Community leaders across Metro Manila expressed their gratitude for the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa COVID-19 financial aid program which they say has helped bring back energy and hope in their respective neighborhoods.
On Wednesday, September 8, 30 displaced workers from Taguig-Pateros, Quezon City and Muntinlupa were given P10,000 each in cash aid through the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa initiative spearheaded by former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
The beneficiaries were all workers in retail sales and amusement, two industries that were hit particularly hard by multiple COVID-19 lockdowns since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
An additional 20 cash aid recipients were selected from the comments section of the Facebook live feed.
The cash aid is meant to enable beneficiaries to buy basic necessities as well as gain the necessary capital to start their own small businesses in what former Speaker Cayetano has described as a one-two punch to kickstart the country’s economy by stimulating consumption at the grassroots level.
The effect was certainly not lost on Marilyn Tanyag, village captain of Calzada Tipas in Taguig, who thanked former Speaker Cayetano and Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano for helping her working-class constituents who have been laid off during the pandemic.
“Makakapagbigay po ito ng tulong sa ating mga kabataan at mga residente sa ating barangay dahil karamihan po talaga ng nandito sa amin ay nawalan ng trabaho,” Tanyag shared.
(This will be of great help to our youth and the residents of our village because many who live here have lost their jobs.)
Village councilor Joey de Lara of Sta. Rosario Kanluran in Pateros echoed Tanyag’s comments, adding that the Cayetanos, who together represent two congressional districts for Taguig and Pateros, have never failed to provide support for the residents of Metro Manila’s last remaining municipality.
“Iyon pong sinusulong ng ating former Speaker Alan Cayetano ay napakaganda po niyan,” de Lara said, referring to the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa initiative.
(Former Speaker Alan Cayetano’s aid initiative, I think it’s very beneficial.)
Sampung Libong Pag-asa itself stemmed from the 10K Ayuda Bill that the Cayetanos and the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso legislative alliance filed in February 2021 to legally mandate a P10,000 direct stimulus payment to each Filipino family as part of the government’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan.
Renan Castillo, a village councilor in Baesa in Quezon City, said the staff at his barangay selected residents whom they knew were in real need but who also showed the potential to start their own businesses.
Castillo added that Cayetano’s cash aid initiative almost seemed too good to be true until he saw it first-hand.
“Akala ko sa TV lang. Nangyayari pala talaga at totoong tao, totoong magsalita, may nangyayari at may nagagawa,” Castillo said.
(I thought this only happened on TV. I’m glad it actually is real, and it’s real people, they follow through, they make things happen, they actually do things.)
For fellow Baesa village councilor Leng Montevirgen, reciprocity would be the proper reaction for the help and hope her constituents have received through Sampung Libong Pag-Asa.
“Ibabalik po namin ang aming pagsuporta at pagpapasalamat sa pamamagitan ng pagsuporta po sa kanilang mga adhikain,” Montevirgen said, referring to Cayetano’s 10K Ayuda Bill initiative and thrust towards values-centered leadership in government.
(We will return the favor for the support we received by also giving support to Cayetano’s advocacies.)
Muntinlupa City Social Welfare Office head Annalyn Mercado said she appreciates the innovativeness and immediacy of Sampung Libong Pag-Asa, noting how it has helped people in her city better cope with the effects of the pandemic.
“Hindi mo inaasahan, pero dumating. Kakaibang mekanismo, kakaibang pag-abot sa mas higit na nangangailangan upang abutin yung ating mga kababayan na sobrang naapektuhan nitong dumaan sa ating bansa,” Mercado said.
(You don’t expect it, but it arrives. A new mechanism, a new way to reach those in need, which would really help our countrymen who have been severely affected by what is happening to our country.)
The Sampung Libong Pag-Asa initiative has reached over 9,900 beneficiaries since its launching on May.