Former speaker and incumbent Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is batting for the implementation of a new social amelioration program (SAP) with the distribution of P10,000 cash assistance to every Filipino family.
This time, however, the grant of cash assistance is aimed at helping Filipino families cope with the recent spike in prices of basic goods, Cayetano told a media interview in Agoncillo, Batangas on Saturday.
Previously, the government carried out an emergency social subsidy to protect low-income families, the elderly, and vulnerable sectors from the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang problema sa price increase, bumabangon ka pa lang, may pabigat na ulit (The problem with the price increase is that it hits just as we are trying to recover),” said Cayetano.
Cayetano said since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will only be in full swing by the latter part of the year, distributing financial aid is needed to boost household consumption amidst the price hikes.
He noted that the country is now experiencing the “worst recorded economic contraction” since World War II with gross domestic product (GNP) for 2020 dropping by 9.5 percent
Cayetano said while the government’s move to implement a price freeze last year is correct, the continuing distribution of financial aid will help both consumers and suppliers and boost economic performance.
Earlier, the former House leader, his wife Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano and their close allies filed House Resolution 1515 proposing a House inquiry into the continued upward trend in prices of basic goods and determine solutions that will address the problem.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco swiftly acted on the proposal as he directed the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to immediately call a hearing.
Chaired by Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, the House panel has set a hearing on February 2.
“The committee is tasked to assess current data on current supply and demand of all agricultural goods and to find a solution to the current predicament of both suppliers and consumers,” said Enverga.