Senator Alan Peter “Compañero” Cayetano on Monday said he is expecting the administration to lay down its concrete plans for catching agriculture smugglers in the coming weeks following the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“N’ung sinabing, ‘Bilang na ang araw niyo,’ what does that mean? Abangan natin,” Cayetano said in a media interview immediately after the SONA on July 24, 2023.
He was referring to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s pronouncement that the administration will run after and file charges against individuals and entities that have been smuggling and hoarding agricultural products.
“May kasunod y’on na dapat natin i-expect, ‘di ba? So bibilangin ko talaga ang araw. Hopefully [apprehending the smugglers and hoarders] will help the supply and the prices,” the independent senator said.
Cayetano nonetheless acknowledged Marcos’ “sense of urgency” about the matter, which he said has been in the minds of many Filipinos.
“Hearing him discuss the problems with the solution, nakikita natin na may sense of urgency at malalim ang pagkaalam niya sa problema,” he said.
‘Presyo, trabaho, kita’
Asked whether he was satisfied with the overall direction of the administration based on the President’s SONA, Cayetano said he had been hoping for a more detailed plan for managing the country’s inflation.
“In-expect ko naman na hindi masasabi lahat in one hour and twenty minutes,” he said. “Mahirap maging satisfied ngayon kasi marami talagang gutom, marami talagang nawalan ng trabaho, maraming negosyo ang nagsarang hindi na magbubukas.”
Cayetano said in order to effectively uplift the lives of Filipinos, the government must recognize the direct relationship among lack of jobs, low pay, and prices of goods.
“Kahit mataas ang presyo, kung napakalaki ng kita mo at lahat ng tao may trabaho, OK lang ‘di ba?” he said. “Pero kapag mataas na ang presyo, wala ka nang kita, tapos pupunta ka pa ng siyudad or worst mag-aabroad ka pa para lang kumita, nagko-compound talaga ang problema,” he continued.
Cayetano said he will be expecting from the administration a more detailed plan to manage the country’s inflation rate in the face of global circumstances that are “out of the President’s control”.
“What I’m hoping for is y’ung mga plano ay pulido, y’ung technical details na kailangan namin [ay maibibigay], at y’ung bill ay nakahanda para we can get to work right away,” he said.