Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to include the middle class in the government's social amelioration program for the families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation.
In a letter addressed to the President on Monday, Remulla pointed out that the present public health crisis affects everyone, not just the poorest of the poor, but also those individuals who have "built much but not enough."
"I write to you today to appeal for the middle class. As governor, I am respectfully asking that you consider them to be part of SAP. They may not get as much as the poorest of the poor but please consider their welfare," Remulla said.
300,000 of them work in Manila. 400,000 directly (factory workers) and indirectly from our economic zones. Our poverty incidence is one of the lowest in the country and our GDP per capita is just about the highest of all LGU’s outside of Manila. pic.twitter.com/RHELnzoqEO— Jonvic Remulla (@jonvicremulla) April 6, 2020
"They are often overlooked. They pay the most taxes. They are mostly law abiding citizens," Remulla said.
Remulla said more or less 300,000 residents of the province were working in Metro Manila while some 400,000 were employed directly and indirectly in their economic zones.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has hit my province hard. Despite that, I am not asking for anything to be given to the local government. We can fend for ourselves, but not everybody can," the governor said.
He noted that the announcement of the government's subsidy program gave his constituents a lot of hope during this period of health crisis as most of them have waited for the relief goods coming from the local government.
"They scrimp and pawn and borrow. They are barely surviving," Remulla said.
"In the past three weeks, most have depleted their savings. Families of eight stay in housing units, 24 to 40 square meters small. Cramped as they are, they are generally optimistic people. Despite all that, they are hurting," Remulla said.
Earlier, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said only low-income families belonging to the informal sector are qualified to receive an emergency cash subsidy of around P5,000 to P8,000 under the Social Amelioration Program of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
The agency added that the amount of cash subsidy that each low-income family will receive will vary depending on the prevailing minimum wage rates in the region where they belong.
The DSWD already started the distribution of the cash subsidy. --Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News