Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said Congress has no reason not to pass the 10K Ayuda Bill after a version of it was filed in the Senate on Monday by Senator Joel Villanueva.
“I think this is vindication that what I and my allies filed in the House almost a year ago would have helped millions of Filipino families who were suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cayetano said.
Senate Bill No. 2486 or the proposed Bangon Pamilyang Pilipino (BPP) Assistance Program Act of 2022 filed by Villanueva on January 24, 2022 adopts the heart of the 10K Ayuda Bill Cayetano and his allies filed on February 1, 2020 in the House of Representatives.
Both bills aim to distribute a one-time cash assistance of P10,000 per family or P1,500 per family member, whichever is higher.
Expressing gratitude to Villanueva for filing SB No. 2468, Cayetano said Congress needs to be proactive and “pass an economic package that will ensure that during the busiest time of the year, the Filipino people are well fed and are able to survive.”
The Senate bill’s explanatory note says although Filipinos are known for their grit and resilience, “assistance to our countrymen is still needed to help them survive and get back on their feet amidst the pandemic.”
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures to boost the economy and the lives of the Filipino people,” it added.
On Thursday, three days after Villanueva filed the bill, members of the 10K Ayuda Na Network held a protest rally in front of the Senate in Pasay City.
The group has been actively calling on the government to distribute financial support to Filipino families affected by the pandemic, particularly the proposed P10,000 financial aid to Filipinos who have lost their jobs and livelihoods to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Last two minutes’
The former Speaker likened the remaining session days to the often crucial “last two minutes” in basketball during which games can be won or lost.
“Parang basketball din ‘yan, y’ung last two minutes. Alam naman natin na ‘pag pinush talaga ng Speaker, ng Senate President, at lalo na ng Malacañang, maipapasa ‘yan,” he said.
(Think of it as the last two minutes of a basketball game. We all know that if the Speaker, Senate President, and Malacañang will push for something, it will be passed right away.)
Almost a year after filing the 10K Ayuda Bill in the House, Cayetano said there continues to exist a “real need for a direct stimulus aid especially for Filipinos in affected sectors as the pandemic continues.”
In response to the hardships brought about by the pandemic, Cayetano initiated his twin programs Sampung Libong Pag-asa and Sari Saring Pag-asa program early last year to push the government to provide P10,000 in aid to all Filipino families.
Sampung Libong Pag-asa provides direct aid of P10,000 to Filipinos in the affected sectors while Sari-saring Pag-asa provides small store owners with P3,500 financial aid in order to give them a chance to restock their small stores and businesses.
As of January 28, 2022, the Sampung Libong Pag-asa has benefitted a total of 15,727 families while the Sari-saring Pag-asa has benefitted a total of 15,663 sari-sari store owners.