This chapter of the study introduces the research problem. It also discusses the significance of the study as well as its scope and limitations. Introduction
The standard of living is a measure of the material welfare of the inhabitants of a country. The baseline measure of the standard of living is real national output per head of population or real GDP per capita. A sustained increase in real GDP increases a nation’s standard of living providing that output rises faster than the total population. (Geoff Riley, Eton College, September 2006). The Philippines, being a developing country, is not exempted from occurrences of crimes. Newspapers and television news updates are loaded with all sorts of “misbehavior”: murder, rape, theft, robbery and others. People who commit crimes come from different backgrounds, lifestyle and social status. Criminality nationwide increased by 63 % in 2009 compared to the previous year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported. (Cecille Suerte Felipe, 2010) The Department of Health (DOH) reported 204 new cases of HIV/AIDS in the country. In its Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, the DOH said the new cases were registered in July, bringing to 1,220 the total number of HIV cases this year of 2011. (Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star, 2011) The number of drug users in the country dropped by at least 70 percent compared to the figure taken last 2004, according to the records of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB). 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...