Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies urged their fellow legislators in the House of Representatives to pass the 10K Ayuda Bill, which seeks to provide P10,000 cash aid for every Filipino household.
In a Facebook post published on Sunday morning, Cayetano said the government has the resources to provide additional financial assistance for Filipinos suffering from the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no question that our people are still in desperate need of assistance,” he said.
Cayetano highlighted the story of jeepney driver Roderick Oborza, whose livelihood was badly affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa ngayon po, bumalik nga kami sa pagbiyahe, pero hirap pa rin po kasi po kalahati lang po ang pasahero (ang) naisasakay namin. Ang kinikita namin ngayon, pang-kain lang. Sa jeep lang po kami nakatira,” Oborza said in a short video linked to Cayetano’s post.
(We may have returned to the roads now, but we’re still experiencing hardship because we can only accept half of our usual passengers. Whatever we earn now, it’s only enough for buying food. We’re living inside my jeepney.)
The former Speaker said Congress should pass House Bill No. 8597 with the same pace that it approved the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and Bayanihan to Recover as One Act in 2020.
“Last year, together with the Executive department, Congress was able to quickly pass the Bayanihan 1 and 2 Laws to help our people. Today, we call on our colleagues in (the) House of the People — let us rise to the occasion once again and come to the aid of our people by giving them an additional P10,000 per Filipino family,” he said.
Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., for his part, said the 10K Ayuda Bill will also help stimulate economic activity.
“Iikot sa ekonomiya ‘yan. Ipangbibili ng pagkain, gamot. Gagamitin (ito) sa transportasyon. Malaking tulak ito para ma-improve ang ating ekonomiya,” he said.
(It will circulate in the economy. The money can be used to buy food and medicine and pay for transportation. It’s a big push to improve our economy.)
The P10,000 cash aid can also serve as capital that Filipino families can use to revive their livelihoods, according to Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez.
“Mabibigyan po natin sila ng puhunan para magamit nila at maibsan ang kanilang kagutuman,” Fernandez said.
(We will be able to give them capital that they can use to address their hunger.)
For Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, the bill is a “spark of new hope for Filipinos who have been impoverished” by the pandemic.
Cayetano and his allies filed the bill on February 1 to “quell the hunger in the bellies of our countrymen.”
Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu said the drafting of the bill was motivated by the continuing hardship experienced by Filipinos under the ongoing pandemic.
“Naghihirap ang mga Pilipino. Naririto kami ngayon. Naghain kami ng batas: sampung libong (pesos) na tulong sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” he said.
(Filipinos are still suffering. We are here. We filed a bill: ten thousand pesos in financial aid to help every Filipino family.)
Cayetano urged the government to act swiftly given the country’s “extraordinary” problems.
“Kung makikinig lang po tayo sa ating mga kababayan, makikita po natin na extraordinary ang problema. Kaya kailangan extraordinary rin ang solusyon at extraordinary rin ang pagkilos natin,” he said. “Sa laki po ng problema, gobyerno na po talaga ang kailangan kumilos.”
(If we will just listen to our countrymen, we will see that we have extraordinary problems. That’s why we need an extraordinary solution, as well as extraordinary action. Given the gravity of our problem, it’s the government that needs to act.) ###