Press Release
February 19, 2013

Cayetano: We Don't Need More Millionaires
Suggests a Capital-Lending Program to Support CCT

"We don't need more millionaires. What we need are more people with access to capital." This was the observation of Senator Alan Cayetano today as he visited factory workers at a furniture plant in Cebu City. Cayetano met with furniture workers in Cebu to discuss their concerns.

"It is alarming that the income of the 25 richest Filipinos is equal to the income of the 45 million poorest Filipinos," he said citing a study done by the IBON Foundation.

After learning of the needs of factory workers in Cebu, Cayetano came up with the idea of supplementing the government's Conditional Cash Transfer program with a capital-lending program.

He said program will cater to working class people in need to capital to start their own business. He suggested a procedure wherein a simple certificate indicating that a person has gone through a livelihood seminar would be enough to allow a borrower to avail of a loan grant.

After learning that out of the initial 70,000 - 100,000 furniture workers, 30,000 have lost their jobs due to the effects on the industry of the devaluation of the peso, Cayetano said that government needs to support the Cebu furniture industry by giving players access to much-needed capital.

"If we want our Cebu furniture industry to become competitive in the international arena, we need to support capital lending and also allow the working class access to capital, " Cayetano said. "Giving the working class access to capital is as crucial as creating jobs," Cayetano added.

"It is such a waste because Cebu could be the furniture capital of Asia," Cayetano observed. "And yet imported goods are beating locally made products in terms of sales."

To resolve this, Cayetano urged the government to create programs to support locally made products to increase sales, noting that sometimes Filipinos purchase foreign made goods because they are not aware that there are locally made products being sold.

He called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to help local industries. "Perhaps the DTI should have a campaign similar to DOT's It's More Fun in the Philippines. They can say, It's Better to Buy from the Philippines," he said. This promotion will boost sales and demand, and effectively increase jobs.

Cayetano is touring the country asking various sectors about their concerns relating to lowering prices, increasing employment and wages as part of his fight for higher PiTiK: Presyo, Trabaho, Kita for all Filipinos.

He is proceeding to Legaspi City, Albay next to talk to the coconut farmers in the area about their livelihood concerns.

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