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Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday led the distribution of aid to small store owners, strawberry farmers, and orphans in Baguio City and the province of Benguet.
Around 50 sari-sari store and carinderia owners received cash aid from Cayetano’s Sari-Saring Pag-asa program, an initiative that aims to support small business owners affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on November 3 at the Berkeley School in Baguio City.
During the program, Cayetano reiterated his call on the national government to consider his proposal to allot a larger amount in the 2022 National Budget for the distribution of P10,000 in financial assistance to each family.
He said his Sari-Saring Pag-asa and Sampung Libong Pag-asa programs were created to address the urgent needs of pandemic-stricken families and business owners while his 10K Ayuda Bill is still pending in Congress.
“So that’s why we thought of having this program. It’s P3,500, talagang pantawid lang siya, unlike yung P10,000 na makakabwelo ka. Pero at least ma-jumpstart niyo ulit ang inyong mga negosyo,” he said.
(It’s P3,500 so that you can get through these times. It’s unlike the P10,000, which will really help you recover from this crisis. But with this cash aid, you can jumpstart your businesses.)
Baguio City Rep. Mark Go thanked Cayetano for regularly sending aid to Baguio City and its residents, especially amidst the ongoing pandemic.
“We are not simply interested in sharing with you the blessings of our Almighty God through this program. But we would also like to strengthen our faith and at the same time, our desire to make things happen not only for our families but also for the City of Baguio,” he said.
On the same day, the former Speaker distributed grocery packs to more than a hundred strawberry farmers from La Trinidad, Benguet where hectares upon hectares of strawberry fields were badly damaged by Tropical Storm Maring last October.
While the farmers have made significant progress in their post-calamity recovery, Cayetano called on the public to step in and offer help.
“Gumaganda po ang lugar nila. Pero like anywhere else in the country, tinamaan talaga sila ng pandemic. So, tulong-tulong po tayo,” he said.
(The situation in their place is getting better. But like anywhere else in the country, they were badly hit by the pandemic. So, let’s help each other.)
The former Speaker vowed to start a fundraising drive for the local strawberry farmers association and find a long-term solution to flooding in La Trinidad.
Earlier that day, Cayetano and his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano handed over immunity kits and grocery packs to 113 orphans and 37 staff members of the Bethesda Children’s Home in Itogon, Benguet.
The couple had earlier sent gadgets, school supplies, immunity kits, fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and medicine to the orphanage in October last year and in April and September this year.