Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said even a small amount can go a long way when one is helping other people through the difficult times.
“Kahit anong tulong po ay mahalaga. Magugulat po kayo what P500, P5,000, P10,000 can do for one business. Hindi lang po pamilya niya, kundi mga kapitbahay niya rin ang makikinabang,” Cayetano said as he encouraged Filipinos to practice bayanihan and help one another during the pandemic.
(It is important to help as much as we can. You’d be surprised at how far P500, P5,000, or P10,000 could do for a small business. Everyone in the community, not just the person’s family, will benefit.)
The former Speaker made the statement as he spearheaded the distribution of grocery packs to 1,208 barangay frontliners in Pasay City and Parañaque City on November 11, 2021.
Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso have been pushing for the 10K Ayuda Bill which seeks to provide every Filipino family with P10,000 in direct aid to help them with their daily needs as well as put up their own small businesses.
The proposed measure was filed in February and was consolidated into Bayanihan 3, but the provision of P10,000 for every family was not adopted.
As they continue to push for the bill in Congress, Cayetano and his allies have been conducting the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program, which gives P10,000 in financial assistance to select individuals, and the Sari-saring Pag-asa program which provides P3,500 in cash aid to sari-sari store owners.
Cayetano and his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano have also been going around different areas distributing various forms of assistance to frontliners.
In Pasay City, a total of 608 barangay frontliners received grocery packs, 308 of whom were frontliners from Barangay 183 and 300 were from Barangay 201.
In Parañaque City, 350 beneficiaries came from Barangay BF Homes and 250 came from Barangay San Isidro — the two biggest barangays in the city.
During his Facebook livestream, Cayetano said the activities were an opportunity to honor barangay frontliners and local chief executives who have been leading the country against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The burden of COVID-19, especially in Metro Manila, fell on the shoulders of the mayors. Akala ng tao, unlimited minsan y’ung resources. Pero sa dami ng nangangailangan, you have to exert leadership on who needs more,” he said.
(People often think the resources are unlimited. But because many people need help, you have to exert leadership on who needs more.)
Local government officials of Pasay City shared the challenges they had to face during the pandemic.
“Dito sa barangay namin, sa buong Pasay, kami ang pinakamaraming COVID-19 cases, so kailangan mag-exert talaga kami ng effort para makatulong,” Barangay 183 Captain Ruth Cortez said, lamenting the hardships faced by both officials and constituents during the pandemic.
(Here in our barangay, we had the most number of COVID-19 cases so we made sure to exert all our efforts to aid our constituents.)
“Talaga pong naapektuhan at nagsara [ang mga small businesses],” Barangay 201 Captain Jaime Bontilao said.
(Many small businesses were affected and had to close due to the pandemic.)
Cayetano was joined in the events by Barangay 183 Chair Ruth Cortez of Pasay City, Barangay 201 Chair James Bontilao of Pasay City, Parañaque 1st District Rep. Eric Olivarez, Parañaque 2nd District Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting and husband former Rep. Gustavo “Gus” Tambunting, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, and other local government officials.