Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday reiterated his challenge and invitation to those planning to run for president in 2022 to join the development of a sustainable five-year economic plan for the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lahat ng presidentiables, rather than magbangayan tayo, let’s work on a five-year economic recovery plan na sustainable talaga, na makakatulong talaga, na would really input ‘yung pandemic,” Cayetano said in a press conference on June 30.
(To all the presidentiables, rather than engage in conflict, let us work on a sustainable five-year economic plan that would really help us and put the pandemic into consideration.)
“We have a medium-term development plan. Pero (But) I think we are the only country na parang year-by-year nagpaplano (that plans yearly),” he said.
Cayetano said he and his allies in Congress are now working with former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) officials and other economists in crafting the framework for the post-pandemic plan.
He said the education sector, for one, needs to be considered in the development of the plan.
“Katulad sa face-to-face classes, ‘yun ang parating tanong: face-to-face o hindi? Dati nang pang-50 students [ang] isang classroom [at] dikit-dikit, so kung sila ay pababalikin at kailangan one meter apart, ilan lang ang kasya sa classroom? Pinag-uusapan ba ‘to? May plano ba ‘to?” Cayetano said.
(Take the conduct of face-to-face classes as an example. The question being asked is usually ‘do we conduct it or not’? Before the pandemic hit, our classrooms were capable of accommodating at least 50 students, each with very little space for themselves. So, when face-to-face classes resume, how do we ensure that all students are accommodated and are one meter apart from each other? Is this being talked about? Do we have a plan for this?)
“Ang daming hindi napag-uusapan… To be fair, I’m sure may ginagawa [ang] DepEd, but it’s not being put in front and center, so wala sa plano,” he added.
(There are many issues that are not being discussed… To be fair, I am sure the Department of Education is doing something, but it is not being put front and center so it is not included in the plan.)
“So, if the government comes out or ‘yung NEDA bubunutin ‘yung five-year plan, mayroon ‘yung papel. Pero ‘yung planong maaasahan natin, ‘yung plano na sustainable, ‘yun po ang gusto naming pagkaisahan ng lahat ng presidentiables para kahit sinong manalo, hindi lugi ang Pilipino,” he concluded.
(If the government or the NEDA is asked for a plan, there is definitely one. But a sustainable economic plan that we can rely on, that is what we are hoping to work on with the presidentiables. This way, the next president will have something to work on and the Filipino people will not have to settle for anything less.)###