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Economy

Duterte's cash aid for poor Filipinos draws middle class pushback

Manila bracing for worst economic hit since 1998 as 1.2 million lose jobs

A rickety barricade blocks a Manila street in an attempt to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Lea Ariola's small business making mushroom chips, a tasty local vegetarian snack, has been shuttered in the coronavirus pandemic, and she is outraged -- that the government has prioritised the poor for financial assistance.

"It's so unfair," the employer of two told the Nikkei Asian Review. "We the middle class work hard and pay taxes, but the poor always get assistance and some just use the money to gamble -- it's like teaching them to be lazy."

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