Press Release
September 17, 2015

Cayetano thanks Poe for promoting programs close to his heart

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano is grateful to Senator Grace Poe for echoing in her presidential campaign platform several programs and proposals that he has long been advocating in Congress.

"I appreciate how Senator Poe pressed on our call to create a more inclusive growth for the country. We've always been supportive of government's goal of making all Filipinos feel the benefits of economic progress," Cayetano said in reaction to Poe's speech at the University of the Philippines Diliman yesterday, where she officially announced her presidential candidacy.

Among Poe's potential proposals is the expansion of the government's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to cover livelihood assistance for current beneficiaries.

Cayetano, for his part, has been pushing for a mechanism to provide easier capital access to poor Filipinos in dire need of financial support. Citing gains made by his PTK (Presyo, Trabaho, Kita/Kaayusan) program, he said granting over 160 cooperatives and associations access to loans with minimal interests helped sustain the livelihood of thousands of small-scale Filipino workers.

The senator also appreciates Poe's suggestion to create an Emergency Management Department to combat the effects of climate change in the country. Poe's proposal is similar with Cayetano's Senate Bill No. 1940, filed in 2013, seeking to establish an Emergency Response Department (ERD) that will focus solely on disaster preparedness & response.

In presenting her proposed platform, Poe emphasized the need to build more roads and infrastructure in other regions outside NCR to help ease traffic jams within Metro Manila.

"Decentralization has been part of our advocacy since the very beginning. I've always believed that pouring more funds for programs outside NCR will not only decongest the overcrowded capital, but will also extend growth to different provinces in the country," Cayetano said in response.

Prior to Poe's announcement, Cayetano earlier expressed his plan to establish a Philippine Decentralization Committee (PDC) that will enhance the delivery of services in the countryside, including the relocation of several government agencies to other regions.

Poe further laid down proposals aimed to protect the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including the abolition of required fees that migrant workers pay in processing their documents.

In his recently filed Senate Resolution No. 1538, Cayetano had called for an investigation into several unwarranted government policies that caused undue burden among OFWs. These include the Customs bureau's directive to randomly open balikbayan boxes, the time-consuming process of securing overseas employment certificates (OEC), and the integration of terminal fees into OFWs' airline ticket prices.

Cayetano adds that he supports Poe's goal of achieving genuine change in Mindanao, apparently the first time she made mention of her plans for the region.

Cayetano for his part is set to file a bill to institute a Comprehensive Mindanao Peace and Development Plan that will address the region's decades-old problems on economic instability and armed rebellion by allotting appropriate funds for the growth and development of various sectors in the region.

Cayetano says he hopes that other presidential candidates will also take up these reforms that will address the people's most pressing concerns.

"These reforms are for everyone and we can all work on it together," Cayetano added.

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