Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said he is willing to “sit down and work with the government” to work out the distribution of direct aid to the people, saying the issue for millions of Filipinos is survival.
“Marami na pong hindi kumakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, marami pong hindi na napapagamot ang may sakit,” Cayetano told reporters at the Senate on August 30, 2022.
He also said the distribution of direct cash aid, as he is pushing in his proposed Sampung Libong Pag-asa Law, is not a dole-out especially since it addresses hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hindi po dole-out ang ayuda sa panahon ng pandemic. Dahil y’ung pandemic ay nasamahan pa ng sobrang taas ng presyo so ang issue ay survival,” he said.
Cayetano also addressed Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s statement on Monday at the House Appropriations Committee hearing that cash aid is “a waste of funds” since the country has already “fully recovered” from the pandemic.
“Y’ung ayuda, whether it’s 10K na tinutulak ko, y’ung 10k na galing sa Bayanihan 1, or whether it’s TUPAD, it was very helpful (during the pandemic),” Cayetano said, referring to the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
He said if direct aid is so bad, “then how come the US and other countries have been doing this as a form of social protection and para makabangon ang ating mga kababayan?”
Cayetano said he is willing to sit down and work with the administration to discuss the various forms the direct assistance can take.
“I think it will be a lively discussion sa budget hearing. I am willing to sit down and work with the government kung ang ibibigay ay trabaho, livelihood, o negosyo,” he said.
Cayetano said he believes the people are not asking for anything for free and that all they want is a chance to recover from the hardships the country is currently facing.
“Ang tao naman ay hindi humihingi ng libre. I hope that the admin will be open na marinig ng diretso sa ating mga kababayan kung gaano kabigat ang buhay ngayon at bakit kailangan y’ung ayuda,” he said.