Cayetano, allies’ FB live get-together goes viral

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For Filipinos, laughter despite hardships is not an irony — it’s a combo.

So when former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife Taguig 2nd District Representative Ma. Laarni Cayetano held a rare get-together on Tuesday with their allies in Congress, nearly 36,000 Filipinos joined the fun by tuning in to the Facebook livestream.

Present in the casual meeting were Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, and Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez.

The Representatives’ lighter side prevailed in the 20-minute livestream as they had fun in a makeshift sari-sari store while announcing the newest 175 beneficiaries of the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program — 25 each from the District of Taguig-Pateros, Taguig 2nd District, Quezon City, Bulacan, Laguna, Batangas, and Camarines Sur.

Halfway through the livestream, there were 4,000 viewers. By the time it ended, views had hit around 30,000, and comments had reached 60,000.

As of this writing, nearly half a million people have watched the video, and nearly 100,000 comments have been sent in the hopes of being chosen to receive P10,000 in cash assistance.

“Kaya po sampung libo dahil gusto po naming makaahon [kayo], hindi makatawid (We set the amount at 10,000 because we want everyone to recover, not just to survive),” Cayetano said as he explained why he and the group have been pushing for the provision of P10,000 per family as cash aid.

Cayetano and his allies filed the 10K Ayuda Bill on February 1, 2021. It was procedurally considered under the Bayanihan 3, but the P10,000 cash assistance per family provision was not adopted.

The House-approved version of the bill aims to allocate around P200 billion for a two-time P1,000 cash per individual only.

There are versions that are still pending in the Senate.

“One hundred ten million (110 million) Filipinos po tayo, 10 million sa ibang bansa, so tulungan po tayo (Filipinos are 100 million-strong, while other countries only have 10 million. So let’s help each other),” Cayetano said as he encouraged viewers to practice bayanihan in order to weather the pandemic.

He also warned of scammers who are reportedly going around asking for money to supposedly list down the names of “winners.” There are no fees to pay to become eligible to be chosen, he added.

The group is set to bring the program to Batangas on Friday, June 18.

“Nakapunta na po tayo [sa ibang mga probinsya] pero babalik at babalik po tayo (We’ve gone to some provinces but we’re coming back),” Cayetano said.

Since its launch on May 1, the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program has almost 2,500 beneficiaries from different parts of the country whose livelihood were severely affected by the current crisis.###

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