With the sports industry suffering a major blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes, coaches, and other professionals are having a hard time doing what they love the most.
Gretel De Paz of Muntinlupa City counts herself blessed because she is able to pursue her passion with the help of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso.
A Muay-thai fighter, professional boxer, and boxing coach, De Paz’s story was featured in the online program on Wednesday, August 25.
In a short video clip, De Paz shared how the 10K Ayuda she received from Cayetano and his group on June 17, 2021 helped her and her family get through the pandemic.
“N’ung natanggap ko y’ung 10K na galing kay [dating Speaker] Alan Cayetano, bumili ako ng mga vitamins, mga halagang P1,500. Nagpadala din ako sa probinsya noon, nasa P3,000,” she said.
(When I received P10,000 in cash aid from former Speaker Cayetano, I bought vitamins worth P1,500 and sent around P3,000 money to my family in the province.)
She said she used the remaining money to fund her training in Baguio City for the boxing pre-qualifying games of the 2021 South East Asian (SEA) Games.
Before the pandemic, De Paz earned P250 daily as a coach. With the 10K Ayuda from Cayetano, she now earns P700 daily for doing home-based coaching.
“Sa katulad ko po ngayon na nahihirapan sa buhay, patuloy lang po tayo lumaban, ‘wag sumuko, at magdasal lang po tayo, tiwala sa itaas na malagpasan natin ito,” she said.
(To those having a hard time like me, let us continue to fight. Let us never give up and let us continue to pray. Let us trust the Man above, that He will help us get through this.)
Since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) started on August 6, Cayetano and the members of the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso have been giving cash assistance daily to workers gravely affected by the pandemic.
On Wednesday, 30 pre-selected beneficiaries from the cities of Mandaluyong, Marikina, and Valenzuela and 20 other beneficiaries from the Facebook livestream’s viewers and commenters were chosen to receive the 10K Ayuda.
Launched on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program gives P10,000 in financial assistance to select individuals affected by the pandemic.
As of August 25, a total of 9,285 have received the cash assistance.
Cayetano spearheaded the initiative in order to campaign for the inclusion of the P10,000 financial aid provision under the Bayanihan 3.