LOCAL government officials in Central Luzon expressed hope on July 9 of the approval of the P10,000 direct stimulus package being pushed by former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in Congress.
This, after nearly 600 pandemic-hit families in Central Luzon received P10,000 in cash aid each under Cayetano’s Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program on July 9, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to more than 5,000.
A total of 500 select families from the different municipalities and cities in Tarlac and Pampanga received the cash assistance.
More than 100 Facebook users who left comments on the livestream also received P10,000 each.
“Very timely po [itong 10K Ayuda] kasi alam po natin na lahat sa buong mundo nagkaroon ng recession at talagang nadiskaril ang ating ekonomiya. At dito po sa amin talaga maraming nawalan ng trabaho,” Floridablanca Councilor Joe Rey Montemayor said.
(This P10,000 cash assistance is very timely because there is a pandemic-induced recession all over the world and economies have been derailed. Here in our barangay, a lot of our constituents have lost their jobs.)
The province’s officials echoed the sentiment, thanking Cayetano and his allies on behalf of their constituents.
“Tingnan mo naman, napakainit hindi makapagtanim y’ung ating mga farmer. Tapos, biglang dumating [itong programa]. Talagang parang galing sa langit ito kako,” Guagua Mayor Dante Torres said.
(It is so hot outside that our local farmers cannot even work in the fields, and then this program suddenly comes to our province. It’s as if it was sent from heaven.)
The Sampung Libong Pag-Asa or 10k Ayuda Bill was launched by Cayetano and his allies in Congress on May 1.
“Kaya sana pumasa sa Kongreso [ang 10K Ayuda], hindi lang minsan, hindi lang makadalawa. Kagaya ng ginawa [ni former Speaker] sa palengke namin: y’ung mga walang pwesto, y’ung mga perang binigay sa kanila hanggang ngayon nakikinabang sila, ang mga tricycle driver namin ganun din,” Torres added.
(That’s why I’m hoping the 10K Ayuda provision gets approved by Congress, not only as a one-time or two-time assistance, but rather like what the former Speaker did to our public market vendors and tricycle drivers -- until now they are benefitting from the assistance they have received.)
Cayetano, a known advocate of MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprise) empowerment, reiterated the importance of giving Filipino families a chance to build their own small businesses.
“Dinidiscuss o napapanuod n’yo sa TV y’ung GDP, GNP, inflation rate, y’un pong numero sa stock market. Pero kung ang tao po nanunuod [at] hindi nila nararamdaman y’ung ganda ng ekonomiya, bale wala y’ung mga numero na ‘yan,” Cayetano said during the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa’s Facebook livestream.
"We often hear the concepts of GDP, GNP, inflation rate, and stock market being discussed on television. However, if our people are not feeling the benefits of economic growth, these numbers are meaningless," he said.
He expressed confidence that each of the Tarlaqueños and Kapampangans who received the cash aid will use a portion of P10,000 to rebuild their livelihoods amid the pandemic.
There are 21 cooperatives and organizations -- tricycle and jeepney drivers as well as market vendors, among others -- in Tarlac and Pampanga that have also been receiving assistance from Cayetano for years through his “Presyo, Trabaho, Kita” (PTK) advocacy. These groups were able to grow the capital the lawmaker has been providing them.
Cayetano also reiterated his call to presidentiables to create a five-year plan together “so that whoever wins, the people know what to expect."
The former Speaker said he hopes the five-year plan would include the P10,000 in cash aid per Filipino family in the next three to five years.
Meanwhile, Mabalacat City Vice Mayor Geld Aquino said the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program of Cayetano is very much appreciated by Mabalaquenos, especially the farmers.
"Malaking tulong po sa atin mga farmers at mga ka siyudad na nabigyan ng tulong sa programa ni former Speaker Cayetano. Ang sampung libong pagasa program ay makakatulong po sa mga beneficiaries para maka pag recover at mag reform, dahil sa epekto ng pandemya," Aquino said.
Also present during Cayetano's visit to farmers of Barangay Sta. Maria in Mabalacat City on July 12 were Councilors Jun Castro, Carlo Dizon, Barangay Chairman Enrico Espino, kagawads and Police Colonel Soledad Elefanio, City Police chief. (Chris Navarro)