Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said he will immediately file the 10K Ayuda Bill as well his other priority bills in the Senate in order to get the ball rolling on their approval and eventual implementation.
Speaking at the oath-taking ceremony of Taguig City officials led by his wife Mayor Lani Cayetano on June 30, 2022, the former House Speaker said contrary to what some of his online bashers are saying, the distribution of P10,000 in direct cash aid to every Filipino family is “a legislative proposal” that needs action from the Senate, the House of Representatives, and Malacañang.
It is different from the privately funded Sampung Libong Pag-asa program which distributed P10,000 to select beneficiaries from May 1, 2021 until it was paused in February 2022 in keeping with Comelec guidelines for the conduct of the May elections.
“Sa mga nangbabash sa 10k ayuda, kung kaya ko lang silang bigyan ng tag-sasampung libo, binigay ko na sa kanila. Pero sa katotohanan ito’y isang legislative proposal,” he said.
“So ang hinihingi ko po doon sa mga tumutuligsa sa programang Sampung Libong (Pag-asa) during the pandemic, tumulong na lang kayo,” he added.
Promising to file the 10K Ayuda Bill in the Senate immediately, Cayetano asked newly sworn-in Taguig-Pateros Rep. Ricardo ‘Ading’ Cruz Jr. and Taguig 2nd District Rep. Maria Amparo “Pammy” Zamora to also file the counterpart bill in the House of Representatives.
“Today may I take the opportunity to ask that two of my pet bills, y’ung moral uprightness at y’ung sampung libong ayuda, ay i-file din ng ating partner sa Kongreso ni Congresswoman Pammy at Congressman Ading para sabay po lumarga ang ating mga pet bills,” Cayetano said.
10K Ayuda Bill explained
As members of the previous Congress, the Cayetanos filed House Bill No. 8597, otherwise known as the 10K Ayuda Bill, on February 1, 2021 calling for the creation of a financial aid program that will distribute P10,000 to every Filipino family, or P1,500 per family member, whichever amount is higher.
The bill was co-authored by their allies Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Ranie Abu, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, ANAKALUSUGAN Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor and Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado.
Under the bill, the money that will be given to Filipino families is intended to enable them to buy their basic needs at the moment and cover unpaid bills that may have accumulated over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cash aid is also meant to serve as seed money for families who would like to start their own small businesses, or revive those that have closed down due to lockdowns.
Despite widespread clamor, Congress failed to pass the P10,000.00 measure as a part of the Bayanihan 3 COVID-19 aid package. Congress also did not include the financial aid program proposed by the 10K Ayuda Bill in the P5-trillion 2022 national budget.
Enter Sampung Libong Pag-asa
These setbacks served as the backdrop for the launching of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program on May 1, 2021 which gave P10,000 in cash aid to select families throughout the country. Cayetano and his allies in Congress felt that the Filipino people could not just wait for the 10K Ayuda Bill to be passed, and that more urgent action must be taken.
The initiative was also a platform to campaign for the passage of the 10K Ayuda Bill and encourage the public to speak up in support of the measure.
The Sampung Libong Pag-asa program was streamed daily on former House Speaker Cayetano’s official Facebook page, with each episode featuring pre-selected beneficiaries as well as recipients chosen live via the show’s comments section.
Each episode also featured a certain province or sector, seeking to reflect the coverage envisioned by the 10K Ayuda Bill across the country and among different sectors of society.
Funds for the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program did not come from government money but from Cayetano and his allies – members of Congress, friends, and business owners – who donated their own money to the initiative.
The program was temporarily put on hold on February 7, 2022 in keeping with Comelec campaign rules. Winning his bid for a return to the Senate, Cayetano has since said he will bring back Sampung Libong Pag-asa as a private initiative, while he also pledged to continue campaigning for the passage of the 10K Ayuda Bill in the Senate.