Bong Go

Bong Go aids indigent students in Laak, Davao de Oro

June 30, 2023 People's Journal 188 views

Bong GoRecognizing the vital role education plays in the country’s development, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has committed himself to help enhance the education system in the country through various proposed legislations.

In a video message during his team’s relief activity for struggling students, Go maintained that he advocates for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1864, also known as the Act on Suspending Student Loan Payments During Disasters and Emergencies, which seeks to offer assistance to students who have borrowed loans but face difficulties in repaying them as a result of calamities and other unforeseen crises.

Meanwhile, SBN 1359, known as the Act Prohibiting the “No Permit, No Exam” Policy, which Senator Go co-authored and co-sponsored, was passed on its third and final reading in March. The bill aims to penalize the implementation of a policy that restricts students from taking exams or similar educational assessments based on unpaid tuition or other school fees.

Go also continues to champion SBN 1360, which aims to broaden the scope of the tertiary education subsidy by making amendments to Republic Act No. 10931, also known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. The proposed legislation strives to offer increased assistance to students who face challenges in financing their tuition and other school fees, including those who are currently not eligible for subsidies provided by the existing law.

“Education serves as the foundation for progress and the key to unlocking a brighter future for our nation. It is through education that we can empower our youth, equip them with knowledge and skills, and shape them into responsible and productive citizens,” underscored Go.

“Investing in education is an investment in our country’s future. When we prioritize education, we invest in the development of human capital, fostering a highly skilled workforce that can drive economic growth and prosperity,” he stressed further.

The relief activity was held at the municipal hall, where Go’s team provided relief items, such as shirts, vitamins, snacks and masks to 700 disadvantaged students. His team also gave mobile phones, shoes, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients.

“Mayroon ding mga dala na bola ang aking opisina kasi ang advocacy ko po ay sports. Gusto ko po ipagpatuloy po ang kampanya ni (dating) pangulong Duterte na labanan ang kriminalidad at iligal na droga sa pamamaraan na engganyuhin po ang mga kabataan na maglaro na lang ng basketball o anumang larangan ng pampalakasan,” encouraged Go who chairs the Senate Committee on Sports.

“Diba mas mabuti na yung busy yung kabataan sa basketball o volleyball o sa ibang palakasan kesa naman maligaw sila sa ibang landas? Engganyuhin po natin silang mag-basketball at mag-volleyball. Get into sports and stay away from drugs,” he urged.

Meanwhile, Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also reminded the youth to prioritize their health and even encouraged them to seek the services of the Malasakit Center located at Davao de Oro Provincial Hospital branches in Laak, Montevista, Maragusan, and Pantukan; and the Davao Regional Medical Center in nearby Tagum City.

A brainchild of Go, the Malasakit Centers program provides for one-stop shops where concerned agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, are brought under one roof to ensure that medical assistance programs are more conveniently within the reach of particularly poor and indigent Filipinos.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. To date, 158 operational centers have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to the DOH.

Go, who is also Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported various infrastructure initiatives in Davao de Oro. He was instrumental in the construction of a multipurpose building in Compostela; construction of the Monkayo, Compostela Valley – Veruela Road; and improvement of the public market in Monkayo.

Other major initiatives he supported include the construction of the Nabunturan – Maco and Nabunturan – Laak roads; installation of street lights in Nabunturan; rehabilitation of the local roads and bridges in New Bataan; and the concreting of the local access road in Pantukan.