Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday appealed to winners in the general elections to “hit the ground running” so that the country would not lag further behind during the worsening economic crisis.
“Whoever wins in whatever position – kung local, national, party-list – I think kailangan aksyon kaagad talaga tayo,” Cayetano said in an ambush interview with reporters on May 10, 2022.
He stressed that with economic problems “piling up,” newly elected officials do not have the luxury to take a “vacation” even after the intense campaign period.
“After the election wala tayong choice kung hindi hit the ground running at trabaho kaagad, kasi hindi naman natigil y’ung crisis e. Before the election filing, COVID ang problema natin, hanapbuhay, trabaho,” he said.
“Pero n’ung nagkaroon ng crisis sa Ukraine at saka sa Russia, sunod-sunod po ang pag-gulpi sa ating ekonomiya, bugbog talaga,” he added.
He said among others, the prices of fertilizers, basic goods, and transport have gone up. “Habang hindi pa face-to-face sa eskwelahan syempre y’ung transport hindi pa normal kahit pinapayagan na ng DOTr na y’ung capacity [hundred percent na],” he said.
“So unlike before na may kaunti kang breathing room na pwedeng magpahinga nang kaunti, I think this time around, everyone has to hit the ground running talaga,” Cayetano said.
He said the government will also have to make hard decisions in balancing wages and what businesses can afford. “The wage, we will have to decide. Pagka hindi nila binigyan ng dagdag, kawawa tao; ‘pag dinagdagan nila, y’ung ibang mga negosyo medyo mahihirapan,” he said.
As of writing, Cayetano is at seventh spot in the senatorial race according to the partial and unofficial count from the Commission on Elections.
“Let me just say na whoever wins, magtulong-tulong,” he appealed.
Asked if he will pursue the Senate presidency should he make a comeback in the Senate, Cayetano said it remains to be seen.
“I think usually sa 24 senador, each and everyone is qualified to be Senate president depende lang sa panahon, sa experience, sa desire at that point in time,” he said.
Cayetano is currently gunning for a Senate comeback on a faith-based and values-oriented platform.