Incoming Sen. Raffy Tulfo on Monday said he was not in favor of providing aid to middle class Filipinos as prices of fuel and basic commodities continue to rise, noting that the focus should be on poor individuals.
Tulfo, who hosts his eponymous program on TV and social media known for delivering swift justice to its audiences, was asked about his thoughts on proposals for the government to grant assistance to middle class individuals, not just to low-income Filipinos.
"Middle class, I think pag-aralan muna. Pero below middle class, ibig sabihin yung mga mahihirap, yes na yes. Pero middle class, for me, in my humble opinion right now without still looking at the facts and figures, I don't think so," he told reporters in an interview.
"Kasi maa-afford naman nila dahil middle class sila, tumatanggap sila ng at least above minimum wage. So doon tayo sa mga minimum wage earners," he added.
Tulfo said that based on the data he received, there are still around 8 million Filipinos that receive below minimum wage, and they should be target beneficiaries of government aid.
"The middle class can take care of themselves, I'm sure," he added.
Tulfo reiterated that the first bill he will file as a senator is a measure that will penalize "wage theft", which happens when employers give unfair compensation to their employees.
"Maliit na nga kanilang sweldo, wala na sa minimum wage, ninanakawan pa. Yun ang tututukan ko, unang-una sa lahat," he added.
Tulfo attended a briefing on the legislative process in the Senate earlier in the day as part of his preparations for his new role as a legislator. He will formally start his term on June 30, along with other senatorial candidates who won in the May 9 elections.