For former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday is an opportunity to rally different camps behind the country’s efforts towards economic recovery.
In an interview with RMN Nationwide on July 16, Cayetano said the upcoming SONA will be the most important in decades since it will define efforts to rebuild the country’s pandemic-stricken economy.
“Probably, this is the most influential and important in the past few decades sapagkat napakimportante na yung direksyon ng ating bansa ay klaro at magkaroon tayo ng national consensus (on economic recovery),” he said.
(“Probably, this is the most influential and important in the past few decades because it is now of paramount importance to ensure that country’s direction is clear and that we have a national consensus on economic recovery)
Cayetano said expects that Duterte, his former running mate in 2016, will focus on economic recovery, including the creation of a direct stimulus program.
He reiterated his call for the passage of the 10K Ayuda Bill, which will require around P200 billion for its implementation. The proposed measure is expected to boost household consumption and stimulate the economy, according to Cayetano.
“It’s really a step of faith pero I’m hoping the government would listen kasi ang government lang ang may kakayahan na bigyan ang lahat ng P200 billion,” he said.
(It’s really a step of faith but I’m hoping the government would listen because only the government is capable of rolling out P200 billion to assist everyone.)
The former Speaker also sees the SONA as an opportunity to define the government’s priorities in the coming months. Clear priorities, he said, result in better predictability and raise investor confidence.
“Kung alam ng mga investors at ng mga negosyante kung ano ang priorities ng gobyerno, mas mabilis ang ating economic recovery,” he said.
(If investors and businessmen are aware of the government’s priorities, we can expedite our economic recovery.)
Cayetano urged different political camps, including the opposition, to work together in paving the way for economic recovery.
Citing recent infighting within the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Cayetano appealed to the party to use the SONA as an opportunity to unite behind the President.
“While I totally understand na pag may leadership fight ay talaga pong entertaining at newsworthy, baka I can appeal to our friends sa PDP-Laban na mag-ceasefire muna,” he said.
(While I totally understand that leadership fights are entertaining and newsworthy, maybe I can appeal to our friends at PDP-Laban to commit to a ceasefire for now.)