Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday made another push for the 10k Ayuda Bill, saying many workers have been severely affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns and need immediate assistance.
Cayetano made the plea during the Sampung Libong Pag-asa (SLP) live virtual event on August 10 during which he identified the 40 beneficiaries from the food, beverage, and restaurant industry who were selected to receive P10,000 in cash assistance.
The beneficiaries were from Pasig City, Pasay City, Las Piñas City, and Parañaque City.
An additional 20 were selected by Cayetano from the Facebook comment section to receive P10,000 each.
The event was the first in a series of daily SLP episodes that will be held this week as part of Cayetano’s initiative to provide assistance to Filipinos affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other places in the country.
Cayteno said employees in the food and beverage industry are “greatly affected” by the ECQ which is being imposed in Metro Manila, Laguna City, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City from August 6 to 20 to prevent the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
“Labis po silang apektado. Unang lockdown pa lang po, maraming nagsara. Noong nagbukas, y’ung iba po, naka-adjust sa take out. Pangalawang lockdown po, noong March, eh ang nangyari ay bawal po ang dine-in o 20% lang at kailangan po ng outdoor, eh hindi naman lahat po may outdoor. Ngayon po, una pa sa ECQ ang pagsara sa kanila,” Cayetano said.
(They are greatly affected. During the first lockdown (in April to May 2020), a lot of restaurants closed. When they were allowed to open, some were able to adjust by offering take-out meals. During the second lockdown last March, only 20% of dine-in capacity was allowed and it had to be outdoors even though not all restaurants have outdoor areas. In the latest ECQ, food and beverage establishments had to close down even before the restrictions.)
“Ang problema po, hindi naman lahat ng may-ari ng business ay kaya pong tustusan ang sweldo o ang pangangailangan po ng kaniyang mga waiter, mga chef, mga busboy, at mga skeletal crew,” he added.
(The problem is that not all business owners can pay for the salaries or the needs of their waiters, chefs, busboys, and skeletal crews.)
Cayetano said he and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso are mounting the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program to show how much the cash aid can help struggling FIlipinos.
The Sampung Libong Pag-asa program started on May 1, 2021 and has helped a total of 8,018 families to date.
“May pera po, at willing po tayo ituro sa gobyerno ito. Willing po tayo makipag-debate,” Cayetano said.
(The money is there, and we are willing to tell the government how it can be funded. We are also willing to debate [in Congress].)