The big question should the call for such support be approved: Who are the middle income earners? How much are they earning? Are you one of them?

Due to the drastic effect of COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines, the Government has released a total of Php275 Billion to help support Millions of Filipinos who are directly affected economically. The Social Welfare arm, DSWD is tasked to distribute cash assistance to nearly 17 Million poor families ranging from Php5,000-Php8,000. This is on top of the relief packs distributed by the local government units utilizing their respective funds. But as the extended lock down of most cities and provinces in the Philippines is being strictly implemented, that also entails continued closure of companies & MSMEs which account to 99.6% of the establishments in the country.

It is noteworthy to point out that the middle class population comprise of small and medium business owners and employees of big corporations whose operation has been halted if not limited since the enhanced community quarantine was in place. Thus, there is a growing public clamor for the government to allocate support for the middle class, which is about 46.8% of the total household in the Philippines. The call became even more palpable when Cavite Governor Remulla wrote a letter to President Duterte making know his sentiments on the importance of providing cash aid to middle-income earners which was verified by the President himself during his address to the Nation.

The big question should the call for such support be approved: Who are the middle income earners? How much are they earning? Are you one of them?

According to a study conducted by PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES in 2018, the middle income has an important role to play in the country’s socio-economic and future developments. The study defined the Middle income class according to their monthly family income between PHP 38,080 to PHP 66,640 per month, computed between four to seven times the poverty line. There are three different levels of Middle class subsequently: Lower middle income, Middle middle income, Upper Middle income. It is not yet clear if these three strata shall be combined to make up the total number of milddle income households that will be qualified should the proposal be approved by the government, as to which the Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez has cast doubts on. He however mentioned that there is a Php35 Billion support for MSMEs in the pipeline. In a very conservative estimate, should there be 7 million qualified middle class households who will receive at least Php5,000 each, the government has to source out another Php35 Billion.

Do you wanna know which Socio-Economic class you belong to? Below is a screenshot from the said study available for public verification. If you are earning at least Php190,400 on a monthly basis, consider yourself rich.

Source: pids.gov.ph

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