Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has pledged to give 50 musicians P10,000 each in cash aid through the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program, as the livelihoods of performing artists and workers in the creative industries continue to be in limbo despite a steadily opening economy.
His office put out the “Himig ng Pasko at Pag-asa” virtual concert aired over his official Facebook page on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, featuring musicians Richie “Duterte” Santos, Paolo Santos, Thor Dulay, Pido Lalimarmo, and Jimmy Bondoc.
During the concert, Bondoc took time to thank the former Speaker and his wife, Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano, for taking the initiative to help performers and creative workers displaced by the pandemic through the Sampung Libong Pag-asa financial aid program.
“I’m here to thank sir Alan and ma’am Lani, in behalf of all the musicians na matutulungan ng (who will receive aid through) Sampung Libong Pag-asa,” Bondoc said.
“One of the hardest-hit industries talaga y’ung music, and si sir Alan has committed to give y’ung Sampung Libong Pag-asa to each of the 50 musicians of our designation, kasi may grupo po kami ng mga verified talaga na tinamaan economic effects ng pandemic,” Bondoc added.
(One of the hardest-hit industries is music, and sir Alan has committed to give (cash grants from) Sampung Libong Pag-asa to each of the 50 musicians of our designation, because we have a verified group of musicians who have suffered because of the economic effects of the pandemic.)
Sampung Libong Pag-asa is former Speaker Cayetano’s signature COVID-19 financial aid program, stemming from his 10K Ayuda advocacy of providing each Filipino family P10,000 as a stimulus measure to pump-prime the country’s economic recovery.
The program has reached more than 14,400 beneficiaries nationwide as of this writing.
Bondoc also said that the concert is a celebration of the steady progress the country has made in battling COVID-19 in the last few months.
He however cautioned that the emerging Omicron variant of SARS CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19 remains a threat to the country.
“This is a celebration of how far we’ve come as a country kasi parang patapos na ng konti y’ung pandemic, pero mag-mask pa rin kayo ha kasi y’ung iba hindi na nagma-mask, baka ma-Omicron tayo. Nevertheless, it’s a celebration of renewed life,” Bondoc said.
(This is a celebration of how far we’ve come as a country because we’re starting to see the end of this pandemic, but still wear your masks. I see some people not wearing their masks, you might catch the Omicron variant. Nevertheless, it’s a celebration of renewed life.)
Musicians, performing artists, and workers in the creative industries were among the first to feel the economic effects of the pandemic as the contagion shut down venues and businesses where people gathered.
Restrictions on seating capacity and cross-border travel also made it difficult for artists to stage events in the first year of the pandemic.
Most areas in the country now allow for indoor activities up to 50 percent of venue capacity, with more mobility afforded to fully-vaccinated individuals.