FORMER House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday urged the government to include the annual distribution of the P10,000 cash assistance for every Filipino family for a minimum of three years in the country’s five-year economic plan.
In an interview with DZRH on June 18, Cayetano said the distribution of the P10,000 cash assistance per family should be included not only in the proposed Bayanihan 3, but also in the five-year economic plan and in the 2022 budget.
“Tingin ko, minimum of three years, kailangan ‘yung 10k ayuda at least once a year. Kasi kailangan mo magpaikot ng pera sa bawat lugar sa Pilipinas at kailangan may konting puhunan sa bulsa ng pamilyang Pilipino,” Cayetano said.
(I think we should do the distribution of the P10,000 cash assistance at least once a year for three years, because we need to circulate money and keep the economic activity going, and the people need cash in their pockets.)
He said the proposal is similar with the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), only there is a greater need for social amelioration now that more Filipinos are hungry and more Filipino students are not able to access education.
Cayetano also emphasized the importance of planning the next five years for the country, especially in light of the upcoming 2022 national elections.
“Maraming plano na nagaganap sa ating bansa pero natutuon sa interests ng isang grupo, ng isang region, [at] ng isang grupo ng mga negosyante,” he said.
(There are plans being made everywhere in the country, but these plans are focused on the interests of specific groups, specific regions, and specific groups of business owners.)
“Kung papabayaan mo lahat ng kakandidato ng 2022 maglagay ng plataporma’t sariling plano, may bias ‘yung kanilang mga plano. Pero kung ‘yung ngayon pa lang mayroon kang isang neutral… ‘pag nagkaroon tayo ng plano, inclusive ‘yan at hindi lang ‘yung interests nung isa,” he added.
(If we let all candidates for 2022 put up their platforms and plans, there will be bias. But if we begin now and it is neutral… we will have an inclusive plan free of the sole interests of one person.)
Cayetano said it would take the country only two to three months to craft the post-pandemic plan, especially once President Rodrigo Duterte declares it a priority in his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.
“Actually, ‘pag ginawang priority ‘to ng ating Pangulo, sabihin niya lang sa SONA, ‘I want a five-year plan in the next 90 days, and we will all implement it.’ We’ll all not agree 100 percent on a plan, pero at least kung 60 to 70 percent nung plano, ma-implement natin,” he said.
(Actually, once this is declared a priority by the President during the SONA, or he says, ‘I want a five-year plan in the next 90 days, and we will all implement it,’ we probably would not agree 100 percent on a plan. But if we could agree on 60 to 70 percent, then we can implement it.)
He also said the five-year economic plan should be part of a “1-2-3 punch” strategy.
“Hindi lang ‘to tulong [at] makakabuti, tingin ko essential ito if we want to defeat COVID-19, if we want to recover, and if we want to be competitive sa ibang mga bansa sa Southeast Asia,” Cayetano said.
(This is not just to help. This is essential if we want to defeat COVID-19, recover, and be competitive in terms with the other countries in the Southeast Asia.)
Aside from the five-year economic plan, Cayetano said the country should have a separate economic recovery plan in the form of the Bayanihan 3, which shall include the distribution of the P10,000 cash assistance per Filipino family, and the 2022 National Budget, which is the “budget against COVID-19.”
“So, baka naman dahil COVID-19 at dahil naman nagdadasal tayo na ma-unite tayo, kahit sa isang plano man lang, kahit 60 to 70 percent nung plano na ‘yan, magkaisa tayo,” he said.
(Since there is COVID-19 and we pray for unity, we are hoping that we can at least agree 60 to 70 percent of a plan.)