Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said excuses from different camps continue to stall the passage of the 10K Ayuda Bill.
During the distribution of cash aid to Quezon City residents on July 16, Cayetano said political will on the part of Congress is needed to pass the proposed measure, which was filed in response to the growing hunger and unemployment triggered by the pandemic.
“Kung gusto gawin, may sampung libong ayuda. Kung ayaw gawin, may sampung libong palusot,” he said, adding that he and his allies have identified possible sources of funding for the program.
(If there’s a will, we would have P10,000 cash aid. If they don’t, we would get 10,000 excuses.)
Cayetano and his allies filed the 10K Ayuda Bill in February with the aim of establishing a direct stimulus program that would promote household consumption and stimulate the economy. While the measure was consolidated into the Bayanihan 3 bill, its proposed amount for cash aid was not adopted.
Since then, the group has been rallying support for the bill through the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa campaign. Launched on May 1, the program takes off from the vision of the 10K Ayuda Bill.
To date, the initiative has distributed cash aid to nearly 6,000 Filipinos, most of whom have invested a part of their aid to jumpstart their small businesses.
Around 400 beneficiaries from Quezon City and 100 commenters on the program’s Facebook livestream received cash aid on Friday. Quezon City 1st District Rep. Onyx Crisologo and ANAKALUSUGAN Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor joined Cayetano during the program.
Citing the success of the program in helping beneficiaries pay for their basic needs and start their own businesses, Cayetano invited officials across the country to support the program and the 10K Ayuda Bill.
“Kagawad hanggang Pangulo ng Republika, we cannot turn our backs sa tao,” he said.
(From barangay councilors to the President of the Republic, we cannot turn our backs on the people.)
Crisologo, for his part, called on public officials to follow the program’s example and respond to the immediate needs of their constituents.
“Let’s take a step back. Makinig sa taumbayan: ano ang mga pangagailangan? Marami tayong matutulungan,” he said.
(Let’s take a step back. Let’s listen to our people: what do they need? We can help a lot of people.)
On the other hand, Defensor urged the public to empathize with those who were deeply affected by the pandemic.
“Tayo po, sa gitna ng pandemyang to, matagal tayong nakulong. Nakikita natin y’ung buhay natin. Pero di po natin nakikita yung maraming naghihirap sa labas. Maraming nangangailangan,” he said.
(We were locked inside our homes in the middle of the pandemic. We can see what’s happening in our respective lives. But we don’t see the hardship of others. Many need our help.)
To sustain these efforts, the former Speaker reiterated his call on different political camps to unite and form a common economic recovery plan.
“Importante para sa ating pamilya, sa ating church, sa ating eskwelahan, para sa ating mga anak, at lalong lalo na sa gobyerno, may plano tayo. Kung hindi, isang bansa tayo ng mga manghuhula,” he said.
(It’s important for our families, our church, our schools, our children, and especially our government to have a plan. If we don’t have a plan, we would end up a country of guesses.)
Receiving hope and starting anew
One of the beneficiaries of the program is Virginia Demerin, a former vendor who lost her feet due to diabetes.
She was able to receive treatment at the Philippine Orthopedic Center through the cash aid she received under the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program.
“Tinitherapy na ako sa Philippine Orthopedic (Center) gawa po ng tulong ni Sir Allan,” she said.
(I am currently receiving therapy from the Philippine Orthopedic Center because of Sir Allan’s help.)
Meanwhile, former massage therapist Melanie Monzon of Payatas, Quezon City used a part of the cash aid she received to start a small street food business.
“Lagi po tayong manalangin at magtiwala na malalampasan natin po yung mga pagsubok natin sa buhay,” she said.
(Let us always pray and trust that we will be able to overcome any challenge that comes in our lives.)
Citing the program’s goals, Cayetano asked other beneficiaries to use the cash aid for their basic needs and restart their sources of income.
“Madali pong mamigay ng pera. Sinong di tatanggap? Pero to make sure na yung mabigyan ay magkakaroon ng pag-asa? Magkaroon ng kinikita at kung may iba siyang needs, tulad ng may sakit sa pamilya, matulungan? Mas importante po iyon,” he said.
(It’s easy to distribute money. Who would decline? But to make sure that recipients will be given hope? That will be able to generate income? That their needs will be met, especially if someone is sick in the family? That’s more important.)
Supporting sari-sari stores
After distributing cash aid in Quezon City, Cayetano, his wife Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano, and Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice led the distribution of financial assistance for sari-sari store owners in Caloocan City.
A total of 100 sari-sari store owners received P3,500 each as start-up capital as part of Cayetano’s Sari-Sari Store Community.
The program aims to build a community of sari-sari store owners through the distribution of start-up capital and promoting training among small entrepreneurs.
Citing the success stories of sari-sari store owners who started with little capital, Erice encouraged participating entrepreneurs to use their determination and intelligence to grow their income.
“Wala po iyan sa laki ng puhunan. Nasa determinasyon, sa masigasig at matalinong pagkilos iyan,” he said. “Malayo ang mararating ng P3,500.”
(It’s not about the amount of capital. It’s about determination, grit, and intellect in one’s actions. That P3,500 can go a long way.)
Meanwhile, Cayetano said the start-up capital can be used to pay for pending debts and expand their sales.
“Yung iba po na may kaunting utang, yung P1000 o P1,500, pwedeng pambayad muna ng utang. Pero yung P2,000 o P2,500, maidadagdag niyo sa inyong sari-sari store. Makakatulong din po,” he said.
(For those who are currently struggling with debt, you can use P1,000 or P1,500 to pay for it. As for the remaining P2,000 or P2,500, use it to improve your sari-sari store. It’ll be of help.)
Cayetano also promised to continue lobbying for his 10K Ayuda Bill and vowed to give incentives to sari-sari store owners who can maximize the initial capital that they received.