Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday urged the Filipino public to share basic information on health and safety instead of focusing on politics as cases of COVID-19 Delta variant infections continue to increase.
While Cayetano acknowledged that it is natural for “equally important” national issues to arise, he urged the public to be mindful of the pandemic.
He attributed the public’s reluctance to follow protocols to the dwindling amount of basic information on the COVID-19 virus being shared on social media.
“Parati kong napapanuod sa TV ‘to n’ung umpisa ng pandemya (I would often hear this on the news),” the former Speaker said in a Facebook livestream as part of his Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program, citing for example the importance of face shields in protecting a person’s eyes and ears from saliva droplets.
“Pero kasi nga po, more than 500 days na [rin ang pandemya] tapos tulad ngayon ang laman ng mga balita COA reports na importante din naman, before this ung mga pulitika, so y’ung basic information hindi nashe-share,” he added.
(Understandably, it’s been more than 500 days since the pandemic started. And then COA reports — which is an equally important issue — started to dominate the news along with politics. So, basic information does not get shared.)
Cayetano said he is planning to invite doctors to one of his Facebook live streams so they can further educate the viewers on the COVID-19.
He also said he and some pastors have discussed the possibility of sharing information through their churches so that the people would be more careful.
Cayetano encouraged the public to change their inward mindset when practicing health safety measures.
“Ang isipin niyo, what if kayo ang positive? Kung positive [ka] tapos hindi [ka] mag-ma-mask, y’ung mga kausap [mo] mahahawa,” he said.
(Act as if you’re the one who is infected. What if you tested positive and you weren’t wearing a mask when you were talking to somebody? Then that person can contract the virus, too.)
The former Speaker also assured the public that he and fellow members of the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo sa Kongreso movement continue to push the government to approve the P10,000 in cash aid per Filipino family.
“In fact, na-announce na P5 trillion ang budget for next year… P500 billion ang nadagdag [sa nakaraang taon]. Ano ba naman y’ung 200 billion doon ay gamitin sa isang direct stimulus na programa na kung saan ang bawat pamilya ay bibigyan ng sampung libo?” he said.
(In fact, it has been announced that the budget for next year is P5 trillion… It was an increase of P500 billion compared to the previous year. Would it hurt to allot P200 billion of it to a direct stimulus program that will provide P10,000 to every family?)
Cayetano, meanwhile, called on the public to continue joining the campaign for the cash aid by participating in the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa initiative.
“May mga success stories, na hindi lang po paisa-isa ‘to. Maaaring kayo ang susunod na success story (There have been numerous success stories. Who knows, yours might be the next),” he said.
Launched on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program gives P10,000 in financial assistance to select individuals affected by the pandemic.
The program, broadcast from Cayetano’s Facebook page, was held daily during the two-week lockdown in Metro Manila in order to help more workers who are on a no-work-no-pay basis.