Filipinos urged to help each other recover from pandemic

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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday urged Filipinos to do more to help each other recover from the effects of the pandemic as his signature direct stimulus program continues to bring aid to displaced workers across the country.

Sabi sa Bibliya, kung mahal mo ang Diyos, mahal mo ang iyong kapwa. So let’s do everything to be able to help each other,” Cayetano said in a video posted on his Facebook page prior to the Sampung Libong Pag-asa episode on November 15.

(The Bible says if you love God, you must love your neighbor. So let’s do everything to be able to help each other.)

This as the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program, which gives P10,000 in cash aid to select beneficiaries, reached another milestone on Monday with total beneficiaries shooting numbering 13,531 nationwide.

The program’s latest beneficiaries include 30 gasoline station attendants in the cities of Navotas, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa, along with 20 other grantees who were chosen online, all of whom received P10,000 each.

During the program’s livestream on Cayetano’s official Facebook page, the former Speaker said the amount given to beneficiaries, although relatively modest, is meant to jumpstart their families’ efforts to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

Y’ung 10K kasi, it approximates one month na kung Monday to Friday ka nagtatrabaho sa minimum wage. So hopefully, hindi lang ‘to pangtawid kundi pang-ahon din,” he said.

(The P10,000 cash grant approximates a month’s minimum wage if you work from Monday to Friday. So hopefully, this isn’t just a financial band-aid but instead a lifeline for people.)

Rep. John Rey Tiangco of the Lone District of Navotas thanked former House Speaker Cayetano and his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano for bringing the Sampung Libong Pag-asa initiative to his constituents.

Talagang malaking tulong ito, lalung-lalo na sa panahon ngayon na hirap na hirap y’ung mga kababayan po natin dito sa Navotas,” Rep. Tiangco said.

(This is of great help, especially at this time when many people here in Navotas are struggling to get by.)

Navotas City Vice Mayor Clint Nicholas Geronimo likewise praised Cayetano for the cash aid initiative, saying the program has brought hope to some in his city who work as gasoline station attendants.

Ito po ay tunay na napakalaking inspirasyon at malaking pag-asa ang ibibigay po nito para makaahon sa hirap ang ating mga mamamayan,” Vice Mayor Geronimo said.

(This cash aid will greatly inspire and give hope to our people so that they can pull themselves out of poverty.)

Parañaque 2nd District Rep. Joy Tambunting, meanwhile, recalled that Cayetano had been wanting to help service workers such as gasoline station attendants and said she was grateful that the former House Speaker was making good on that vision.

Actually alam kong ito ang pangarap niyo, mahal kong Speaker, noong panahon pa nung tayo pa ay nasa Kongreso at kaya tinutupad niyo. Maraming salamat mahal kong Speaker sa pagtupad niyo ng ating pangako at ng ating pangarap,” Tambunting said.

(Actually, I know you’ve been envisioning this, dear Speaker, even in previous sessions of Congress, and now you’re making good on it. Thank you dear Speaker for fulfilling your promise and vision.)

For his part, Muntinlupa City Vice Mayor Temy Simundac acknowledged that gasoline station attendants barely make enough for their families’ needs, and said the cash aid from the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program is a welcome relief for these workers.

Alam naman natin na ang ating mga empleyado mula sa mga gasoline station na nabanggit, tumatanggap lamang ng tama sa kanilang pamilya. Ngunit napakagandang pagkakataon na ang ating Cayetano family ay magkakaloob ng tig-10,000 para sa ating mga frontliners,” Simundac said.

(We know that gasoline station employees barely make enough for their families. But we’re very fortunate that the Cayetano family is giving P10,000 to our economic frontliners.)

Sampung Libong Pag-asa is a private cash relief initiative started in May this year by Cayetano and his allies in Congress. It serves as an extension of their lobbying efforts for the 10K Ayuda Bill, a broad-based stimulus measure that Cayetano and company are aiming to insert into the 2022 national budget.

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