Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday praised local officials in Pampanga for their resourcefulness in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the distribution of cash aid in Pampanga on August 16 as part of his Sampung Libong Pag-Asa (SLPA) program, Cayetano said most local government units are compelled to be creative in dealing with crises because they do not have the same resources as highly urbanized cities and the national government.
“Minsan, malaki ang expectation. Pero unlike y’ung mayors ng highly urbanized cities, congressmen, senators, o Pangulo na grabe ang resources, kayo, grabe ang resourcefulness. Ibig sabihin po, sila po, may resources. Kayo po, gumagawa ng paraan,” he said.
(Sometimes, the expectation is overwhelming. But unlike the mayors of highly urbanized cities, congressmen, senators, or the President who all have vast resources, our local officials are really resourceful. They may have the resources, but you find ways.)
Cayetano also commended the efforts of barangay officials who have been conducting house-to-house visits to distribute cash aid.
“Kung mahal natin ang ating kapwa, hindi ordinaryong tulong ang ibibigay natin pag extraordinary na y’ung problema,” he said.
(If we really love our neighbors, we can’t just give ordinary help when they are experiencing extraordinary problems.)
On Monday, the former Speaker led the distribution of cash aid to the poorest of the poor in San Fernando City, Angeles City, and Guagua.
A total of 60 displaced workers in these areas received P10,000 from Cayetano’s SLPA initiative, bringing the total number of SLPA beneficiaries to 8,570.
Guagua Mayor Dante Torres, San Fernando City Mayor Edwin Santiago, and Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky Vera-Cabigting expressed their support for the program, which was broadcast via livestream on Cayetano’s official Facebook page.
In recent weeks, local government units in Pampanga, especially the provincial capital of San Fernando City, have been ramping up their vaccination programs in response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the province, which neared 3,000 cases last week.
By August 11, more than 16 percent of San Fernando City’s residents had already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Cayetano urged the public to keep criticisms in private and work with the government in improving the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he recently met with testing czar and Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vivencio “Vince” Dizon and other officials to discuss some points for improvement in the country’s vaccination program.
“Siyempre po, walang perpekto. And ngayong pong panahon ng pandemic, we have to change our mindset. Di pwedeng panay bangayan o panay tirahan. We have to help each other and learn from our mistakes,” he said.
(Of course, nobody is perfect. And now that we’re still under a pandemic, we have to change our mindset. We can’t just bash each other all the time.)