Sampung Libong Pag-asa: Hope for the displaced

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Residing in West Fairview, Quezon City, Reylia de Guzman used to work as a manicurist. Prior to the pandemic, she was earning P300 to P400 a day, but as safety protocols and lockdowns were implemented, she lost most of her income.

She counted it a blessing when she was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program initiated by former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his group Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso.

With the P10,000 cash aid she received on July 23, de Guzman was able to sustain her family’s needs by investing in a small business selling frozen goods.

Nung ako’y nakakuha ng 10K, yung kalahati po na 5,000 ginamit ko pong puhunan ng mga frozen foods at yung 5,000 din po pinang bayad ko po ng bills at tsaka panggastos po sa aming bahay,” she said.

(When I got the P10,000, I used half of it to invest in frozen foods. The other P5,000 I used for our bills and expenses for the house.)

De Guzman now earns P1,200 to P1,500 a week from her small business. Full of new hope, she is able to provide her family food on the table and continues to pray for their wellbeing.

Ngayong ECQ po, malaking tulong po [ang ayuda] dahil hindi na po kami nag-aalala kung saan kami makakakuha ng makakain dahil nabigyan po ako ng puhunan. Y’un na po ang pangtaguyod sa aking pamilya,” de Guzman said.

(Now that ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] has been imposed, we won’t worry about what we have to eat everyday because I was able to receive money to invest in a business. That’s what we are using to sustain our needs.)

Relief and recovery
De Guzman’s story was featured in the August 20, 2021 edition of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa, which provides P10,000 in cash aid to select individuals to help them pay for their daily necessities and to start their own businesses.

The program was held weekly since May 1, 2021 but became a daily event during the ECQ in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20 so that more people, especially displaced workers, could get assistance.

A total of 180 beneficiaries received aid during the August 20 program, 150 of whom were displaced workers and ECQ frontliners from the cities of Marikina, Valenzuela, Taguig-Pateros, and Manila. The remaining 30 were chosen from the live stream’s comments section.

For the duration of the two-week ECQ, the program benefitted a total of 1,028 people. This brings the current total number of beneficiaries since the program’s inception to over 8,900 Filipinos.

Kailangan natin ay relief at recovery, sabay, para mayroong pantawid at makaahon,” Cayetano said during the program on Friday, during which he was joined by his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano.

(We need both relief and recovery to be done together. This is to ensure that families are given the chance to recover).

Masisipag ang mga Pilipino, nawalan lang ng oportunidad,” he added.

(Filipinos are hardworking, they just lost opportunities [due to the pandemic]).

The Sampung Libong Pag-asa is an offshoot of the 10K Ayuda Bill that Cayetano and his allies filed on February 1, 2021. It seeks to provide P10,000 to every Filipino family, but the amount was not included in the House version of Bayanihan 3.

“Sana yung isinusulong niyo na panukala, maging batas na. Dahil important na importannte to sa buong sambayang Pilipinas,” Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian said in a pre-recorded message during Friday’s program.

(I hope the proposal you are pushing for becomes law. This is important for the whole Filipino nation.)

Also sending their recorded messages were Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, Valenzuela Councilor Rovin Faliciano, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno, Punong Barangay Jefferson Tee, Punong Barangay Roland Marino, Barangay Kagawad Lai Marino, Taguig Councilor Amparo Maria Zamora, and Councilor Marisse Balina-Eron.

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