Fresh from attending the first presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s running mate, Senate Majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano, wasted no time as he pressed on with their tandem’s listening tour, this time visiting Pateros, known for its balut industry.
The senator lamented the industry’s dismal situation, which he said was caused by government neglect and incompetence. “Like what Mayor Duterte said in the debate, there’s so much disorder and suffering because there’s so much government incompetence and corruption,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano compared the balut industry to the struggling shoe industry in Marikina.
“Kagaya ng malungkot na kwento ng shoe industry sa Marikina, dahil sa kapabayaan ng gobyerno, unti-unti na ring namamatay ang balut industry ng Pateros. Talagang hindi matapos-tapos ang gulo at hirap sa buhay ng tao,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said most of the vendors could not get loans from public banks like Landbank, which he said functions more like a commercial bank. This makes it hard for them to sustain their small businesses without resorting to the “5-6” lending scheme that only puts them deeper in debt.
Cayetano said, if elected, he and Mayor Duterte will punish all 5-6 loan sharks and provide sufficient capital for balut vendors to sustain their trade.
“We will mobilize the national budget and establish a bank that will provide loans and other services to small entrepreneurs, similar to Thailand’s SME Bank. Ang pinapautang dapat ng gobyerno ay ang mahihirap, hindi puro mayayaman,” Cayetano said.
“But this is only possible if our leaders have the courage and strength of character to do what is necessary. This is what I and Mayor Duterte are bringing in this election,” Cayetano concluded.