philippines, reports a primary school completion rate of almost 100 percent, other areas of the country are nowhere near that level. The cities of Mindanao and Eastern Visayas have a primary school completion rate of only 30 percent. Not surprisingly, students who hail from Philippine urban areas tend to score much higher in subjects such as mathematics and science than students in the more rural areas of the country. With a vast majority of the country unsuccessful in their academic pursuits, the cycle of poverty and dependence on others will only continue. 
Kingdom Message Ministry School, Inc. has been addressing the above needs via the provision of high-quality services to students living on the Mindanao Island. We seek to reverse the negative trends by offering cost-effective, life enhancing opportunities to those in need. Thank you for partnering with us to make a difference in the lives of those whom we serve.
 Clark, Nick. “Education in the Philippines” wes.org