The Philippines ranked No. 1 in Southeast Asia as the country with the most number of drug users based on the 2008 World Drug report released by the United Nations Office on drugs and crimes. (Philippines Today, 2011) As such, the researchers used Gross Domestic Product per capita as the measure for the standard of living, since if offers a global perspective on the question of how well people are living.
Three indicators were used; AIDS epidemic, crimes and drug users, to determine how these factors or selected social issues greatly affect the standard of living in the Philippines. Background of the Study There are different alternatives measures that serve as yardstick for standard of living. One of these is the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) that includes crime and family breakdown, household and volunteer work, income distribution and pollution as determinants of the living standard of the nation.
Another popular measure of standard of living is the Index of Social Health that includes sixteen indicators for standard of living such as affordable housing, alcohol- related traffic facilities, child poverty, high school completion, infant mortality, teenage births, unemployment, wages, age 65 plus poverty, child abuse, health care coverage, inequality in family income, life expectancy teenage drug use, violent crime and youth suicide (Walton, et al. , 1998).
Social issues are matters that can be explained by factors outside an individual’s control and immediate social environment which can affect many individuals in a society. Many social issues exist in the Philippines. These include three that the researchers selected and used as the indicators affecting the standard of living in the Philippines; AIDS epidemic, crimes and drug users. The researchers tend to find fine evidences to determine how these factors or selected social issues greatly affect the standard of living in the Philippines.
As the researcher’s outlook on this study about the existing social issues, they strongly agreed that these factors can greatly affect the standard of living in the Philippines. Standard of living, as define, is the level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone or some group. The researchers, as economics students, used deeply concern about the economic growth and the standard of living in the country. And because of that, they chose to study about the standard of living of the country because each and every Filipino is a contributor of developing the living standard of the country.
The three indicators used by the researchers, as selected among existing social issues, were crimes measured by the total number of crimes; HIV/AIDS epidemic measured by the total number of victims of HIV/AIDS; and drug users measured by the total number of drug users, all in the Philippines, as recorded. It is because these issues are on top on the lists and affect the lives of people living inside the country. Statement of the Problem This study aims to analyze the Effect between Standard of Living and Selected Social Issues cover the period of 1989-2009.
Specifically, this study sought to answer to the following: 1. How may the trend of Gross Domestic Product per Capita in the Philippines be described? 2. What is the status of the following social issues: 2. 1. Drug users; 2. 2. Aids epidemic and, 2. 3. Crimes? 3. What is the effect of the selected social issues on standard of living? 4. What is the effect of Standard of Living on the aforementioned social issues? 5. What activity may be conducted to promote understanding on the effects between Standard of Living and selected social issues?
Theoretical Framework The Standard of living is defined as terms of social indicators such as literacy rate, life expectancy at birth, unemployment, poverty, and so on. Yet there is generally accepted measure for standard of living and this is real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which tells us how big each person’s share of GDP would be if we were to divide the total into equal portions (Hyman, 1994). By measuring the amount of goods and services produced in an economy in a year, we can get some idea about the standard of living in that economy.
When the value of these goods increases over time, there is economic growth. GDP is used as a measure of nation’s income or production. The size of the total population can be used to deflate it to per capita terms. An improvement in the living standard of the population is a natural consequence of economic growth over a period of time. Thus, by looking at GDP growth rates, we get some idea about living standards and how they change over time (Dowling and Valenzuela, 2004). Probably no two people would describe the term “standard of living” in exactly the same way.
But basically, it refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people, and the way these goods and services are distributed within a population. There are many different factors that can indicate a “higher” or “lower” standard of living, such as cost of living, population density, gross national product, availability of natural resources and basic individual freedoms. Our own personal values and lifestyles will influence whatever factors we think are most important in describing a country’s overall quality of life.
It can also be measured by standards such as income inequality, poverty rate, real (i. e. inflation adjusted) income per person. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, educational standards and social rights are often used as well. (Evangelio, Glenda C. et. al. , 2008). Health is basic to overcoming independent, productive and fully responsible for one’s own development. Health, sanitary conditions and accordingly, life expectancy are fundamental indicators of basic needs satisfaction.
