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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said he and his allies are focusing on the deliberations on the 2022 national budget to make sure it includes a provision for financial stimulus for families and small businesses.
Cayetano made the statement in a short Facebook livestream on September 28, 2021 right before the start of the Sari-saring Pag-asa program, which provides cash assistance to sari-sari store owners affected by the pandemic.
“Nakatutok [kami sa] budget kasi we are pushing na dagdagan ng ilang bilyon, hindi lang para sa sampung libong ayuda sa bawat Pilipino pero sa sampung libong tulong din sa kapital ng ating mga micro entrepreneurs,” Cayetano said.
(We are focusing on the budget because we are pushing that a few billion pesos be allotted to give P10,000 to each family, and the same amount given to microentrepreneurs as capital.)
Cayetano and his allies have been at the forefront of providing cash assistance to those who have been displaced by the pandemic and have been doing daily livestream programs for families and sari-sari store owners.
Live-streamed on Cayetano’s official Facebook page, the September 28 Sari-Saring Pag-asa episode saw a total of 75 beneficiaries, 45 of whom are from Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas, while the remaining 30 are online beneficiaries.
The program featured local officials who shared their experiences and hardships in leading and providing for their barangays in the midst of the pandemic.
Barangay captain Lito Tagle of Barangay Pasong Buaya 2, Imus City said it has been particularly difficult for their office to sustain the needs of their constituents.
“Sa laki ng tinatahak nating pandemya, dito po sa amin sa barangay hindi po namin kayang ibigay y’ung ibinibigay niyong tulong sa aming mga kababayan,” Tagle said.
(Because of the hardships brought about by the pandemic, our barangay cannot provide all that our constituents need.)
In the same city, barangay captain Mark Villanueva of Barangay Silang expressed that programs like Sari-Saring Pag-asa give hope to their beneficiaries.
“Ito ay pampalakas ng loob nila — na kahit tinamaan lahat ng pandemya mayroong ganitong programa na tumutulong,” Villanueva said.
(This program strengthened the hearts of many people because in the midst of a pandemic, there are still programs like this who aim to give aid.)
Both Villanueva and Tagle, along with other local officials from Cavite, Batangas, and Laguna, expressed their gratitude to Cayetano’s program as it has helped their constituents not only stay afloat in the pandemic but rise above their situations.
“Dito sa sari-sari store, we want to be a community. We want to continue helping each other na mag-grow and inyong business,” Cayetano said.
(In our Sari-sari store [program], we want to be a community. We want to continue helping each other to grow one another’s businesses.)###