Modern tech, livelihood assistance to protect farmers amid El Niño

Senatorial candidate Pia S. Cayetano on Tuesday (April 23) expressed support for initiatives that would provide Filipino farmers with better access to modern technology and livelihood assistance.

The congresswoman said this amid the early onset of El Niño, which has negatively affected the livelihood of farmers and agri-workers throughout the county.

“We really need to spend more to improve the technology that is made available to our farmers, especially if we want to spare them from the ill effects of the drought,” Cayetano said in an interview with reporters in Pangasinan.

A total of 487 hectares of farmlands in the province have been affected by the dry spell as of March 29, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 1.

Cayetano, for her part, said modern technology can do so much in protecting the farmers’ primary source of income in times of natural calamities such as this one.

“We cannot control the weather, but we can improve how our farmers could respond to climate change by way of technological advancement,” she stressed.

In Taguig City, for instance, the congresswoman noted that the local government has invested greatly in hydroponics farming system. The process involves growing plants without soil, which makes it ideal for urban agriculture.

Furthermore, the senatorial aspirant has been advocating initiatives that provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for Filipino farmers and those in the informal sector. 

Together with her brother, former Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano, they launched the Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) program in 2013, granting the poor better access to capital to start or sustain their own livelihood. 

It has so far granted low-interest loans to 218 organizations of farmers, fishermen, market vendors, PUV drivers, and small-scale workers nationwide, including 14 organizations in Pangasinan.

PTK is also in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s policy to eradicate the practice of the usurious ‘5-6′ money lending scheme. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano talks at the Urdaneta Bagsakan Public Market in Pangasinan.

Better use of funds for health services pushed

Senatorial candidate Pia S. Cayetano vowed to push for a better utilization of government funds to build and improve public health facilities throughout the country and to provide them with state-of-the-art equipment. 

The Taguig representative on Monday (April 15) visited the Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital in Pantukan, where she discussed her health advocacy with the doctors and nurses working in the public hospital.

“If we can help in any way, please let us know. Let us know what we can do to push the policies na diretso sa inyo ang benepisyo, to make your lives better,” Cayetano told them.

She stressed the need to complement the newly enacted Universal Health Care (UHC) Law by ensuring that the health facilities and services made accessible to all Filipinos are properly equipped and of great quality. 

The UHC law, of which Cayetano was co-author, makes all Filipinos members of PhilHealth, thus making them eligible to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health care services provided by government.

“You can be rest assured that, apart from the laws that we already made, we will keep on providing you with whatever intervention possible. Because sometimes, no matter how much you give, if you have limited facilities and equipment, the quality of health care services will be affected,” she said.

“My inspiration is to work to a point where the average Filipino has access to quality health care services,” she added. 

Cayetano then expressed her gratitude to the country’s public health workers for their dedication to protect the lives of every Filipino, especially the poor.

“Ang paghanga ko sa mga nagseserbisyo sa ating bayan, especially on healthcare, is really high. So please accept my gratitude to you for serving our people. And I want to remind you that your work never goes unnoticed,” she said. 

As former chair of the Senate the Committee on Health, Cayetano pushed for the passage of several landmark measures, including the Sin Tax Law, which led to the collection of billions worth of funds for the development of health centers and facilities.#

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano greets two nursing mothers at the Compostela Valley  Provincial Hospital in Pantukan on Monday (April 15). Cayetano has committed to work to make public health services more responsive once elected to the Senate.

Pia wants year-round sports programs in schools

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano is urging local government officials and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) leaders to promote year-round sports programs in their respective communities, to encourage Filipino students to stay in school.

In a radio interview in the “Home of the Champions” General Santos City on Tuesday, Cayetano stressed the importance of sports in providing more opportunities for the youth to be productive and to develop their discipline. 

“Having year-round sports programs for the youth can really help our kids stay and excel in school. For me, the kind of discipline that they learn from sports is beneficial to their growth and development,” she said. 

