Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso continued their financial assistance to sari-sari store owners in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, and La Union on November 9, 2021.
The latest episode of Sari Saring Pag-asa on Tuesday featured 45 pre-selected sari sari store owners from Paoay (Ilocos Norte), Pozorrubio (Pangasinan), and Balauan (La Union).
The livestream also featured 30 pre-selected Facebook live viewers from around the country.
The former Speaker was joined in the distribution by Northern Luzon local government officials, namely Paoay Municipality Acting Mayor Romulo Acdal Sr., Pozorrubio Municipality Mayor Emma Chan Mayor, League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) President and former Binalonan Mayor Ramon “Monching” Guico Jr., Urdaneta Councilor Jesus “Isong” Basco, and Balauan Municipal Mayor Aleli Concepcion.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic where frequent trips to the market or groceries for necessities can be risky or inconvenient, sari-sari stores have played a big part in their communities.
The health restrictions, however, have adversely affected the income of these community stores, forcing many of them to scale down their operations or close down completely.
Through the Sari-Saring Pag-asa program, Cayetano provides store owners with P3,500 to restock their businesses. This helps ensure not just the businesses’ income but also the circulation of money around the community to contribute to the economy.
Sari-saring Pag-asa complements Cayetano’s Sampung Libong Pag-asa program which provides P10,000 in cash aid to select families in order to help them recover from their financial loss.
“P3,500 ay talagang pangtawid lang siya unlike yung P10,000 na makakabwelo ka pero at least ma-jump start niyo ulit ang inyong mga negosyo,” Cayetano said, explaining the difference between the Sari-Saring Pag-asa program and Sampung Libong Pag-asa.
(The P3,500 is really just to bridge the gap for the time being unlike the P10,000 which you can save but at least you can jump start your small business.)
While his current livelihood programs target specific economic sectors, Cayetano also continues to push for the inclusion of a broad-based economic stimulus plan such as the 10K Ayuda Bill for the 2022 national budget. This would only require P200 billion or 4 percent of the proposed P5 trillion budget.
“Nakatutok [kami sa] budget kasi we are pushing na dagdagan ng ilang bilyon, hindi lang para sa sampung libong ayuda sa bawat Pilipino pero sa sampung libong tulong din sa kapital ng ating mga micro entrepreneurs,” Cayetano said.
(We are focusing on the budget because we are pushing that a few billion pesos be allotted to give P10,000 to each family, and the same amount given to microentrepreneurs as capital.)
As of November 6, 2021, the Sari-saring Pag-asa program has announced a total of 5,686 beneficiaries.