For former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, planning is everything when it comes to beating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang (national) budget ay hindi lang isang libro na mga number o mga project. Ito ay isang plano. Dapat ang nilalaman nito ay mga paraan para ma-solve ang mga problema, mga solusyon,” Cayetano said in an interview with RMN Cebu on Friday, August 27.
(The budget is not just a book of numbers or projects. It is a plan, and it should contain the measures to solve problems.)
Commenting on the proposed budget of P240.75 billion for the country’s fight against the virus in the 2022 national budget, Cayetano said it was both good news and bad news.
“On one hand, the good news is lumaki ‘to at magandang response ‘to kaysa this year,” Cayetano said.
(On one hand, the good news is there is an increase from the budget this year.)
“On the other hand, naliliitan pa ako at ang nakikita ko dito, because hindi naglagay ng specific na P150 to P200 billion para sa 10K Ayuda, ang mangyayari nito, mayroong magkakaroon ng ayuda at mayroong hindi. At y’ung proseso, mabigat pa rin,” he added.
(On the other hand, I still think it is a small amount. From what I see, because there are no specific allocations amounting to P150 to P200 billion for the 10K Ayuda, some people will receive cash aid from the government while some will not. The process will still be tedious.)
The P240.75 billion pandemic fund is only 4.79% of the proposed P5.04-trillion national budget for next year.
“Let’s not expect anything next year, unless itanim natin ‘yan sa (we put that in the) budget,” Cayetano said.
The former Speaker said he and his allies in Congress will continue to examine the budget and make their proposals in order to come up with a “Defeat COVID-19 budget.”
“When you say ‘Defeat COVID-19,’ dalawa ‘yan: talunin y’ung virus na ‘wag magkasakit y’ung mga tao, but also magkaroon ng kabuhayan ang mga tao. Kasi kung mamamatay din sila sa gutom ay hindi mo pa rin na-defeat ang COVID-19 nun,” he said.
(When you say ‘defeat COVID-19,’ that means two things: you have to defeat the virus to prevent the public from being sick, and you have to ensure that people have livelihoods. Because if people die out of hunger, then you still have not defeated COVID-19.)
“Asahan niyo po that we’ll continue to examine the budget, make our proposals, but ako, ang tingin ko talaga, in the next three years, kailangan ng 10K Ayuda,” Cayetano added.
(Expect that we will continue to examine the budget and make our proposals. As for me, I still think that in the next three years, people need P10,000 cash aid.)