Health, together with education, housing and food, is a determining factor in the social position of low- income populations (Ventura, 1997). A social problem is a substantial discrepancy between widely shared social standards and actual conditions of life (Merton, 1971). It exists when there is a sizable difference between the ideals of a society and its actual achievements (Coleman and Cressey, 1981). Societies seem to be forever undergoing social transformations, and in the process, externalities, other than simple environmental pollution, have a way of development.
Social problems, as everyone knows, do not only aggravate the gigantic problems of daily survival for individuals; worse, they dissipate precious energies that could be put to better use for developmental purposes. An awareness of current issues affecting people’s lives is therefore a necessity not only to the adult society but also to the youngsters imbibing the learning process whether in school or outside the school. Education, after all, is never complete if students are left isolated from the problem (Jarapa et al, 1997).
Drug users fall into three main groups- the situational users, spree users and hard core addicts. The situational user is an individual who uses amphetamine to keep himself awake. The spree user is an individual who takes drugs for “kicks” or experience. The spree user defies convention. He uses drugs for fun. The hard-core addict is an individual, who after being a spree user, develops a very strong psychological dependence, often reinforced by a strong physical dependence on drugs (Perez, et al, 1997).
Today, we face a worldwide epidemic of a disease that has no medical solution. One that takes an unprecedented social and economic toll on individuals, families, communities, and even whole countries; a disease that thrives not only in the body, but also on human ignorance, fear, and resistance to change. The disease is known as AIDS (Segarra et al, 1997). Crime is a basic human conduct which is considered as the strongest socio- political authority in a given area to be deserving punishment because it is regarded as harmful to society or a segment of it or for some other reason.
The type of conduct which is punishable as a crime shows some variation according to time and place (Jarapa et al, 1997). Conceptual Framework The conceptual paradigm of the study explains the relationship of the dependent variable to the independent variables and the independent variables to the dependent variable. The study is composed of two parts. The first one is the selected social issues’ effect to the standard of living and the other one is the standard of living’s effect on the selected social issues. STANDARD OF LIVING Gross Domestic Product per Capita) SOCIAL ISSUES Crime, AIDS Epidemic, Drug users Dependent/IndependentIndependent/Dependent Figure 1. 1 The research paper is composed of two variables namely the dependent variable and the independent variables. The dependent/independent variable is the Standard of Living in terms of Gross Domestic Product per Capita which represents the level of the development in the society, herein the study it is used to explain the relationship of Standard of Living on the selected social issues.
The independent/dependent variable/s are the selected social issues namely the aids epidemic, crime, and drug user. These are used as variables to analyze the relationship of the selected social issues to the Standard of living in the Philippines. Drug user is the total number of drug users admitted to rehabilitation centers which is present in the Philippines for the past twenty years. Aids epidemic is the total number of victims of the sexually transmitted disease specifically the HIV/AIDS virus present in the country for the last twenty years.
Crime is the total number of crimes in the Philippines. The two social issues selected, particularly the AIDS epidemic and drug user, have a direct effect on the standard of living in the Philippines. It denotes that if majority of the variables will increase, there will be a direct effect on the standard of living. Crime has an inverse relationship with the standard of living. As it decreases, standard of living increases. On the other hand, the standard of living also has a direct effect on the two social issues selected, except crime.
It denotes that if the Standard of Living increases then it has a direct effect on AIDS and Drug trafficking while on the other hand if the Standard of Living increases the total crimes has no change at all. Research Hypotheses In determining whether there is an existence between Standard of living and selected social issues, the following hypotheses were tested: Ho: Standard of living (Gross Domestic Product per capita) has no significant effect on the selected social issues. Ho: The selected social issues has no significant effect on Standard of living (Gross Domestic Product per capita). Significance of the Study
The Philippines has been known for its bountiful resources. Still questions are arising on whether the standard of living and social uncertainties are directly related in the positive or negative way. This will explain the effect of the standard of living with respect to the selected social issues and vice versa. This study would be a source of knowledge and information about the level of standard of living in the country and also the trend on selected social issues of the country. The government would be given the better view of the status of the country in terms of standard of living and the selected social issues.
The government would know the trend of its standard of living and the selected social issues for the past years and would have programs and researches focusing on how to make progress in the level of standard of living. At the same time, they would conduct an internal study on how the country is being affected by the development and also to study the behavior of the society through the years. Through this, the government would be aware of how the standard of living is being affected by the social issues that is present in the country and vice versa.
Furthermore, the government would be able to conduct seminars and programs to increase the awareness of the different sectors in the Philippines in terms of its living standard and also the response of the society with it. The Department of Health may also refer to this study for improvements in their strategies and programs to facilitate the behavior of the society with respect to standard of living. Moreover, this study might help the PNP for a better view on why such social issues affect the security of the country and they could rely on this to formulate a program which would improve the peace and order and safety of the country.
This would be a valuable material to the Batangas State University. This might help to conduct their extension outreach within the vicinity of Batangas City. The findings of this study can be used as basis for a more detailed procedure that could help the improvement of the projects of the university regarding the enhancement of the standard of living in Batangas City and the enhancement of the views and knowledge of the society. The researchers themselves became knowledgeable about the relationship between the standard of living and the selected social issues; the effects of each other.
This study helped them to improve their knowledge about the topic. The future economics students would be provided a further knowledge regarding the benefits and importance between the Standard of living and the selected social issues present in the country. This would help them to be equipped with comprehensive information which would be helpful to them in understanding the effect of the standard of living in the selected social issues of the country and vice versa. This would also be a valuable material for other researchers who will conduct further studies about the same topic.
The findings on this study can be used as basis for more detailed and advanced researches. Scope and Limitation This research study focused on the effect between Standard of Living in the Philippines in terms of GDP per capita and Selected Social Issues in the Philippines. Philippines, being a developing country, are not exempted from different social issues. Therefore, the study did not cover other countries. The researchers’ concern about the country where they live helped to pursue the study.
They also chose this country because many social issues exist in the country. The researchers used data of drug user, aids epidemic, and crime quantified for the independent variables. Drug user was used in the study measured by total number of drug users admitted to rehabilitation centers. Aids epidemic was used in the study measured by the number of victims of AIDS. And crimes, measured by the total number of crimes recorded in the country. Hence, the researchers did not include other social issues in the study.
And these selected social issues greatly affect the standard of living. The data that were gathered covered the years 1989-2009 or twenty years due to the availability of data. Ex post facto method was used in this study. This method of research seeks to establish causal relationships between events and circumstances. In other words, it found out the causes of certain occurrences or non- occurrences. Definition of Terms The following terms are used in this study. They are defined conceptually and operationally to provide a clear understanding of the study.
Crime. An act committed or omitted in violation of law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction (Mifflin, 2000). In this study, it is used as the unlawful activity and a serious offenses that one of the problems of society. Drug User. One who uses addictive drugs (Mifflin, 2000). In this study, it is the person who uses drug illegally. Gross Domestic Product per Capita. This measures how much output or income was produced or received on the average by an individual n an economy (Costales, 2000).
In this study, this term is used as the proxy variable to represent the standard of living. Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). This is n endogenous infection, which are caused by overgrowth of organisms normally present in the vagina like yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis which can be transmitted sexually. (National Objectives for Health: Department of Health). In this study, it is used as the virus infected the human through sexual contact. Social Issues.
It refers to the problem of human relationship which seriously threatens society or impedes the important aspirations of people (Jarapa et. al, 2007). In this study, it generalizes the issues of the society that is used as the independent variables. Standard of Living. It refers to the level of material comfort that an individual or group aspires to or may achieve. (IMF World Economic Outlook Database, 2007). In this study, it is the material welfare of the inhabitants of a country and used as the dependent variable.