Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday encouraged his fellow public officials to stop focusing on pandemic problems and instead think of themselves as “solutions looking for problems.”
In an interview with Bombo Radyo Nationwide on August 13, Cayetano said this will enable them to come up with programs and activities that will help the people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Imbes na ang pananaw ay problema na lang parati, ang ating pananaw ay tayo’y mga solusyon na naghahanap ng problema,” he said.
(Instead of focusing on the problems, our perspective should be that we are solutions looking for problems.)
Citing the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1) enacted last year as a product of this perspective, Cayetano said programs like medical assistance and emergency relief and rehabilitation are responses to solve problems.
“Kasi kung y’ung pananaw ng gobyerno ay base sa prinsipyong mahalin ang Diyos at ang tao, makakagawa tayo ng plano na puno ng mga proyekto’t programa na talagang maiibsan ang kanilang kahirapan ngayon,” Cayetano said.
(If the government had a perspective based on the principle of loving God and neighbors, we would be able to come up with a plan filled with projects and activities that will provide relief to the people.)
“Sa Bayanihan 1, naipakita natin ‘yan. Nakahanap tayo ng more than P300 billion para tulungan ang ating gobyerno,” he added.
(We were able to show that in Bayanihan 1. We were able to find more than P300 billion to help the government.)
Meanwhile, Cayetano said he is proposing the creation of a separate planning group aside from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 whose sole responsibility is to plan for the future of the country.
While he commended the IATF for its efforts, he said the system leading to its creation was “problematic” as the government did not expect the pandemic to last more than a year.
“Masipag naman at sincere ang IATF, pero problematic y’ung system kasi ad hoc. Hindi naman nila akalain na 500 days ‘to,” he said.
(The IATF is hardworking and sincere, but the system is problematic because it is ad hoc. They did not expect this to last up to 500 days.)
He said lack of planning has resulted in people leaving their homes and potentially exposing themselves to the novel coronavirus because they are going hungry due to the lockdowns that have forced businesses to close and workers to lose their jobs.
“Alam naman natin kapag lockdown, ‘pag gutom ang tao, lalabas ng bahay. Kung binigay na sana natin y’ung ayuda bago mag-ECQ, eh hindi na natin palalabasin,” Cayetano added.
(We know that when there is a lockdown and people are hungry, they will refuse to stay at home. If we had only given the cash relief before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), we would have been able to enforce the stay-at-home order.)###