After getting bashed and heavily criticized for alleged unfulfilled P10k ayuda or financial assistance, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has clarified that it is a “legislative proposal” that the Senate, House of Representatives, and Malacañang have to act upon.
“Sa mga nangba-bash sa 10k ayuda, kung kaya ko lang silang bigyan ng tag-sasampung libo, binigay ko na sa kanila. Pero sa katotohanan, ito’y isang legislative proposal,” Cayetano explained in Taguig City during the inauguration and oathtaking of its officials on June 30.
“So, ang hinihingi ko po doon sa mga tumutuligsa sa programang Sampung Libong (Pag-asa) during the pandemic, tumulong na lang kayo,” he added.
Cayetano stated that, contrary to criticisms, P10,000 was indeed given to some selected families beginning May 1, 2021, but it was discontinued in February 2022 in accordance with laws that prohibit the distribution of any financial assistance due to national and local elections.
He said he will immediately file the 10k Ayuda Bill and other priority bills in the Senate to speed up the process of approval and implementation. It will be supported in the House of Representatives by Taguig-Pateros Rep. Ricardo Cruz Jr. and Taguig 2nd District Rep. Maria Amparo Zamora.
“Today may I take the opportunity to ask that two of my pet bills, yong moral uprightness at yong sampung libong ayuda, ay i-file din ng ating partner sa Kongreso — ni Congresswoman Pammy at Congressman Ading para sabay po lumarga ang ating mga pet bills,” he said.
Cayetano introduced House Bill No. 8597, also known as the 10k Ayuda Bill, on February 1, 2021, seeking financial assistance from the government for each Filipino family.
It is co-authored by Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Ranie Abu, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, ANAKALUSUGAN Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor, and Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado.
According to the bill, the financial aid may be used by each family for their basic needs and to pay what money they owe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can also be used as small business capital after losing businesses to the lockdowns that the government imposed.
Although it gained support, it was not passed in the house as part of the Bayanihan 3 coronavirus aid package and was not included in the Congress’ P5 trillion 2022 national budget.
Cayetano said since many families can no longer wait, his office and its allies started the Sampung Libong Pag-asa Program, which provided P10,000 to selected families across the country.
He said doing this is also aimed at encouraging Congress to pass the bill. The fund initially used was not from the government but from him and his allies in Congress, friends, and businessmen.