Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, in an open letter April 6, is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to include the middle class in the amelioration program of the national government amid the measures being implemented against COVID-19.
“I write to you today to appeal for the middle class. I come from a province that is over 70% migrants. People who have climbed their way up in life: buying a house on mortgage; sending their children through college; having a their 1st car or motorcycle on a 5 year instalment basis. 300,000 of them work in manila. 400,000 directly (factory workers) and indirectly (feeding, clothing, driving, retailing) 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 metro Manila,” Governor Remulla said.
He said that the Covid-19 pandemic has Cavite 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,” he said.
“The recent announcement of the issuance of a Social Amelioration Card gave people a lot of hope. In the past 3 weeks most have depleted their savings. Families of 8 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.,” he explained.
“Most of the people who live in subdivisions such as tierra nevada, or tree lane, or lancaster, are employed in the private sector or SME’s. Double income homes, OFW’s, single mothers, transport operators and entrepreneurs, all of them rely on a monthly pay check. As grand as their gated villages sound, they are middle class people who see their pay checks every month deducted of their SSS,GSIS, Pag-ibig and salary loans, and the largest part-income taxes,” the Cavite governor said.
“It is a time of crisis for everyone. Not just the poorest of the poor, but also those who have built much but not enough. They wait for the LGU’s to give them relief goods but those come few and far in between. They scrimp and pawn and borrow. They are barely surviving,” Remulla said.
“As governor, I am respectfully asking that you consider them to be part of the social amelioration program. They may not get as much as the poorest of the poor but please consider their welfare. They are often over looked. They pay the most taxes. They keep our economy alive. They are mostly law abiding citizens. They need a break.,” he said.