With gyms and other sports facilities forced to close during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, sports and fitness industry workers have been left out of their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.
“Ang ating pong mga nasa sports ay kasama po sa mga na-displace kasi sarado po ngayon yung mga gym. At katulad po ng mga basketball, except yung professional tulad ng PBA, napakatagal na pong ipinagbawal y’ung usual natin na paglalaro,” former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said during the Sampung Libong Pag-asa online program on Thursday, August 12.
(Those in the sports industry have been displaced because gyms are closed right now. Like basketball, except for professional leagues like the Philippine Basketball Association [PBA], our usual sporting activities have not been allowed for a long time.)
A total of 30 displaced sports and fitness workers from Makati CIty, Taguig City, Pateros, and Quezon City found new hope on Thursday’s program after being selected to receive P10,000 in cash aid.
Among them were a basketball referee, Zumba instructors, basketball instructors, a darts coach, and fitness coaches.
An additional 33 individuals were chosen from the comments section of Cayetano’s official Facebook page, bringing the total that night to 63.
As of August 12, 2021, the number of the program’s beneficiaries stood at 8,178.
Launched on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-asa campaign takes off from Cayetano’s economic recovery plan which seeks to distribute cash aid to Filipino families to help them purchase their basic needs and revive their sources of income amid the ongoing pandemic.
Cayetano and his allies in Congress filed the 10K Ayuda Bill on February 1. The bill was procedurally considered under the House-approved Bayanihan 3 but the P10,000 cash aid provision was not adopted.
Pateros councilor Jojo Sanchez expressed gratitude on behalf of the beneficiaries, saying the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program is “a huge help.”
“Bukod sa ito ay nagagamit nila sa kanilang pang-araw-araw na kabuhayan ay maaari po sila magsimula ng isang maliit na negosyo; kung kaya’t labis-labis po ang aking pasasalamat,” he said.
(They can use the money for their daily needs and they can also start their own small businesses. That’s why I am very grateful.)