SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday, June 25, distributed assistance to 99 overseas Filipino workers from Fiji. He assured them of continuing support from the government amid the ongoing pandemic especially in terms of reintegration services.
In the meantime, the beneficiaries were provided with vitamins, masks and face shields, among other forms of assistance by Go’s team at the Waterfront Hotel, Davao City. Personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development also extended separate financial assistance to the OFWs.
Go, in a video message, assured the OFWs that the government will continue to take care of their needs amid the pandemic while they look for other job opportunities.
The Senator also offered assistance to those with medical conditions and needing treatments. He advised them to seek assistance from the nearby Malasakit Center located at the Southern Philippines Medical Center which is open to serve the particularly less privileged Filipinos when it comes to their hospital and health related expenses.
The Malasakit Center, which is already institutionalized by law, is a one-stop shop where agencies, such as the DSWD, Department of Health, PhilHealth, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, are housed under one roof to provide patients convenient access to medical assistance which covers their hospital and medical-related bills.
“Kung mayroon kayong pasyente, mayroon tayong Malasakit Center sa SPMC. Tutulungan kayo nito hanggang maging zero-balance na ang inyong babayaran sa ospital. Para ito sa Pilipino, lalo na ang mga poor and indigent patients,” Go shared.
“Ito ang aking isinulong noon na batas na pinirmahan ni Presidente Duterte. Para talaga ito sa mga Pilipino, ang Malasakit Center, kaya lapitan niyo lang,” he added.
Moreover, Go has been relentlessly pursuing the interests and welfare of OFWs during the pandemic. Earlier, Go successfully appealed on behalf of seafarers and overseas Filipino workers to be vaccinated by being included in the priority category given the nature of their work.
He also supported their appeal to consider the requirements needed for them to resume their work abroad, such as the need to be inoculated with vaccines that are acceptable in their countries of destination, as well as the necessary documentation to prove that they have been vaccinated.
Go also co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 2234 or the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos bill. The measure is a consolidated version of his earlier proposed measure that aims to create the Department of Overseas Filipinos.
If passed, SBN 2234 will establish the DMWOF, a department primarily mandated to formulate, recommend and implement national policies, plans, programs and guidelines that protect overseas Filipinos, including OFWs, as well as promote their interests and resolve issues concerning them in a timely and effective manner.
The DMWOF will be responsible for providing all relevant social and welfare services, including insurance, social work assistance and legal assistance, as well as administer reintegration and social service programs to overseas Filipinos. It shall also provide Assistance to Nationals services, especially during times of emergencies, such as pandemic or war.
The bill is set for interpellation in the Senate plenary once the Congress session resumes in July.
“Ito po ang tatandaan natin, minsan lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan ang puwede nating maitulong sa kapwa tao natin ay gawin na natin dahil hindi na po tayo babalik sa mundong ito,” Go said.
“Kami ni Pangulong Duterte ay patuloy na magseserbisyo sa inyo, dahil para sa amin, ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos,” he added.