The government has sufficient funds to use the bill aimed at providing additional financial assistance to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in a recent interview.
Asked about House Bill 8597, or Bangon Pamilyang Pilipino (BPP) Assistance Program, which he filed, Cayetano reiterated that based on the website of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the government has more than P400 billion in savings.
He also said that he can also withdraw money from line items under the 2021 national budget, as was done in the 2020 budget where some funds were obtained for Bayanihan 1.
Under his proposal, P10,000 financial assistance will be provided to families affected by the pandemic, or P1,500 per member, or whichever is greater.
Cayetano stressed that it is important to make his proposal a priority especially and many Filipinos are now experiencing hunger.
“Kailangan lang bigyan ng priority, upuan kaagad, kasi sa pag-iikot namin talaga, iniisip talaga ng tao ngayon, yung pangtawaid talaga – yung konting puhunan para naman talaga maiwasan yung – halimbawa, gutom,” said Cayetano.
“Dumoble yung gutom eh sa ating bansa. In all surveys, yung mga hindi nakakaranas ng gutom, ngayon nakakaranas ng gutom. So, I think it is an urgent matter that we should really give our attention to,” he added.
He also said that it would be better to prioritize this than Bayanihan 3 and the proposed amendment to the 1987 Constitution.
“Marami nga po talagang medyo nawawalan ng pag-asa at hindi nakikita yung tinatawag na light at the end of the tunnel. So, kailangan ipakita natin sa kanila, ang gobyerno, kasama nila parati,” the lawmaker stressed.