Bong Go

Bong Go aids indigent students in Puerto Princesa City

September 10, 2023 People's Journal 351 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go acknowledged the need to address mental health concerns of Filipino youth as he continues to champion Senate Bill No. 1786, which seeks to mandate public higher education institutions (HEIs) to establish Mental Health Offices in their respective campuses.

In a message during his team’s relief activity in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Go recognized the pressing need for comprehensive support systems for students facing mental health challenges.

He said the proposed legislation is aimed at creating a supportive and nurturing environment for students’ mental health.

“Mental health is very important to address, just like any other health concern. It is for this reason that I also filed Senate Bill No. 1786, which mandates public Higher Education Institutions to establish Mental Health Offices, dahil importante po na magkaroon tayo ng available mental health care services sa basic education at higher education,” he said.

If enacted into law, the Commission on Higher Education and the public HEIs, through their Mental Health Offices, shall then initiate and sustain a heightened campaign to raise a collective consciousness about mental health.

Furthermore, the measure also proposes to mandate educational institutions to raise awareness on mental health issues, identify and provide support and services for individuals at risk, and facility access by developing necessary mechanisms to further empower educational institutions in promoting the mental health and wellness of students, faculty, teaching and non-teaching staff, and other personnel.

Go is also a co-author of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s SBN 379, also known as the Basic Education Mental Health and Well-Being Promotion Act, which aims to provide mental health services, emotional, developmental and preventive programs, and other support services in the basic education level.

Held at Ramon V. Mitra (RVM) Sports Complex and in coordination with Councilor Elgin Damasco, Go’s team provided snacks and shirts to 689 students. There were also select recipients of shoes and balls for basketball and volleyball.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) extended financial assistance to help the students with their educational needs.

“Maraming maraming salamat po kay Senator Bong Go at ganun din po kay Councilor Elgin Damasco. Salamat po sa ayuda ng DSWD na para sa educational assistance. Yung pera po ay ipangbibili ko ng kailangan ng aking anak para sa school at para sa uniforms din po,” Connie Arsadon, a parent of one of the beneficiaries, expressed.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, likewise offered to assist those with health issues as he encouraged them to seek the services of the Malasakit Centers located at Ospital ng Palawan in Puerto Princesa City, Culion Sanitarium Hospital in Culion, and Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital in Brooke’s Point.

“Meron na tayong 158 Malasakit Centers sa buong bansa. Ang Malasakit Center ay one-stop shop na kung saan ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno ay nasa loob ng ospital. Ito ang PhilHealth, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Health at DSWD na handang tumulong sa inyong lahat,” explained Go, who is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.