Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano lauded the country’s barangay tanods and health workers for serving as community-level first-responders amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a wave of donation handovers held on Thursday and Friday (October 21 and 22), Cayetano distributed grocery packs to a total of 2,112 beneficiaries in Laguna, Quezon, and Batangas.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa maayong tulong ng ating mga barangay tanod at frontliners sa panahong ito. Walang kupas ang hirap na dinaranas nila at sana’y mas makapagbigay pa tayo ng higit pa para sa kanila,” he said in a Facebook livestream on October 21, 2021.
(We are grateful for the help of our barangay tanods and frontliners during this time. The hardships they are going through have not ceased and hopefully we can give more for them.)
Cayetano on Thursday distributed grocery packs to around 250 barangay frontliners and indigents in Biñan City, Laguna. He also handed over 250 grocery packs to barangay responders and indigents in the neighboring city of Sta. Rosa.
On the same day, the former Speaker turned over grocery packs to 302 barangay frontliners and indigent residents in Lucena City and 250 in Sariaya. It was the first time since 2019 that the lawmaker and his team were able to initiate donation handovers in Quezon province.
In Batangas, a total of 810 barangay frontliners from Lipa City and 250 from Bauan received grocery packs from Cayetano and his team on Friday.
The former Speaker credits his advocacy for the welfare of barangay frontliners to his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano, who prioritized programs and incentives for barangay health workers during her three terms as Mayor.
In August 2021, the Cayetanos and their allies filed House Bill No. 10112 which seeks to increase the compensation and benefits of barangay health workers.
Once passed, the measure will integrate barangay health workers into the organization of local government units as job order, contractual, casual, or regular employees and provide training and financial assistance for local health workers.
Cayetano also called on the national government to allocate P200 billion for a direct stimulus program for Filipino families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the amount is less than half of the estimated P500 billion increase in the government’s war chest for fiscal year 2022.
“Next year, P500 billion ang idagdag sa budget. Actually, sa P500 billion na yun, P200 billion lang ang kukunin, mabibigyan na ng P10,000 ayuda ang lahat,” Cayetano said during the distribution of donations in Biñan City, Laguna.
(Next year, P500 billion will be added to the national budget. Actually, of that P500 billion, we only need P200 billion to be able to give P10,000 in cash aid to every Filipino household.)
In February, Cayetano and his allies filed the 10K Ayuda Bill with the aim of creating a program that will distribute P10,000 each to the poorest of the poor amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.