Press Release
February 26, 2013


Senator Alan Cayetano today said that the government has to graduate from giving people social welfare through the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and empower them instead to earn a living through their own successful efforts.

Cayetano met with a group of construction workers in Makati City today to discuss their concerns regarding higher prices and finding employment opportunities.

"Construction workers complained that while they earn higher than minimum wage, they have no assurance that they will always have jobs," Cayetano said. "Most of them are contracted for about 6 months to 1 year for a project and paid on a weekly basis but after the project, it becomes a challenge for them to find employment again," he added.

Cayetano thus insisted that in order to answer the problems of temporary unemployment, the government should create a 2nd level "Pantawid" welfare program.

He suggested that ideally, government may consider giving these workers 1/3 of the basic salary of construction workers for a period of two to three months until they find work. The funds could be sourced from taxes (which these workers also pay) and to avail of this benefit, workers should have worked for at least a year prior to availing this program.

"I applaud the efforts of the Aquino Administration in terms of the Conditional Cash Transfer Program but we are not a welfare state. We need to empower our people and the only way we can do that is by creating an environment where there are greater opportunities for employment," Cayetano said.

"Kailangan mayroon din tayong pantawid hindi lang para sa gutom kundi para maka-ahon (We cannot only have a program for hunger but also for livelihood)," Cayetano said.

Cayetano is on a #PiTiK listening tour where he meets various sectors all around the country to hear their concerns regarding high prices, lack of jobs, and low income. Among those he already visited the past days are the coconut farmers of Legaspi, bangus fishermen of Dagupan, strawberry farmers of Benguet, furniture workers of Cebu, and market vendors in Manila, to name a few.

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