Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said he will continue to push for the distribution of additional cash aid nationwide despite the rollout of P1,000 in assistance to those living in areas currently under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
In an interview with the media after distributing food packs and hygiene kits in Bicutan, Taguig City on April 6, Cayetano said while he welcomes the decision to provide P1,000 per affected individual in the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighbouring provinces, the amount will not be enough to cover the needs of Filipino families.
“Kung gaano kalaki ang problema (noong) March last year, mas malaki ang problema ngayon, after one year,” he said.
(We’re facing a bigger problem now after one year.)
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recently released its guidelines for the new round of aid, which will be distributed either in cash or in kind to around 80 percent of low-income individuals in the NCR-Plus area.
Nearly 23 million residents from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna are set to receive aid this week.
Cayetano urged the leadership of the House of Representatives to hold a special session to allow lawmakers and department secretaries to discuss whether or not the government has funds for new aid programs, such as the proposed 10K Ayuda Bill.
The bill, which he and his allies filed last February 1, seeks to distribute P10,000 per Filipino household.
Saying he does not agree with the distribution of aid in kind as this would only benefit manufacturers of canned goods, Cayetano said placing money directly into the hands of the people will not only help families, it will also stimulate the economy.
“Pag nilagay mo yung pera sa kamay ng tao, sasakay ng tricycle o jeep ‘yan. ‘Yan po ay bibili sa sari-sari store. ‘Yan po ay bibili ng load. So, ma-stimulate yung buong ekonomiya natin,” he said.
(If you put money directly in people’s hands, they will use it to ride a tricycle or jeep. They will use it to buy things in the sari-sari store. They will use it to buy mobile phone load. It will stimulate our entire economy.)
He asked Congress to act with urgency on pending measures that would stimulate the economy and provide relief for Filipinos.
“Nakapag-Holy Week po tayo. Nakapagdasal na po tayong lahat. Now, it’s time to put action to our faith,” he said.
(We’re done with Holy Week. We’ve already prayed. Now, it’s time to put action to our faith.)
“Kung hindi pa nagka-ECQ, hindi pa maririnig yung mga hinaing ng NCR-Plus at ng iba pang mga parte ng ating bansa,” he added.
(If it hadn’t been for the ECQ, the pleas of those living in the NCR-Plus and other parts of our country would not have been heard.)