The congresswoman added that sports activities are a good way to motivate young Filipinos to keep coming to school, which would in turn reduce the number of out-of-school youths and student dropouts in the country.

She then called on Filipino parents and teachers to keep encouraging their kids to harness their energy in sports and apply the same in their studies. 

Cayetano was a varsity volleyball player during her college days, and was even recruited to play for the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team. When she became a senator, she authored laws that provide benefits to young athletes, one of which is the Student-Athlete Protection Act (Republic Act 10676). 
Meanwhile, Cayetano also urged local officials and SK leaders to give assistance to the families of out-of-school youths in order to ensure that the kids are properly guided to continue their studies and have a better future.

“One of the most common causes of children dropping out from schools is usually problems in their homes. Kaya nananawagan ako sa mga leaders natin on the ground na tulungan ang mga pamilyang ito para matuloy sa pag-aaral ang mga anak nila and make something of their lives,” Cayetano stressed. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano speaks at the International Youth Forum’s World Youth Camp held on Monday (April 15) in Lagao Gymnasium, General Santos City.

Pia calls on youth volunteers to help prep for SEA Games

LAKESHORE, TAGUIG CITY – House Deputy Speaker and sports advocate Pia S. Cayetano is encouraging young Filipinos from different provinces to volunteer and take part in the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games. 

The Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), in cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), launched its Volunteers Program on Friday (April 11) to mobilize youth volunteers for the region’s premiere multi-sport event.

Cayetano said local communities play an important role in ensuring the success of the country’s hosting of the SEA Games from November 30 to December 10 2019.

“Once the organizing committees finalize all the venues for the games, we need each community within that area to volunteer, especially the youth,” she stressed.

“On a macro scale, the Philippines will be the host; but on a micro scale, we need to harness our local communities so that we can really win as one,” she added.
The Taguig congresswoman said engaging local communities for the 30th SEA Games could also boost local tourism in their respective areas.
Moreover, she said it opens opportunities to showcase what the Philippines has to offer to the region and the world, apart from being the home of talented athletes.

“There’s a lot of time for us to invite and really organize local volunteers. Regardless of your background, there is a role for you to play in this year’s SEA Games,” Cayetano said.

”On my part, I’d like to lead by example because as a former student-athlete, I know how it feels to win, to lose, to wake up early, and to put in my best efforts in making my country proud,” she added.

Cayetano, who is running for re-election in the coming Senatorial polls, played for the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team when she was in college. 
At the launch of the volunteers program, Cayetano was seen interacting with volleyball stars Alyssa Valdez and Fille Cainglet Cayetano, as well as national athletes and sports personalities. 

Cayetano is a known advocate of sports and the youth sector in Congress, having passed laws that give benefits to young Filipino athletes like the Student-Athletes Protection Act (Republic Act 10676). #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano and volleyball players Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and Alyssa Valdez pose “as one” during this Friday’s launching of the Volunteers Program for the 30th South East Asain (SEA) Games, which will be hosted by the country from November 30 to December 10 2019.

Pia lauds DepED initiative to revive “Larong Pinoy”

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano welcomed the reintroduction of the country’s  indigenous sports in this year’s Palarong Pambansa, which will be held in Davao starting April 27.

The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the 2019 Palarong Pambansa will showcase “Larong Pinoy” as a side activity in the national sporting event.

It aims to strengthen and revive traditional Pinoy games like kadang-kadang, patintero, hilahang lubid, and karera ng sako. 

“Natutuwa ako na mapo-promote natin ang larong Pinoy sa Palarong Pambansa. This is a good stepping stone to encourage the youth to be into sports,” Cayetano stressed.

“Ang interes ng kabataang Pilipino sa sports ay kadalasang nag-uumpisa naman talaga sa mga larong Pinoy,” she added.

The former student-athlete shared that her interest in sports also started with playing Pinoy games at a young age. She said such activities developed her fundamental sports skills.

