Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday urged the government to release P10,000 in cash aid to all families in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other places that have been placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
If the 10k Ayuda Bill cannot be passed in time, Cayetano said the government should continue its TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers) program so that businesses and workers can survive the lockdown.
“Some businesses will not survive the ECQ because the people have not saved enough for the new lockdown. Isa-isang mawawalan ng trabaho ang mga tulad ng waiters, chefs, at entertainers na for one year ay walang regular na trabaho,” Cayetano said in a statement.
(Workers like waiters, chefs, and entertainers will slowly lose their jobs and they have not had regular work for one year already.)
“If they want to keep businesses alive pending the 10K Ayuda, then go for TUPAD,” he added.
Run by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days.
Malacañang announced on Friday morning that President Rodrigo Duterte had placed the NCR under ECQ from August 6 to 20.
This will be preceded by General Community Quarantine (GCQ) subject to heightened restrictions from July 30 August 5, during which restrictions for NCR will be more stringent.
Malacañang also announced that Gingoog City, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province, and Cagayan de Oro City will remain under ECQ from August 1 to 7.
Although the announcement did not cite the reason for the stricter measures in the NCR, the President had mentioned the Delta variant of COVID-19 during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.
“Delta, if ever it will spread…. If something wrong happens, I have to be strict and I have now my word that there will be, just like what happened in the early days,” Duterte had said.
SAVE THOUSANDS OF LIVES
Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso filed the 10K Ayuda Bill on February 1 with the aim of providing P10,000 in direct stimulus to every Filipino family.
Joining Cayetano in filing the bill were Taguig 2nd District Rep. Maria Laarni “Lani” Cayetano, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund “Lray” Villafuerte Jr., Batangas Rep. Raneo “Ranie” Abu, Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor, and Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado.
The group has also been going to various places in the country to distribute 10K Ayuda to select beneficiaries through “Sampung Libong Pag-asa,” a live virtual program that started on May 1.
To date, almost 7,000 families have benefited from the cash aid and have used the amount to improve their lives.
Cayetano said P10,000 will “not only provide for the hungry, it will also save thousands of lives.”
The bill was procedurally considered under the House-approved Bayanihan 3, but the P10,000 per family provision was not adopted.
In his statement, Cayetano said the coming lockdown gives more reason for the government to provide the P10,000 cash aid.
“People will also be able to follow health protocols better if they are not hungry,” he said, pointing to the aim of the bill to enable families to purchase their daily needs as well as start their own small businesses amid the pandemic.