With over 3,700 confirmed cases and about 170+ deaths, the COVID-19 is really taking a turn in what we once knew of as our country. Roads have been closed, and movement of people from far-off places have been prohibited.
While the poorest of the poor are constantly receiving the help they need from the Philippine government, many experts and lawmakers are appealing to the fact that middle class people should be helped, too. In his televised speech on Monday, Duterte said that the multi-billion peso budget for the financial assistance that he provided the poor might not be enough to spport them.
The low-income households can receive assistance but it can’t be enough for everyone. In addition to that, he said and admitted that they can’t just go focusing on helping them. As a matter of fact, they need to help the middle class people, too.
Help the middle-class in the government program too
Jonvic Remulla, Cavite Governor, wrote a letter to Duterte saying that the Philippine government should be helping the middle class too. To add to that, Remulla said that almost a big chunk of the middle class have been affected by the lockdown the same way the poor has.
He said that the Governor wrote him a letter and was appealing to include the middle class in the constituencies because just like the poor, they also need help and assistance.
Governor Jonvic Remulla wrote me… He (was) appealing to include the middle class in their constituency because they also need help. I agree. I know the political economic horizon of the country.”
In response to the letter, President Duterte said in his speech that they’ll be discussing it when it reaches the point that they need it too.
I will discuss it when I reach the point raised by Governor Remulla of Cavite which I think is valid. We’ll try to remedy whatever kung may mapulot pa tayo sa daan.”
In Translation: I will discuss it when I reach the point raised by Governor Remulla of Cavite which I think is valid. We will try to remedy whatever if we pick something up along the way.
When will the middle class receive the financial assistance?
As per Duterte, the help that the middle class can get might be on the next month’s budget which is P270 billion. Duterte said that the middle class have some sort of funds saved and deposited for the rainy days. Unfortunately, it has arrived.
He continued to say that he’s not bragging or anything; and he mentioned that the next month’s budget could be when the middle class can expect the help they’re asking for.
They (middle class) have money deposited for the rainy days. Now what is really very sad is that the rain has arrived. Hindi ako nagyayabang, maliit lang ‘yang akin, how I deal with the problem, alam ko, at kung maari lang isali ko sila. But can they be included in the… P270 (billion) next month.”
In Translation: I am not bragging, I do not have much funds as well. How I deal with the problem, I know, and only if I could include them, I would. But they can be included in the P270 billion fund next month.
NOTE: This is not final. Duterte, in his speech acknowledges that the middle class would need the funds too. However, he said that the funds for the poor would not be enough. Let’s wait until further announcement.
Not enough funds
In his televised speech, Duterete soulfully admitted that even with the billions of pesos of funds, it might still not be enough for what’s about to come. He says that because of the standstill of the Philippine economy; the money is not moving. What’s being used now is the money that they have in reserve.
The economy is not moving, standstill, so we do not have revenues. We are using the money we reserved.”
The poorest of the poor were the ones prioritized because according to the President, if they’re not given assistance; they would easily die of hunger. This is why they were the ones given the priority in this scenario.
Nevertheless, people from the middle class can hope that they’ll be included in the social amelioration program offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). What do you think about the appeal to help the middle class too?
Source: The Philippine Star