Central Luzon folk continue to benefit from Cayetano’s program for coops amid pandemic

TAGUIG CITY, July 11, 2021 — Nearly seven years since they became beneficiaries, cooperatives and associations of indigent sectors in Tarlac and Pampanga managed to survive amid the pandemic in part through the seed capital they had received under former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s “Presyo Trabaho Kita” (PTK) program.

The PTK program is an advocacy project launched by Cayetano in 2014 to help tricycle drivers, public utility jeepney drivers, market vendors, farmers, and fishermen, among others, form their own micro-cooperatives instead of resorting to “five-six” lending.

The beneficiaries receive seed capital in tranches and are given more as they succeed in growing their respective cooperatives.

A total of 21 coop-beneficiaries in Tarlac and Pampanga have been receiving financial support under the PTK program since 2014.

During the distribution of P10,000 in cash aid to select families in Tarlac and Pampanga under Cayetano’s “Sampung Libong Pag-Asa” program on July 9, leaders in the two provinces thanked the lawmaker for his support to the small associations in their localities.

“Yung mga walang pwesto [sa palengke], ‘yung perang binigay mo sa kanila, hanggang ngayon nakikinabang sila. Gan’un din ang mga tricycle driver,” Guagua Mayor Dante Torres said.

(The market vendors and tricycle drivers are still benefiting from the financial assistance you gave them.)

Angeles City Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting, for her part, said many senior citizens and public transport operators and drivers have received assistance from Cayetano’s program.

“And we’re happy to note na hanggang ngayon po ay napapaikot naman po ang binigay niyo sa kanila lalo na po ‘yung mga senior citizen ng Balibago,” she said.

(And we’re happy to note that, until now, their capital is revolving, especially that of the senior citizens in Balibago.)

Cayetano acknowledged that some of the cooperatives were forced to use their capital as an emergency fund during the pandemic.

“Dahil nag-pandemic po, medyo ginastos muna sa tropa nila, pero lahat sila raring to go,” he said.

(Because of the pandemic, they had to use the funds for their members, but they are all raring to go.)

He said the payout of PTK financial aid will resume as usual once the pandemic is over and the program’s funds allow.

“Sa ngayon, tulong-tulong muna, bayanihan (For now, let’s extend help to everybody),” he added.

‘President material’
The local officials of the two provinces also noted how Cayetano “never failed to return” to the municipalities and follow through with his assistance to their needy sectors.

“Maraming salamat sa tulong medikal mo sa mga naoospital. Natanggap na po ng Siyudad San Fernando. At ‘wag ka magsawa na tumulong dahil sabi mo nga, kagustuhan palagi ng Diyos iyan, ang tumulong sa kapwa,” San Fernando, Pampanga Mayor Edwin Santiago said.

(Thank you so much for your medical assistance for our patients. San Fernando City has received it. We hope you will never get tired of helping because as you said, it is God’s will for his people to help one another.)

Santiago let slip that he is eyeing to support Cayetano if ever the lawmaker runs for president.

“Tinatanong ko itong mga kababayan natin kung sino ang gusto nila mag-president. Tanungin natin sila, Cong: sino ang gusto niyo maging presidente? Cayetano raw,” Santiago said.

(I was asking my constituents who they want to run for president. Let’s ask them: who do you want to run for president? They said “Cayetano.”)

Tarlac City Mayor Christie Angeles, who is among those pushing for the passage of Cayetano’s 10K Ayuda Bill, also hinted her support for the lawmaker.

“We need leaders like you lalong-lalo na sa pamumuno po sa buong bansa (especially when it comes to running the whole nation), Mr. President,” Angeles said.###


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