With little more than a month before Christmas, the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program continues to spread love and hope to hundreds of Filipino workers and craftsmen.
On Friday, the program featured parol makers and vendors from San Fernando City, Pampanga who each received 10K Ayuda from former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) coalition.
“Christmas is also about giving. These people have given their talent as hanap-buhay (livelihood) [at] pamilya nila nabubuhay diyan (and their families depend on it),” Cayetano said during the program’s live stream in his official Facebook page on November 19, 2021.
San Fernando City is known as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the low number of people buying lanterns, parol makers and vendors have been struggling with their livelihood.
Giving them hope during the Christmas season is Cayetano’s 10K Ayuda. The program announced a total of 100 beneficiaries, 50 of whom were pre-selected in partnership with the local government unit.
Twenty-five (25) other beneficiaries were Facebook live commenters from the previous livestream of the program while 25 were randomly selected during the most recent livestream.
“Ang ating mga pinto, ang ating bahay, ang ating parks, mga kalye, ‘pag tiningnan ang symbol ng Christmas, ang star o ang parol, and maaalala natin ang ultimate sacrifice ng Panginoon Hesu Kristo. Let’s honor the people behind that,” Cayetano said.
(Our doors, houses, parks, and streets are usually filled with lanterns shaped as the star — the symbol of Christmas. Because of this, we remember the ultimate sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s honor the people behind that.)
Cayetano was joined on set by his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano and host Chiqui Reyes.
Also joining them virtually were San Fernando City Vice Mayor Jaime “Jimmy” Lazatin, Barangay Captain Angel Wijango of Barangay Calulut, and parol makers Ryan Cayanan and Arnel Flores.
Cayanan, who comes from Barangay Dolores, has been in the lantern making business for four years. He used to earn P300 to P500 per parol but this fell to P200 since the start of the pandemic.
With the 10K Ayuda, he plans on paying for his father’s medical needs and the remaining half will be used to hire workers.
Flores, on the other hand, has been in the business for 20 years and lives in Barangay Sta. Lucia. With his business, he was able to send his son to college. The 10K Ayuda will be used to purchase additional materials for his parols.
Launched on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program gives P10,000 in financial assistance to select individuals affected by the pandemic. The Former Speaker spearheaded the initiative in order to campaign for the inclusion of the P10,000 financial aid provision under the Bayanihan 3.
The program focuses on various affected sectors each week in order to raise awareness to the general public as well as the government regarding a Filipino family’s need for stable financial assistance in the midst of a global health crisis.
As of writing, a total of 13,681 beneficiaries have already received the cash assistance.