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Marketing people and even the Government have divided the country into economic classes so they can market that is more effective or implement their programs. Below are the classes and current income rate.
A. class are the top 5% (5 million people) - P25, 000 to very big money, millions of dollars, billions of pesos. Senior Politicians, Land owners, Large Business Owners.
B. class 10-15% (10-15 million People) - P15, 000 - 25,000 a month Mid-Level Politicians, Professionals - doctors, engineers, supervisors.
C. "middle class" of 20% (20million people) - P5, 000 -15,000 a month Skilled craftsman teachers and nurses as well as bank clerks and retail shop assistants.
D. class bottom rung 60% (60 million people) - P1, 000 - 5,000 a month subsistence farmers, small fishermen, taxi drivers, security guards, salesladies, waitress, waiters, janitorial, guards, private drivers, cooks, standby's, lavenders and helpers. Just to get to work and eat and home again cost many P1, 500. And no surprise many who can get away using "contract," workers, pay just that. When you explain to a worker they may be working for nothing, some are shocked, but don't give up the job in hopes of getting another. Usually there is no room for promotion or a career employee that is not family or extended family related. With 60 million people in this country, despite all the new SUV's you will see on the streets the beggars and the street children's and you will realize because of this disparity in income mostly, poor people are in this country, economically.
But keep in mind Filipinos especially at the "D" class, have life of togetherness, maybe ignited by the poverty, and they demonstrate respect for elders, family love and extended family relationship that makes them the richest nation in the word in the "relationship," category. The relationships may be not so valuable to a Westerner, but to a Filipino are worth millions. Relationships here and family is what life is about.
*A standby, or (istamby) is an intermittent worker or maybe on waiting for a job overseas, always available for any work, manual labor or whatever they can do legally and you can pay for until they get something permanent.