By Joe Russo

THE OTHER day, I was asked to help pay for medication of a mother was in the hospital. The bill was P47,000 – money so hard to earn here in the Philippines, which I can understand.

I wondered why the mother wasn’t able to save this amount during the years she was working. Or why did she and her husband have eight children to care for considering how hard life is. Isn’t it important to set aside money that can be used later in life? I’m not complaining because I was asked to help, I was wondering. Why, why, why kept going through my mind.

Millions of people in the Philippines and in my country do not have any type of insurance or funding to pay for hospitalization – a hard fact. Nothing exists for any of them. So who is responsible for this tragic reality in life? The individual is. Because in the end, when no one helps, the children will have to work for years just to pay off the hospital bill.

Without a doubt, each individual is responsible for anything which may occur in his future. Or if they are children, then their parents should be held responsible and accountable for their well being. They brought them into the world.

Frankly, when a family has 7 or 8 children, there is no way they can afford to set money aside for hospitalization or medication or even their schooling. Therefore, children need to be taught early on in life that they need to take care of themselves first before they find a partner, and before they bring children into this world.

Children should be taught at a young age on how to care for their own selves. And this role is better given to their parents, other than their teachers at school. They should be taught how to value education so that they have a foundation to find work for their own so they can save money.

Do I believe for one minute that everyone will fall in line? No, not for one minute, I don’t. Yet, think of how many individuals we will help if they know how to be self-reliant.

Although this may be ideally correct, at least from my point of view, individuals do not make good decisions. We realize this. Yet, now they have the knowledge to make the best decision for themselves.

We should begin to realize now that it is in teaching the youth of today to care for their own needs that they have better chances in the future.

If we don’t do anything about this, we will have even more problems as the future will be in debt for the rest of their lives.

Do you think anyone will do anything about this serious problem?