Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano went to Dangwa Flower Market today to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day for his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano.
“Huwag niyo sabihin kasi baka isipin ni Lani nagtitipid ako,” Cayetano said laughingly. “Surprise ko ito para sa kaniya.”
Cayetano said that since he is already doing a PITIK Listening Tour, he took the opportunity of going to Dangwa to personally hear the plight of the flower vendors.
This event is a continuation of his listening tour as he discussed PiTiK: Presyo, Trabaho, Kita with the market vendors while learning how to arrange flowers.
“We want to go to places like this to see the real situation, whether or not economic growth our country is experiencing now is felt by everyone,” he said.
The senator explained that his listening tours are an important part of his campaign because through it he: (1) gets to know the real problems of his constituents; (2) can better explain his stand on certain issues and in turn the people can exact more accountability from him in the future; and (3) is able to gather suggestions on how to solve the country’s problems from the people who really experience it.
“The people in these areas know the real situation. In fact, they are the ones who give better and more pragmatic answers to the country’s problems,” he said.
Based on his consultations with market vendors, the minority leader suggested that the government enact programs to make access to capital easier for small and medium enterprises.
He said that according to the market vendors, so much of their income is lost due to high interest rates given by “5-6” operators.
“These people turn to 5-6 operators because they have no means of funding their businesses otherwise. So they get charged an interest of 20 percent instead of just a standard affordable interest of, say 6 percent,” he said.
Cayetano said that the establishment of more cooperatives could help end this and consequently provide more capital for all those in it –lender and debtor alike.
“It’s simple: Good payback means good business all around. Instead of people spending so much of their income paying debts, they could instead borrow from the cooperative with less interest. Their interest in turn could help fund the businesses of other cooperative members,” he said.