Pandemic needs swift response – Cayetano

From a once-a-week event, the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program has been upped to a daily program as former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in Congress seek to deliver more aid to more people at the quickest possible time during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other urban areas in the country.

“Eto pong COVID parang marathon po ito, we need to be swift. Kailangan po talaga ang gobyerno at private sector para po tumulong at magtulungan,” Cayetano said during the program on Tuesday, August 17, during which 50 new beneficiaries received P10,000 each in cash aid.

(Think of the pandemic as a marathon, we need to be swift. The government and private sectors should work together for a swift response.)

Of the 50 beneficiaries, 30 were displaced workers and frontline workers from the cities of Pasay, Las Piñas, and Parañaque. The other 20 were chosen from the Facebook live stream’s comments section.

Since the ECQ started on August 6, Cayetano and the members of the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso have been giving cash assistance daily to workers gravely affected by the pandemic.

Prior to that, the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program had been held once a week starting last May.

During Tuesday’s program, Cayetano noted that among the displaced workers were food stall vendors, sari-sari store owners, and the like.

Attention was also given to frontline workers such as utility workers, street sweepers, and tricycle drivers, among others.

’We won’t be worried’*

Quezon City market vendor Nelida Cabling testified to how much the 10K ayuda she received on June 21 helped her and her family.

She said her store now earns more than it used to because of the cash assistance. She now plans to save for her children’s college education.

“Ngayon po na nag-ECQ na naman tayo ulit, hindi na po kami natatakot na kakapusin na naman po kami sa budget namin,” she said.

(Now that we’re in another ECQ, we won’t be worried about not having enough funds for our needs).

The Sampung Libong Pag-asa program seeks to give cash assistance in the amount of P10,000 to struggling Filipino families during the pandemic in order to meet their respective household expenses and for them to even fund their own small businesses.

The program continues despite the imposition of ECQ in Metro Manila and is seen as a silver lining during a time of uncertainty as it has helped over 8,600 Filipinos so far. ###