Written by Pauline Eadie.
Market researchers in the Philippines stratify socioeconomic classes into A, B, C, D or E classes. The distinction between the classes is not absolute however it is clear that the D and E classes make up around 90% of the electorate. Therefore politicians have to appeal to the ‘masa’ vote in order to secure political office. This was done extremely well by former President Joseph (Erap) Estrada who campaigned on the slogan Erap para sa masa or mahirap (Erap for the masses/poor). Meanwhile, outgoing President Benigno Aquino III, who was swept into office by a wave of sympathy for his recently deceased mother (and national icon) former President Cory Aquino, addressed poverty by campaigning on an anti-corruption/good governance ticket. Aquino claimed that ‘if no one is corrupt then no one will be poor’. Continue reading Typhoon Yolanda Survivors Need More than Pro-poor Rhetoric from Politicians