Wow. Napa-rewind ako dito sa video na ito: an interview of Mayor Vico Sotto by CNN/The Source anchor Pinky Webb about how Pasig City will cover all the 206,000 plus families who need help with cash grants sjnce the DSWD/national government can only give financial aid to 93,000 families via the DSWD’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Aside from this constituent-friendly move, this post is actually about what Mayor Vico Sotto says at the 9:40 mark. He and his team really get it. This is what he has to say about giving cash to people:
“Hindi lang po ito health crisis. Ito rin po ay isang socio-economic crisis. Kaya kailangan po para hindi mag-come to a stand still yung ekonomiya natin, now during community quarantine, and even after community quarantine, we need to make sure that our people have money to spend. Kung hindi, lalaki po ang krisis even after community quarantine. So, with the national government, the local government of Pasig will do everything that it can to make sure that our constituents have some degree of liquidity.”
I will not be surprised if Mayor Vico, based on his city’s actions, is familiar with Universal Basic Income (UBI) and its principles: universality, unconditionality, and prioritizing human value. UBI proponents also believe that cash in people’s hands stimulate the economy because they have money to spend for the products and services of businesses, and can even engage in business themselves if they have the extra cash after meeting their needs and paying the bills.
Of course, Mayor Vico may just know the principles of basic economics when it comes sending people cash in times of a crisis like this, but usually, the conventional or layman thinking is, primarily, to give financial relief to those in need. Listen, for example, to how our national government’s spokespersons are talking about the SAP and other cash aid. You don’t hear them talking about the cash grants in the way that Mayor Vico talks about it. If they did, they will be in a rush to cover all the families in the lists of the LGUs — not just stick to a quota (here’s also a comprehensive April 17 article by Bulatlat re the topic, saying that the cash aid is inadequate to cover all affected families) — and look for the money, just like what the city of Pasig did, because in the end, it will benefit the national economy.
In summary, if Mayor Vico Sotto is not a fan of Universal Basic Income now, it’s not hard to imagine that he will soon be, since he is already practicing its core principles.
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