Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated his push for the government to provide direct cash assistance to every Filipino family and to small businesses instead of doing a “targeted” approach, saying bureaucracy would only delay the financial stimulus that is intended to help the entire economy to recover.
“Sa akin… ibigay na natin deretso. Para wala nang burokrasya, wala nang allotments, application, ‘di ba? Even for COA it will be easier,” Cayetano said in a Facebook live episode before the airing of the Sari-saring Pag-asa on November 18, 2021.
(For me… let’s give it directly to the people. So there is no more bureaucracy, no more allotments, no more applications, right? Even for COA (Commission on Audit), it will be easier.)
He said the government should focus on providing immediate and direct financial assistance to Filipinos as well as on crafting policy changes to boost the economy.
“Kahit maganda yung policy, open yung economy, kung walang kukunan po ng puhunan, ng additional na capital ang ating mga kababayan may maliliit na negosyo… hindi ito katulad ng big business na may credit line sa mga bangko o may assets na pwedeng i-benta,” he said.
(Even if there are good policies and the economy is open, if there is nowhere for our countrymen to get seed funding or additional capital for their small businesses [then it amounts to nothing.] It’s not like big businesses that have credit lines with banks or assets to sell.)
Cayetano and his allies in Congress have been pushing the government to provide cash assistance to small businesses that have suffered a big blow due to the lockdowns imposed to stem the tide of the pandemic.
In the meantime, the group has been conducting regular Sari-saring Pag-asa programs to provide select beneficiaries with P3,500 in cash assistance they can use to restock their stores.
Last Thursday, November 18, a total of 75 recipients from Magdalena in Laguna, Ternate in Cavite, and San Antonio in Quezon Province were announced. Of the 75 beneficiaries, 30 were selected from the Facebook live comments section.
On Saturday, November 20, an additional 60 sari-sari store owners were announced as recipients from Luisiana in Laguna, Mendez in Cavite, and Pitogo in Quezon. The livestream also featured 40 pre-selected Facebook live viewers from around the country.
The Former Speaker had earlier said he and his allies are focusing on the deliberations on the 2022 National Budget to make sure it includes a provision for financial stimulus for families and small businesses.
“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,” he 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 20, the Sari-saring Pag-asa program has helped 6,187 store owners around the Philippines.