Keep the change: How a small gesture can help the economy recover

For former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, the spirit of bayanihan can be exercised with simple gestures like telling sari-sari store owners to “keep the change.”

“Habang papalapit ang Pasko, alam niyo, napakaraming tao ang [may] napakabigat na problema,” Cayetano said during the Sari-saring Pag-asa program livestreamed on his official Facebook page on Friday, November 26, 2021.

(As Christmas approaches, so many people are carrying very heavy problems.)

He said this gives everyone an opportunity to help out even in small ways. If enough people do these simple gestures, the neighborhood and ultimately the country’s economy will benefit.

Halimbawa, isang sari-sari store, can you imagine if everyone na may bibilhin, let’s say P20 or P50 pero bibigay niyo P100 at sasabihin niyo ‘keep the change’ muna para ang kanyang sari-sari store ay lumaki. So sa isang araw if sampung tao ang gagawa niyan then P500 na y’un. Sa isang linggo P3,500 na y’un,” he said.

(Take a sari-sari store for example. Can you imagine if everyone has something to buy, let’s say P20 or P50 worth but you give P100 and you say ‘keep the change’ so that their sari sari store can grow. So if in one day 10 people do that, then that’s P500. That’s P3,500 in a week.)

Incidentally, P3,500 is the amount the Sari-saring Pag-asa provides to store owners as financial aid they can use to restock their supplies and to pay for some of their bills.

This helps ensure not just the businesses’ income but also the circulation of money around the community to contribute to the economy.

During Friday’s episode, 162 new beneficiaries from Barangay Pasadeña (San Juan City) and the 2nd District of Quezon City were announced. This brings the total number of beneficiaries to 7,009 since the program was launched in mid-2021.

“Magugulat kayo sa amount na P3,500 or minsan P10,000 kasi malaki ang nagagawa para muling mabuhay,” Cayetano said.

(You will be surprised at how much P3,500 or sometimes P10,000 can do to help someone recover.)

Among those present in Friday’s Facebook livestream event were Pasadeña Barangay Captain Jaime Venal, ANAKALUSUGAN Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor, Quezon City 1st District Rep. Onyx Crisologo, Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo, and Quezon City Councilor Winnie Castelo.

“Y’ung natanggap naming tulong ay masasabi kong isang napakalaking blessing sa amin, lalo na sa mga indigent families dito sa amin,” Venal said.

(The help we received is a huge blessing for us, especially to the indigent families in our barangay.)

Sari-saring Pag-asa complements Cayetano’s Sampung Libong Pag-asa program which provides P10,000 in cash aid to select families in order to help them recover from their financial loss.

At the core of his livelihood programs is the 10K Ayuda Bill, which if included in the 2022 national budget will mandate direct stimulus payouts of at least P10,000 to every Filipino family to help them with immediate household needs and restart their businesses.

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