Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday urged the government to “leave no one behind” in creating its fiscal framework as the country grapples with threats to its food security and rising living costs.
“When it comes to the national government’s medium-term fiscal framework, dapat walang iwanan, dapat no one is left behind,” Cayetano said during his interpellation of Senator Sonny Angara, the proponent of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 on a medium-term government fiscal framework, on the Senate floor on September 6, 2022.
“When we talk about framework, about planning, about funding, it should always reflect our values,” he added.
Cayetano also emphasized the importance of distributing government aid amid what he called an “extraordinary” period of difficulty for many Filipinos.
An advocate of financial stimulus for economic recovery, Cayetano said the government’s fiscal framework must enable the government to provide needed interventions during times of crisis.
Angara agreed that financial aid should still be part of the government’s agenda but added that the mode of assistance should be carefully considered.
“Noong pandemic, walang makalabas ng bahay. Given now that there is freedom of movement, people have the chance to have a livelihood, siguro dapat targeted ang ayuda,” Angara said.
Cayetano, in turn, said: “Whether we call it ayuda, assistance, or whether in the form of bigas, cash, kailangan ng tao ng ayuda.”
“We have to find the poorest of the poor. Sino ang mga hindi na kumakain tatlong beses sa isang araw, sino ang may sakit kaya hindi man lang makalabas, sino ang mga hindi man lang makabili ng mask? …If we can deliver ayuda to them, (our country) will be in a much better shape,” he added.
Cayetano also pointed out that developing a dedicated mobile app for government disbursements can make the provision of aid more efficient and widely accessible for most Filipinos.
“Sa ayuda, wala tayong duda na if there’s a better system na hindi mabigat ang administrative cost, bakit hindi? Kaya nga ang pino-propose ko, magkaroon tayo ng mobile app,” he said.
Two of Cayetano’s priority bills which he filed in July are directly related to aid and using mobile technology to deliver it to the people: the proposed Sampung Libong Pag-asa Law which aims to provide cash aid to every Filipino family and the proposed Mobile A.P.P. Act which aims to develop a central mobile application for disbursing government financial aid.
“Kung ang mga scammer nga nakakagamit ng social media, WhatsApp, Viber, GCash, bakit ang gobyerno hindi?” he said.