Since practically time immemorial, not only academic circles but also empirical ground realities see and say that as far as their socio-economic standing is concerned, people can be and are readily placed under one of three following categories or groupings: The wealthy. The middle class. The poor. This phenomenon and pursuant categorizations are by and large accepted and recognized in many parts of the globe. That is to say in general and plain language: The wealthy have much more money that they need. The middle class have enough to live by in terms of satisfying their usual present and future needs. The poor however have less than what they in fact needs now and predictably require in the days ahead.
So it was too in the Philippines: There were wealthy families – or the “upper” class people – in terms of their actual assets plus ready possibilities such as in terms of luxurious houses, costly cars plus investments in this and that business ventures. There were also the "middle” class people – or the core families that included most people who had enough to meet their standard and standing temporal needs and material requirements. And lastly, there were the poor people – or the "lower” class of families - - that could barely make “both ends meet”, i.e. with their little resources vis-à-vis their common basic needs.
Translated into more concrete and practical terms, it was commonly held that looking at all the families in the Philippines, some 20% of them belonged to the wealthy; some 50% of them were counted among the middle class, and the rest 30% were filled up by poor people. Wherefore, in their socio-economic hierarchy in terms of sheer number, most Filipinos were counted among the middle class, these were followed in count by the poor, and the rich numbered the least. Let it be thus noted that while definitely not perfect, such a percentage of socio-economic standings, in general remained somehow acceptable as dependent on the given competence and/or industry of people – or their inherent incapacity and/or indolence plus these and those little vices.
But lo and behold, in this Country these times, there are now four socio-economic classes or categories of people: The wealthy. The middle class. The Poor. The miserable. This last and lowest classification of people refers to those who are usually eating but one little meal a day. They live under the bridges, if not in push carts or in the streets actually. If any, many of their houses are poorly and hurriedly built at the sides of in-land canals as professional squatters wallowing in garbage and putrid black smelly water.
Lately, it was formally estimated that there are more poor and miserable people in the Philippines today. But as expected, Malacanang could not understand and would not accept this reality. This is understandable – considering that the present administration only accepts spectacular ratings in competence and achievements. How convenient for the governor but disastrous for the governed!
19 JANUARY 2011