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Senator Cynthia Villar apologized on Wednesday (May 20) for saying the middle class are not entitled to government assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Villar said her remarks at Tuesday’s (May 19) hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response were meant to clarify reports that employed middle class workers were also among the beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Under SAP, qualified beneficiaries receive cash assistance of between P5,000 and P8,000.

“My statements during the hearing yesterday was not in any manner meant to be an affront to the hardworking middle class of the country. I might have framed my questions and statements in such a manner that made it seem I was insensitive to the plight of the middle income sector. I am NOT,” Villar said.

“I am concerned and I lookout for the welfare of the middle income workers. If I have offended anyone with my statements, I humbly apologize,” the senator added.

Villar said she only wanted to emphasize that workers who continue to receive their pay during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) should no longer qualify for SAP. She noted that Congress earmarked the funds for SAP for poor and low-income families badly affected by the pandemic.

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