“Once you start to develop skills like hand-eye coordination, you will also begin to develop advanced skills in other sports,” she said.

The congresswoman also encouraged Filipino parents to continue supporting their children to play sports in order to teach them the importance of discipline and teamwork.

Cayetano, who is running for re-election in the upcoming Senatorial polls, competed at the Palarong Pambansa as a student, where she played for the National Capital Region girls volleyball team.

She is a known advocate of sports and the youth sector in Congress, having passed laws that give benefits to young Filipino athletes like the Student-Athlete Protection Act (Republic Act 10676). #

Recognize role of mothers as unpaid family workers

Favors bill seeking to compensate stay-at-home mothers

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano on Thursday expressed support for the measure recognizing the important role of Filipina mothers, saying that stay-at-home moms deserve to receive compensation as society’s ‘unpaid workers.’

In an ambush interview with reporters in Naga City, the Taguig City Representative was asked about her stand on House Bill 8875, which seeks to provide P2,000 monthly subsidy for housewives and stay-at-home mothers. 

“Naniniwala ako na dapat may katumbas na halagang binibigay sa ‘trabaho’ ng mga nanay,” Cayetano responded. 

“I have always said that the woman is the unpaid worker. Mothers do not get compensated for the work that they do in their homes,” she added. 
Meanwhile, the congresswoman said there are different ways by which the government could provide support to Filipina mothers taking care of their families. 

“(The subsidy) could be monetary, it could be non-monetary. But at the end of the day, what I want is to give women more opportunities to earn income for their families even from the comfort of their homes,” she said. 

“We have to acknowledge the contribution of women to our country’s economy. This is why we need to help them, particularly the mothers, by giving them enough support.”

On the other hand, Cayetano said mothers can also be assisted by the government by giving them access to information and services on responsible family planning. 

The principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, Cayetano said mothers should be given the opportunity to make responsible decisions regarding the number and spacing of their children. 

She said a fully implemented RH Law is needed to effectively and sustainably lift people from poverty. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano meets with mothers and youth leaders in Naga City to discuss her advocacies to make Filipino families’ lives better and more comfortable.

Stay vigilant against measles outbreak

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano urged Filipino families to remain vigilant about the spread of measles in their communities, even after measles cases have started to drop in the past weeks.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported that there is already a downward trend in the number of new measles cases in the country, owing to the agency’s intensified immunization campaign.

The principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 10152 or the Mandatory Infants and Children Immunization Act, Cayetano commended the efforts of the DOH, local officials, and barangay health workers on the ground in convincing Filipino parents to have their children vaccinated.

On the other hand, she stressed that there is still no room for complacency when it comes to protecting the children from diseases.

“We are very delighted by DOH’s report that measles cases in the country are already decreasing. But everyone should continue to be vigilant, ready, and non-complacent,” she said in a radio interview in Butuan City.

“Kailangan bumalik nang tuluyan ang kumpyansa sa bakuna. Dahil hindi lang tigdas ang maaaring maging panganib sa buhay ng mga anak natin, marami pang ibang delikadong sakit na pwede namang iwasan sa tulong ng bakuna,” she added.

Cayetano has long been fighting for the promotion of preventive healthcare measures for Filipino families as a way to save them from premature deaths and unnecessary illnesses.

“During my first term in the Senate, I decided to fight for laws that sought to protect children from various diseases, because I do not want to see any child dying despite the presence of preventive measures and solutions like vaccines,” she said.

Even before news broke out regarding the outbreak of measles in several provinces, Cayetano had been going around the country convincing Filipino families to restore their trust in vaccines.

In February, she had led an immunization drive for young children at the Rural Health Unit 3 of Barangay Mabiga in Mabalacat, Pampanga.#

File photo: Mass vaccination program in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Let’s preserve our cultural heritage

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano on Saturday said measures seeking to protect and preserve the country’s cultural heritage will be among her priorities in the Senate should she win a seat in the upcoming polls. 

