FORMER Speaker Representative Alan Peter Cayetano aka “Mr. Bayanihan”, has again distributed P10,000 cash assistance to more than 500 residents who were the new beneficiaries of the “Sampung Libong Pag-Asa” program held in Malolos City, Bulacan on Friday.
The said program which is the main initiative of the ‘BTS’ group (Balik ang Tamang Serbisyo) reached the 1,000 mark as 550 beneficiaries from the province of Bulacan and other parts of the country received P10,000 cash.
500 beneficiaries in the activity on May 28 were from all five districts of Bulacan, while 50 beneficiaries were picked from the comments section in Cayetano’s official Facebook page during the live feed.
The live feed also went viral, with more than 270,000 people reached and almost 350,000 comments of support generated — an indication that the 10K Ayuda initiative of the former Speaker and his allies has already gained momentum.
Asked during the program why he started the initiative, Cayetano said, “Ngayong pandemic, sa pag-iikot namin, extraordinary ‘yung paghihirap ng tao. So, we were really thinking paano makakatulong.”
(As we moved around during the pandemic, we saw the extraordinary suffering of the people. So we were really thinking of ways we could help.)
“So, nung sinubukan lang namin, namili lang tayo ng ilan at nagulat kami – hindi lang ‘yung hirap na hirap, pati ‘yung mga middle class, hirap na rin,” he added.
(So when we tried it, we just selected a few and we were surprised to find that it wasn’t just the poor who were suffering but even the middle class.)
Among the featured success stories in Friday’s Sampung Libong Pag-asa program were Lorna Javierto’ and Rosa De Jesus’s, both from Bulacan.
Javierto is a sari-sari store owner who has six kids. She said she used the money as additional capital for her store and to pay for her family’s basic needs, such as food and pending electricity bill. As a result, her daily income increased from P300 to P500 per day.
“Sobrang saya talaga, kasi ‘yung sampung libo na ‘yan, malaking tulong talaga ‘yan sa panahon ngayon na sobrang hirap,” she said.
(I’m very happy because the 10K is a big help at this time of deep crisis.)
De Jesus, for her part, sells ice candy, fruit, and merienda from Paombong. In 2013, she started suffering from lupus, requiring her to go through expensive laboratory tests while sending her child to school.
“Tuwang tuwa talagang napakalaking bagay na ‘yun. Hindi nahuhulugan ‘yung inuutang na pera na ‘yun,” she said.
(I’m so happy because that amount is a big thing for us. If we had to borrow it, we wouldn’t be able to pay it back.)
She used the P10,000 cash assistance to buy a freezer for her ice candy business, increasing her weekly income from P500 to P2,000.
Around 177 beneficiaries had received their advanced payout on May 26 from Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado and Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado.
In Friday’s Sampung Libong Pag-asa Program, Cayetano was joined by Taguig 2nd District Rep. Ma. Laarni “Lani” Cayetano, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Alvarado, Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Bulacan 3rd District Rep. Lorna Silverio, Bocaue Vice Mayor Alvin Cotaco and Bocaue Municipal Council, Marilao Mayor Ricardo Silvestre, San Jose del Monte City Lone District Rep. Florida Robes, and San Jose del Monte City Mayor Arthur Robes.
The Sampung Libong Pag-asa program began on May 1 with around 200 beneficiaries from all over the country receiving P10,000 in cash assistance from Cayetano, his allies in Congress, and donor businessmen and friends.
The second set of beneficiaries received theirs last week, May 21, in Laguna.
The Sampung Libong Pag-asa program is inspired by Cayetano’s proposed 10K Ayuda Bill in Congress, which aims to provide each Filipino family with P10,000 cash assistance they can use to buy food, pay for water and electricity, or start a small business.
While the proposed Bayanihan 3 was approved on second reading this week, the provision on the distribution of the P10,000 cash assistance was not included in the bill.
“Ang hinihingi lang naman natin sa mga kasamahan natin sa gobyerno, medyo tanungin niyo lang ‘yung mga nakababad – ‘yung mga barangay, ‘yung mga DSWD, ‘yung ating religious leaders – at sila magsasabi sa inyo, hindi ito dole out,” he said.
(All we ask from our colleagues in government is ask those who are working in the field — barangay workers, DSWD, religious leaders — and they will tell you this is not a dole out.)
“Kailangan lang talaga ng pang-ahon – hindi ng pantawid, pero makaahon ang ating kababayan,” Cayetano added.
(We really just need something to help us rise up again — not something temporary but something that will help our people recover.)