Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday said providing cash aid to every Filipino family is necessary in supporting small businesses such as sari-sari stores.
Speaking to sari-sari store owners in Olongapo on July 10, Cayetano said he will not stop pushing for the 10K Ayuda Bill because only the government has the capacity to provide aid to every household.
“Hindi ko pa rin titigilan ang P10,000 (Ayuda Bill) kasi kung walang pambili yung kapitbahay niyo, wala rin kayong mabebenta,” he said. “Kung kaya lang natin ipatawag lahat ng kapitbahay niyo, bigyan natin ng P10,000 kada isa, gagawin natin. Pero gobyerno lang ang may kaya niyan.”
(I will not stop pushing for the 10K Ayuda Bill because if your neighbors don’t have money, you won’t be able to sell anything. If only we could gather all your neighbors and give them P10,000 each, we would. But only the government is capable of doing that.)
Despite the perseverance of small business owners in the country, Cayetano said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic robbed their sector of different opportunities.
“Kayo po ang nagtanim ng inyong talino, inyong puhunan, sakripisyo, at oras. At marami po sa inyo ang nagkaroon ng kabuhayan through the sari-sari store,” he said. “Di niyo kasalanan na nagkaroon ng pandemic. Masipag naman kayo. Kaya lang nawalan ng oportunidad kasi nagkaroon ng pandemic.”
(You invested your intelligence, capital, sacrifice, and time. Because of that, many of you were able to start your own sari-sari stores. It’s not your fault that the pandemic happened. You are all hard workers. But because of the pandemic, you lost many opportunities.)
The former Speaker said he and his allies realized that the cash aid programs established under Bayanihan 1 and 2 were not enough in giving Filipino households the opportunity to revive their sources of income.
“Narealize namin, na pag P10,000 ang binigay, it’s enough para sa utang, sa tubig, sa mga babayaran mo, para sa anak mo, para sa kanyang online classes. At may matitira pang kaunti para sa negosyo mo,” Cayetano said.
(We realized that if government gives P10,000, it would be enough to pay off some debt, pay water bills and other utilities, pay for your children’s needs, for their online classes. And you would still have enough for your business.)
Cayetano insisted that only 4 percent of government savings would be needed for the implementation of the 10K Ayuda Bill.
“Apat na piso lang sa bawat P100 (ng isang opisyal o ahensya) ang itabi natin, pwede na po tayo magbigay ng P10,000 sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” he said.
(With 4 pesos from every 100 pesos from our officials or agencies, we can already give P10,000 to every Filipino family.)
The 10K Ayuda bill was filed on February 1, 2021 with the aim of promoting household consumption and stimulating the economy. While the bill was consolidated into the Bayanihan 3 bill, its proposed amount for financial assistance was not adopted.
Since then, Cayetano and his allies have been distributing cash aid to the poorest of the poor through their Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program. Almost 5,000 beneficiaries have already received aid through the initiative.