“That is really what I want to give attention to, our hundreds of years of customs and cultural practices. I want to promote the preservation of our people’s history and culture,” Cayetano said in a radio interview in Quezon province on the sidelines of a rally organized by Quezon 4th District Representative Helen Tan.

The Taguig representative stressed that protecting the country’s heritage sites and cultural practices is tantamount to fostering socio-economic growth in the provinces. 

“From all over the world, foreign tourists spend so much money to visit heritage sites and experience intangible cultural properties like festivals, which some of us usually take for granted,” she said. 

“This is how preserving our cultural heritage leads to growth. It gives value to our people, boosts tourism and local industries, and provides more career opportunities for our youth,” she added.

The congresswoman then encouraged all sectors in society in the province of Quezon and in the entire country to get involved in the preservation of their cultures. 

Cayetano is known for championing measures that strengthened the government’s mechanisms in conserving the country’s national cultural heritage.
As former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture, she led the inquiry into the controversial construction of DMCI Homes’ high-rise condominium building Torre de Manila, which marred the sightline of the historic Rizal Monument at Luneta Park. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano takes a picture with Quezon 4th District Representative Helen Tan on the sidelines of a campaign rally organized by Tan in Quezon province on Saturday.

Pia backs Universal Health Care pilot implementation

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano is elated with news that the Department of Health (DOH) is now scouting for pilot areas for the implementation of the newly enacted Universal Health Care Law (UHC).

The DOH has reportedly chosen Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental as one of the pilot areas where the new measure will be enacted. 

“I am excited that CDO was chosen to be a pilot location. And I’m happy that this is how the government will enforce the program,” Cayetano said in an interview on the sidelines of Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s (HNP) campaign rally in the province on Thursday.

A known health advocate, Cayetano stressed that the key feature of the UHC law is to provide equal access to quality and affordable health services for all Filipino families. 

The measure mandates the automatic enrollment of all Filipinos in the National Health Insurance Program, which will give them access to all health care services of the government, including preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative care.

“Our job as legislators is to work, by way of law, towards strengthening our systems so that there should be no difference between the poor and the rich, especially when it comes to healthcare,” said Cayetano, who co-authored the House version of the health law.

“That is what we will keep on prioritizing if we get the chance to return to the Senate,” she added. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano discusses her health advocacy with reporters in Cagayan De Oro on the sidelines of the HNP rally in Misamis Oriental province on Friday.

Nat’l database could solve jobs-skills mismatch

Senatorial candidate Pia S. Cayetano is proposing to create a national database of all available and in-demand domestic job opportunities for Filipino workers, in an effort to address the persisting job-skills mismatch in several industries. 

In a radio interview in Cebu City on Thursday, the congresswoman stressed that there is now an abundance of opportunities for Filipino skilled workers, owing to the country’s booming construction industry. 

In particular, she cited the Duterte administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program that seeks to accelerate public infrastructure spending. Projected to reach P8 to 9 trillion between 2017 and 2022, this massive infrastructure program has opened over 25,000 job positions for Filipinos.  

“Public spending on construction, whether by local government units or the national government, is on the rise all over the country. The private sector has also been investing and contributing,” Cayetano said.
Despite such opportunities, she noted that many Filipinos still find it hard to get employed because they do not possess the skills required for the job openings. 

“This is why we need to ensure that our skilled workers are really the best,” Cayetano said. “We have to put up a database of all actual and projected job opportunities so we will know which industries will be in demand in the next few years. That way, we  can also prepare our students and workers better for these jobs,” she added.  

The senatorial candidate said she plans to discuss the issue with barangay officials throughout the country, so she could get the necessary information directly from the ground.

Cayetano was in Cebu City to attend the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas (LNB) 3rd Visayas Barangay Congress at the International Eucharist Center. #

Senatoriable Pia Cayetano receives a warm welcome from barangay officials attending the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas (LNB) 3rd Visayas Barangay Congress at the International Eucharist Center in Cebu City on Thursday.