MANILA — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday reaffirmed his commitment to expanding his livelihood initiatives to ensure that no sector is left behind especially as the government enters into a mega-trade deal with other countries.
This is as Cayetano was appointed as a member of the oversight committee, along with 10 other senators, that will monitor the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“Our desire from the very beginning is to see the entire nation grow, not just the urban centers,” Cayetano said on February 23, 2023.
The senator cited agriculture as well as the employment sector as two of the most vulnerable sectors in the country today which need urgent attention given the persistent increase in prices of basic commodities and low farm-gate prices.
He said he will continue to help farmers afford farm inputs and bring their produce directly to the market through his flagship program Presyo, Trabaho, Kita/Kaayusan (PTK).
He has also been providing chosen individuals and small entrepreneurs such as sari-sari stores with seed capital.
“As long as there is someone in need and we can help in our own capacity, we will go to our countrymen to provide help,” Cayetano said.
During the interpellation before the Senate’s concurrence with the ratification of the RCEP Agreement on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, Cayetano urged his colleagues and the Executive department to ensure safety nets for sectors that could possibly be affected by the implementation of the trade deal.”
“I want that kind of assurance from the executive department. Because I do really believe that RCEP would really be such a good vehicle for us, right? But let’s also have the commitment that, if there are (sectors) left. We cannot afford for some sectors to become losers because it could kill,” Cayetano said.
Just this January, the senator’s PTK team revisited beneficiaries in Davao City to check up on their growth and provide further assistance.
One of them was the San Isidro Farmer Consumers Cooperative, which before the pandemic was able to get their assets to over 200 percent of the initial P100,000 capital. This enabled them to provide loans to their members and even to the people living in their area.
Meanwhile, in the City of Taguig, the PTK team is looking into the possibility of helping the Sinait Garlic Growers Association strike a deal with a restaurant or market in the city where they can supply garlic.
The PTK program currently has more than 220 beneficiary groups across the country, composed of public utility vehicle drivers and operators, market vendors, women, farmers, and fishermen, among others.
“Our countrymen have many benefits if they belong to an association, so we really encourage them to form a group or join a group. Their needs are quickly communicated to us and we are able to meet them quickly,” Cayetano said.