Bong Go

Bong Go aids senior citizens in Caloocan City

August 29, 2022 People's Journal 366 views

Bong Go

CHAIR of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated the need to continue strengthening bayanihan efforts for the country’s faster and more resilient pandemic recovery.

During the relief operations for senior citizens of Barangays 20, 58, and 103 in Caloocan City, Go urged the 400 beneficiaries to remain vigilant and disciplined despite the gradual relaxation of restrictions against COVID-19 in the country.

In his video message, he likewise encouraged those eligible to participate in the national vaccination program, saying, “Ang bakuna po ang tanging susi o solusyon para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa ating normal na pamumuhay. Huwag ho kayong matakot sa bakuna, matakot ho kayo sa COVID-19.”

“Nakikiusap din po ako sa mga local government units, sa ating national government, magtulungan po tayo. Kung kailangan po, suyurin natin ‘yung mga senior citizens at PWDs para po protektado sila,” he added.

The senator’s team conducted the distributions at the barangay hall of Brgy. 22. They handed out masks and gave select individuals new pairs of shoes, computer tablets and bicycles.

Moreover, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided financial assistance to the residents.

“Alam ko pong mahirap ang panahon ngayon, nasa krisis tayo dulot ng COVID-19. Magtulungan lang tayo, magbayanihan ho tayo at magmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino,” remarked Go.

The senator then encouraged the beneficiaries to avail of the services of the Malasakit Centers should they need medical assistance.

Recounting his experiences working with underprivileged patients in Davao City when former president Rodrigo Duterte was still mayor, Go spoke of the need to address the financial hardships that patients face so they can receive needed medical attention.

“Nung mayor pa si (dating) pangulong Duterte, marami po ang lumalapit sa kanya sa (Davao) city hall na nanggagaling pa as far as General Santos, Zamboanga, o Surigao para humingi ng tulong sa kanilang pampa-ospital. Sabi ng Commission on Audit, hindi daw pwede gamitin ang pera ng Davao City dahil hindi sila residente,” Go said.

“Kaya doon ko nakita ‘yung puso ni (dating) pangulong Duterte sa mga mahihirap. Dahil hindi n’ya po matiis na tanggihan itong mga pasyenteng ito, dahil para sa kanya, Pilipino rin po ang mga ito… sabi niya — hanapan mo ng paraan ‘yan. Hindi na ako uupo dito sa city hall kung hindi ko sila matulungan. Doon ho nag-umpisa ‘yung konseptong Malasakit Center,” he further narrated.

“Sabi ko, bakit ba natin pinapahirapan ang mga kababayan natin? Hirap na nga sila at may sakit, pinapahirapan pa. Sa totoo lang, pera naman ng lahat ‘yan. Dapat ibalik ng gobyerno ito sa mga Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng maayos, maaasahan at mabilis na serbisyo,” he added.

To address this, Go, in his first six months as senator, principally authored and sponsored the bill that became Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.

“Nasa loob na po ng ospital ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno — PhilHealth, PCSO, DOH, at DSWD na handang tumulong po sa inyong maging zero-balance ang bill ninyo. Para po sa Pilipino ang Malasakit Center, sa poor and indigent patients po,” Go noted.

“Hindi niyo na kailangan pumila o umikot pa sa iba’t ibang opisina para humingi ng tulong pampagamot. Nasa isang kwarto sa loob ng ospital na po. Lapitan niyo lang, inyo po iyan. Ang Malasakit Center ay para sa mga poor at indigent patients,” he continued.

There are now 151 Malasakit Centers nationwide. The Malasakit Center in Caloocan City is located at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.

Last month, Go lauded the enactment of a measure increasing the social pension of indigent senior citizens.

“Isa sa mga malubhang tinamaan ng pandemya ay ang ating mga senior citizens. Alam naman po natin na sila ay isa sa mga high risk sa COVID-19 at sa iba pa pong sakit. Kaya itong pagtaas ng kanilang pensyon ay, kahit na anumang halaga, sigurado akong malaking tulong na ito sa kanila,” underscored Go, who was made co-author of said measure that lapsed into law on July 30.

“Nasa kultura na rin po ng Pilipino na alagaan natin ang mga nakakatanda, kaya naman nakakatuwa po na naisabatas na po ang pagbibigay ng dagdag na pensyon sa ating mga senior citizens,” he added.

Republic Act No. 11916, which was principally authored and sponsored by Senator Joel Villanueva, amends RA 7432 to increase the monthly pension allowance of senior citizens from PhP500 to PhP1,000. The said increase aims to support their basic necessities and medical needs.

Finally, the senator thanked the local authorities for ensuring that their constituents are not left behind in the path towards recovery.

Go was also instrumental in the construction of a multipurpose building in Caloocan City.

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