Tulfo nixes aid for middle class amid rising commodity prices

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2022 01:09 PM

Senator-elect Raffy Tulfo speaks to reporters at the Senate in Pasay City on June 27, 2022. Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News
Senator-elect Raffy Tulfo speaks to reporters at the Senate in Pasay City on June 27, 2022. Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Incoming senator Raffy Tulfo on Monday thumbed down calls for the government to also provide aid to the middle class amid the rising prices of oil and other basic commodities. 

“Middle class, I think, paga-aralan muna. Pero below middle class, ibig sabihin yung mga mahihirap, yes na yes. Pero middle class, for me, in my humble opinion, right now, without still looking at the facts and figures, I don’t think so,” Tulfo told journalists.

(For the middle class, I think we should study it first. But for those below middle class, the poor, yes.)

He said the middle class can still handle the impact of the inflation since their salaries are higher than those in the underprivileged sector. 

“Ma-afford naman nila eh, dahil middle class sila eh. Tumatanggap na sila ng at least above minimum wage na sila. So dun tayo sa mga minimum wage earner or below minimum wage,” Tulfo said.

(They can still afford to buy their needs. They receive at least above minimum wage. So let''s help those earning minimum wages or lower.)

Tulfo said Filipinos receiving the minimum wage and below number now around 8 million, citing data he received.

He said this is the sector that needs help from government the most. 

"Huwag yung (Not the) middle class. Middle class can take care of themselves, I’m sure. Ikaw middle class ka, ako middle class, we can take care of ourselves. So we don’t need help from the government,” he said.

Tulfo, the incoming chairman of the Senate committee on labor, said he will file a bill that will address the problem of wage theft.

Many workers are still being deprived of the required minimum wage and benefits despite existing laws, he said. 

“Maliit na nga yung kanilang sweldo, wala na nga sa minimum wage, wala na ngang benepisyo, ninanakawan, tapos minamaltrato pa,” he said.

(They earn a meager salary, below minimum wage, and have no benefits, yet they are deprived of what's due them and they're even maltreated.)

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