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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday urged the government to approve the P10,000 cash aid per family as soon as possible, saying the late distribution of aid is defeating the purpose of the enhanced community quarantine and could lead to another surge in COVID-19 cases.
Cayetano’s call came on the heels of the payout of the national government’s cash aid of P1,000 per individual, or up to P4,000 per family, which began on Wednesday, August 11 — six days into the ECQ in Metro Manila which started on August 6.
“Tayo’y natutuwa na nagbigay ang gobyerno ng P4,000 kada pamilya o up to P4,000, pero today pa lang binibigay kasi Friday lang binigay y’ung pera,” he said.
(We are glad that the government granted cash aid of up to P4,000 per family, but the distribution has just started today because the fund was only released last Friday.)
He said the defeats the purpose of the ECQ as a “circuit breaker” for the pandemic during which people would supposedly not leave their homes.
“So ang mangyayari, imbes na two weeks na may circuit breaker, na hindi tayo umiikot, lumalabas ng bahay, itong mga susunod na araw lalabas ng bahay, pupunta sa mga covered court at sa mga areas ang mga kababayan natin,” he continued.
(So instead of having a two-week circuit breaker during which we will not roam around outside, people will have to go out and gather in covered courts.)
Cayetano made the statement during the Facebook livestream of the “Sari-Saring Pag-Asa” program with his allies on August 11 during which a total of 90 sari-sari store owners received P3,500 each as added capital for their business.
He was joined during the event by Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jonathan “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Ranie Abu, and Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez.
Since their filing of the 10K Ayuda Bill on February 1, Cayetano and his allies in Congress have been pushing for the passage of a P10,000 cash aid per family to help them purchase their basic needs while having enough left to put up their own micro-enterprise amid the pandemic.
The bill was procedurally considered under the House-approved Bayanihan 3 but the P10,000 cash aid provision was not adopted.
Citing the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Cayetano said now is the best time to approve the proposal as the P150 billion the Philippine economy will lose in a week of ECQ is the same as the amount needed to provide P10,000 in cash aid per Filipino family anyway.
“So ibig sabihin po, kung ito’y gagawin natin nang maaga at susunod tayo sa ECQ, maiiwasan po natin ang matitinding mga restriction [ulit],” he said.
(Meaning, we can prevent another strict restriction if we will approve the proposal early and we will follow the ECQ protocols),” he said.
“Sana po last time itong mangyari na at paghandaan po natin parati yung mga contingency (I hope this will be the last time, and let’s always prepare for all contingencies),” he added.
The former Speaker also discouraged the public from thinking of P10,000 cash aid as “a waste” just because some beneficiaries end up using the money for unintended purposes.
“Panoorin n’yo po y’ung mga success story. Mas marami pong Pilipino ang maganda po ang hangarin, na meron po talagang angking sipag, na talagang may pagmamahal sa pamilya kaya lang tinamaan lang talaga ng pandemic,” he said, referring to the beneficiaries of the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program which he and his allies have been mounting since May.
(Watch the success stories. There are more Filipinos who have good intentions, who exhibit diligence, and have love for one’s family, but happened to be affected by the pandemic.)###