One hundred Filipino women from different sectors of the country on Friday received P10,000 in cash aid each under former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies’ Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program.
The beneficiaries in the September 17, 2021 episode were pandemic-hit women from Quezon City, Manila City, Muntinlupa City, and Mandaluyong City who are working as food vendors, domestic workers, salespersons, and laundry persons, and others.
Launched on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program gives P10,000 in financial assistance to select individuals affected by the pandemic to help them with their basic needs while having enough left to put up their own small businesses amid the pandemic.
From a weekly program, Cayetano and his allies have been bringing the program to displaced workers daily ever since the ECQ started on August 6.
Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano noted that women’s ability to contribute to society extends beyond their heroism in their homes.
She said women already have the “passion for volunteer work” and “the gift of livelihood skills” and only need the right support and opportunities to succeed.
“Sa area ng financial independence, kailangan mabigyan talaga natin ang mga kababaihan ng oportunidad na makatayo sa sarili nilang paa, matutong mag-negosyo nang sa gayon may pang-suporta para sa sarili,” she said.
(When it comes to financial independence, we need to provide women with opportunities so they can learn to build their own businesses and provide for themselves.)
One of the beneficiaries was Veloria Fe Cacal, who, after losing her job as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) due to the pandemic, ventured into a small online business in an online shopping platform.
Upon receiving the P10,000 in cash aid, she used half of it as capital for her online business and the other half to start a pig farming business.
Now she’s earning P1,500 every week from selling online, on top of the income they are expecting from their piggery business.
“Pandagdag po namin sa pambayad po namin ng expenses po namin lalo sa hospital bills, sa panganganak ko po,” Cacal said.
(We will use our earnings to pay our bills, especially hospital bills when I give birth.)
The former Speaker, for his part, encouraged women to keep speaking out against discrimation.
“D’un sa mga pamilya, mga korporasyon na medyo mabagal pagdating sa pananaw na women are the weaker sex, o kaya they shouldn’t be given the same opportunities, laban lang nang laban,” he said.
(To those who are in a family or corporation where backward views of women being the weaker sex who shouldn’t be given the same opportunities, just keep up the fight.
Citing American women’s long fight for their right to vote, Cayetano said women abuse of all kinds may take time to eliminate but should never be tolerated.
“Let’s not take the abuse pero ‘wag din tayong mawalan ng loob na it’s a process, so laban lang nang laban,” he said.
(Let’s keep up the struggle but let’s also not be discouraged that it’s a process.)
The former Speaker called on the public to respect women frontliners, nutrition scholars, and daycare workers.
“Karamihan ng barangay health workers babae kasi mas nakakarelate sila sa ina ng tahanan: ‘yung problema ng anak sa nutrisyon, merong alcohol addiction sa bahay, lahat ito nararanasan nila,” he said.
(Most of the barangay health workers are women because they can relate more to the mothers in the community, from dealing with a child’s nutritional problem to alcohol addiction at home, they all experience it.)
As of September 15, the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program has helped 10,558 pandemic-hit Filipinos from across the country.