The Duterte government is looking for new funding sources to help middle-class families during the pandemic after a provincial governor said assistance should be extended beyond the poorest of the poor.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Tuesday middle class families did not fit into the “social amelioration program” of the government.

“There has to be another program with another fund source and another set of guidelines. So kailangan pag-aralan pa rin natin iyan because it doesn’t necessarily have to be a social amelioration package also; there are other ways where in we can help the middle class and not in the same as the social amelioration,” said Nograles, spokesman for the interagency task force on top of the Covid-19 response, in a virtual briefing.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he agreed with Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla that middle class families also needed help.

In an open letter to Duterte on Sunday, 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.”

Under the social amelioration package, poor families, including those already receiving cash transfers, are entitled to get P5,000 to P8,000 in financial assistance to be distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (