CONSIDERING the country’s experiences with natural and man-made disasters, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has once again stressed the importance of stronger government coping mechanisms to more effectively and safely address disaster-related incidents in the country.
In a video message during a relief operation for flood victims in Valencia City, Bukidnon on Saturday, November 26, Go renewed his appeal to his fellow lawmakers to support his proposed measures — bills creating the Department of Disaster Resilience and Mandatory Evacuation Centers.
The senator pointed out that as the Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, there is all the more reason for the government to ramp-up its efforts in creating a more disaster-resilient nation.
Go has earlier refiled Senate Bill 199 which would establish his proposed Department of Disaster Resilience, a highly focused department that would proactively address calamity-related incidents.
The senator explained, “Bago pa dumating ang bagyo, mayroon na hong makikipag-coordinate sa LGUs, preposition of goods at ilikas po ang mga kababayan natin sa ligtas na lugar.”
“At pag-alis ng bagyo, restoration of normalcy kaagad, maibalik kaagad sa normal ang pamumuhay ng mga kababayan natin. Yan po ang layunin ng Department of Disaster Resilience,” he added.
Meanwhile, to further improve the country’s disaster readiness, the senator likewise continues to push for the passage of SBN 1228 or the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act.
The bills aims to establish safe, permanent, and dedicated evacuation centers in every city, province, and municipality in the country. Each center is proposed to be fully-equipped to provide immediate aid to disaster victims.
“When disaster strikes, the underprivileged suffer the most. Nakita naman natin ang matinding pangangailangan para sa mga istrukturang ito na magsisilbing panandaliang tahanan ng mga Pilipino sa tuwing may bagyo o anumang natural disaster,” stressed Go.
Held at Barangay Lumbo Covered Court, Go’s personnel handed out masks, shirts, vitamins and snacks to 748 flood victims. They also provided select individuals with bicycles, cellular phones, shoes, umbrellas, and balls for basketball and volleyball.
In addition, the Department of Social Welfare and Development extended separate financial assistance.
The senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography likewise cited that there are 153 Malasakit Centers nationwide, including one at the nearby Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Maramag, where the beneficiaries may obtain medical assistance from the government.
Primarily authored and sponsored by Go, the Malasakit Centers Act mandates all Department of Health-run hospitals to establish their own centers to ensure that poor and indigent patients have convenient access to medical assistance programs offered by the DSWD, DOH, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The senator also supported the funding for the construction of five Super Health Centers in the province which shall offer services such as database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other services include eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine, among others.
These SHCs will be located in Kadingilan, Kitaotao, Malaybalay City, Pangantucan, and Sumilao.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has also supported the funding for the construction of an evacuation center, municipal building and local access road as well as an electrification and solar lights project in Damulog; and the construction of a slaughterhouse, multipurpose building and the Northern Bukidnon Agri-Industrial Economic Zone Road Network and Southern Bukidnon Agri-Industrial Economic Zone road network development projects in Don Carlos.
Moreover, he was instrumental in the improvement of road links in Baungon, Libona and Talakag; access road leading to the Bukidnon Airport; farm-to-market and local roads in Cabanglasan, Kadingilan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Lantapan, San Fernando and Talakag; and other road linkages throughout the province.
On the same day, Go’s team likewise assisted struggling students in the city.