Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday urged the national government to work closely with the local government units (LGUs) in crafting livelihood measures, saying the leaders at the grassroots have the knowledge that will help the national government maximize the country’s resources.
“Sa nasyonal minsan nakikita ko parang umiiwas at ibinabato sa lokal, eh wala naman po ang pera sa lokal, wala po ‘yung makinarya na kailangan sa lokal,” Cayetano said in a radio interview with Aksyon Radyo Dagupan on April 14.
(I sometimes see the national government seemingly avoiding the matter and throwing it to the local level. But neither the money nor the machinery are with the local governments.)
Citing how the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Taguig became a success by consulting medical groups, business groups, and even religious leaders in the City during the LGU’s preparations, he encouraged the national government to get the insights of the leaders at the grassroots to ensure that its economic programs will truly benefit the Filipinos down to the provinces.
“Kung kaharap natin ngayon ang mga mayors at governors at sabihin natin, ‘Sige, name three industries na pwede natin tulungan.’ Tayo ang magtanong. ‘Ano ang kailangan n’yo? Farm-to-market roads? Organic seeds?” Cayetano said.
(If we were face to face with the mayors and governors, let’s tell them, ‘Name three industries that we can help.’ Let us be the ones to ask. ‘What do you need? Farm-to-market roads? Organic seeds?’)
He cited as an example the construction of shared facilities in areas where farmers have no means to process their produce in large amounts, or encouraging farmers and fisherfolk to attend seminars by paying them using the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) funds for each day that they would attend.
“Ang nasyonal dapat magkilos-lokal. Kasi ‘pag lokal ka, nasa grassroots ka at talagang naghahanap ka ng problema para bigyan ng solusyon,” the Taguig-Pateros Representative said.
(The national government should act local. Because if you are local, you are at the grassroots and you really look for the problems so that you can give solutions.)
At the same time, he called on all Filipinos to pray and have faith as the country tries to overcome the various challenges brought about by the pandemic.
“Prayers and faith move mountains. Let’s come together and really help each other,” Cayetano said.###