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FORMER Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in Congress will seek the convening of the Committee of the Whole next week to discuss the provisions of the proposed Bayanihan 3 and the proposed insertion of the P10,000 additional cash assistance to every Filipino family.

In a press conference held immediately after the Sampung Libong Pag-asa live virtual event on Friday, Cayetano said they will ask the House leadership to convene the Committee of the Whole to make the discussions on the proposed 10K Ayuda Bill and Bayanihan 3 faster and easier.

“I don’t think it’s time to think about politics. We have to think about sa impact sa economic life nung mga tao. So, I’m hoping na makumbinse namin ang mga kasamahan,” Cayetano said.

(We have to think about its impact on the economic life of the people. So I am hoping we will be able to convince our colleagues.)

“Remember: we only have two more weeks. Para umabot ito, kailangan next mag-Committee of the Whole na kami. Kaming grupo ng BTS sa Kongreso, willing kami magbabad ulit katulad ng Bayanihan 1 and 2,” he added, referring to the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) movement in Congress.

(For this to be passed on time, we need to convene as a Committee of the Whole. The members of the BTS sa Kongreso are willing to discuss this overnight again – similar to what we did during Bayanihan 1 and 2.)

The BTS movement consists of former Speaker Cayetano, Camarines Sur 2nd District Luis Raymund “Lray” Villafuerte, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado, and Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor.

Cayetano, now being fondly called as “Mr. Bayanihan”, said not convening as a Committee of the Whole will lengthen the deliberation process and delay the passage of the bill.

“Pero kung ito na naman mangyayari na apat na committee, etc., tatagal tayo. Medyo mabigat. Even sa Bayanihan 1 and 2, napakarami gusto magsalita pero nagbigayan kami lahat para lang maipasa,” Cayetano said.

(But if they decide to continue with the usual deliberation of committees, it will take time. It will become heavy. Even in Bayanihan 1 and 2, many of our colleagues wanted to speak but we had to give way so we could pass it on time.)

Cayetano said their continuous push for the insertion of the P10,000 cash assistance provision rests on two arguments: it has more impact and it is more practical.

“Mas may impact sa buhay ng tao ‘yung P10,000 per family because sapat ito na magbayad ng tubig, kuryente, [at] konting pagkain. Pero kung mga kalahati ng 10k, pwedeng ipangnegosyo,” he said.

(The P10,000 per family has more impact because it will be enough to pay for water, electricity, and food, and around half the amount can be used to start a business.)

“I’d like to clarify [that] we are not against Bayanihan 3. Pabor kami sa Bayanihan 3. In fact, naliliitan kami sa pondong ‘yun. But napakaimportante sa amin na ‘yung unang bigay is ‘yung sa tao na direkta. Kasi kahit anong tulong mo sa negosyo, kung ang tao ay walang pera, wala ring customer ‘yung mga negosyo,” he said.

(We are in favor of Bayanihan 3. In fact, we want the budget to be bigger. What is most important for us is the direct distribution of the assistance to the people, because no matter what you do to help businesses, if the people do not have money, there will be no customers for businesses.)

The Sampung Libong Pag-asa event is grounded on Cayetano’s proposed 10K Ayuda Bill, which aims to provide each Filipino family with a one-time cash assistance of P10,000 or P1,500 per family member, whichever is higher.

In the program’s launch last May 1, the group distributed P10,000 each to over 200 beneficiaries from 13 cities and municipalities nationwide.

In the follow-up event on Friday, more than 200 beneficiaries received the same amount in Laguna.

Between February and April this year, Cayetano and his allies distributed P10,000 each to a total of 38 beneficiaries from Caloocan City, Pasig City, Quezon City, and Cavite.

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