3 Social Classes In The Philippines: Which One Deserves Financial Aid?
The 3 social classes in the Philippines are usually the center of attention when the discussion of income inequality is raised. And in the time of COVID-19, when low-income households get the government’s aid when middle-income families hardly receive anything, it begs the question of which social class should the government help?
What Is The Meaning Of Social Status Of The Philippines
Social class is more than just the amount of money a household makes. According to sociologists, people with similar income, occupation, education, or socioeconomic status are classified into the same class.
The 3 social classes in the Philippines range from high to low and people of different classes often experience inequality in influence, power, and the level of access to resource.
What Are The Social Classes In The Philippines And Which Social Class Are You?
Social Stratification In The Philippines
According to a report of the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority), 58.4% of the Philippines’ population belongs to the low-income class, followed by 40% of middle-income class, and only 1.4% of high-income class. The reason why low-income households account for such a large section of the population is that they tend to have larger families.
The country’s middle class is further categorized into upper, middle, and lower-middle-income classes.
There is another class called the low-income – those who are not poor but don’t qualify to be considered middle-class either.
And there are people who haven’t yet made it to the upper class in the Philippines but their incomes are higher than other households in the same class.
The government considers per capita income to classify people into 3 social classes in the Philippines to assess living standards.
Who Is The Middle Class?
So now you know about the different social classes in the Philippines, it’s time to address the question of which class you are in.
If your family’s income falls in between PHP 21,000 and PHP 125,000, you are classified into the middle-income class.
Here are what you need to know about the middle-income in comparison with low-income class:
Facts About the Middle Class in the Philippines
- Middle-class families have greater access to healthcare and education.
- The majority of them reside in urban areas.
- 23% of middle-income families rent the place they live, while the rest own the properties.
- Most workers of the class have stable jobs and salaries in the public sector, transportation, retail, wholesale trade, and communication.
- They are better educated so they usually have better jobs.
- Their family size is smaller with fewer children.
- Families invest more on their children’s education.
- Middle-income households tend to own more cars in populated areas, like Metro Manila.
- Middle-class families depend less on the government and public services.
Of The 3 Social Classes In The Philippines, Which Must The Government Help?
Clash of Social Classes
When the COVID-19 pandemic hits, the government focuses their financial help on the poor. PHP 200 billion has been spent in two months to aid 18 million families of the low-income bracket in Luzon. This translates to a financial aid of PHP 5,000 to PHP 8,000 for each family.
There is an ongoing debate online regarding which class should receive this aid in 2020, of the 3 social classes in the Philippines, whether it is the lower class or the tax-paying middle class.
This debate has fueled an appeal for the need to extent the government’s help to the middle-class families.
While they may not rely as much on the government’s assistance as the low-income families, middle-class households aren’t entirely immune to the effect of the pandemic. If there is no financial help from the government reaches these households, many of them may even slip back to poverty.
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Government Financial Aid For The Middle Class
The government has answered this call.
The Small Business Wage Subsidy Program with an investment of PHP 50.8 billion will provide the needed help to workers of medium, small, and micro enterprises affected by the lockdown.
Apart from that, other assistance programs also cover the middle class. So the government has extended its help to two out of the 3 social classes in the Philippines.
Why the Poor Need More Help
Some people even think that the poor don’t deserve help because they rely too much on the government’s assistance and that they don’t work hard enough. However, what these people fail to see is that when a disaster strikes, the low-income class is the most affected.
On top of that, the poor usually live in slums where they can hardly follow social distancing advice, have no access to soap and clean water, and lose access to their main sources of income.
Of the 3 social classes in the Philippines, the poor don’t even have enough to stock medicines and foods, as well as buying sanitizers and masks.
So given their situations, it makes sense that the government allocation of fund prioritizes the poor.
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