Known for advocating 10k Ayuda for each Filipino family since 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday expressed gratitude to Taguig-Pateros Representative Ricardo ‘Ading’ Cruz Jr. for filing a counterpart measure at the House of Representatives before session ended in March.
“Ako’y nagpapasalamat kay Cong. Ading at sa mga sumusuporta sa 10K Ayuda Bill,” Cayetano said in an interview with reporters on April 3, 2023 after the opening of The Life of Christ reflection site in the City of Taguig.
This after Cruz on March 22 filed House Bill No. 07698 or “An act providing P10,000 cash assistance to all Filipino families to help them cope with the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic and the increasing prices of goods and services, and for other purposes” at the House of Representatives.
Cayetano had first filed the 10K Ayuda Bill (House Bill No. 8597) in the 18th Congress with his wife, then-Taguig first district Rep. Lani Cayetano, to provide Filipino families needing economic relief with a one-time cash assistance of P10,000, or P1,500 per family member, whichever is higher.
The 18th Congress failed to include the measure in the Bayanihan 3 COVID-19 package but when he won a seat in the Senate in the 19th Congress in 2022, Cayetano filed Senate Bill No. 62 or the proposed Sampung Libong Pag-asa Law providing the same benefits.
The independent senator admitted there had been pushbacks but he vowed not to give up on the 10K Ayuda Bill especially since the government and its finance cluster had admitted there is money for the proposal but that it was distributed among various departments.
“Alam niyo po hindi tayo marunong mag-give up. Ang gobyerno, Cabinet Secretary, at finance cluster na mismo ang nagsabi na hindi nila gusto y’ung 10K para sa lahat. Pero inamin nila na may pera para sa 10K except daw na ang iba ay nasa DSWD, DOH, at DOLE nilagay,” he said.
“Ako kasi ang pananaw ko kapag tinanong mo sa tao, hirap silang makuha ito kasi kung wala kang kilala, walang programa, o walang mass na payout, hindi ka basta nakakasama,” he added.
Regardless of the outcome of the bills now pending in the House and Senate, Cayetano said he will continue to help Filipino families in need through his Sampung Libong Pag-asa program which, with the help of private donors, provides assistance to selected beneficiaries throughout the country.
“I will not stop from finding a way na y’ung mga nangangailangan ay makakuha ng tulong. Ang ginagawa namin ngayon, both from private and public funds, is nakatutok kami sa sobrang mga nangangailangan,” he said.
He said the program has extended help to needy Filipinos in the form of medical assistance and the provision of seed capital for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Halimbawa y’ung mga medical assistance na kailangan – whether that’s 10K or bigger, and secondly doon sa opportunity, sa small businesses, karinderya, parlor, sari-sari store, y’ung mga tinamaan ng pandemic na masisipag. Hindi sila tamad pero talagang naubos lang [ang pera],” he explained.
“In our own private capacity, we will help them. I thank those who are quietly or not so quietly supporting it. Remember it’s not the amount, it’s the opportunity,” he added.
For aspiring small business owners, Cayetano said providing Filipino families with ample seed capital helps them start and sustain a small business in the long run.
“Y’ung 4Ps halimbawa, P100 billion a year y’un, nakakatulong din iyon. Pero sa akin, kapag binigay mo monthly ay isang libo o dalawang libo, talagang mapupunta lang iyon sa bigas at kaunting ulam. Pero kapag binigay mo ng isang bigayan na P5,000, P10,000, o P20,000, maghahanapbuhay ang tao. Ito ang pinaghuhugutan ko na magbigay ng mas malaki kasi maraming gustong mag negosyo ngayon, wala lang kapital,” he said.
Sharing his encounters with common folk around the country, he also said more people requested seed capital instead of seminars on how to do business.
“It’s true na hindi ka pwede magnegosyo na kapital lang at walang skill or knowledge. Pero sa totoo lang, sa dami ng magagaling at tumutulong, nagme-mentor, nagse-seminar, ang kailangan na ng tao ngayon ay kapital… It’s really capital for small businesses, money for opportunity,” he said.