AS the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of many Filipinos, the Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go distributed additional assistance to drivers connected with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) who are seeking help and being catered to by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, advised Filipinos particularly economic frontliners to get vaccinated. He assured that once more Filipinos are fully vaccinated, the government can consider relaxing more economic restrictions.
“Mga kababayan ko, patuloy na dumarating ang mga bakuna, unti-unti na pong pinapadala ito sa iba’t ibang parte ng ating bansa. Magtiwala ho kayo sa bakuna,” said Go.
“Kapag nasa priority list na po kayo, magpabakuna na po kayo. Huwag kayong matakot sa bakuna, matakot ho kayo sa COVID-19, ang bakuna po ang solusyon o susi para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa ating normal na pamumuhay,” said Go.
He also empathized with those who are severely affected by the health crisis as he assured them of continuing government support so they can cope with their present challenges.
“Marami po ang nawalan ng trabaho, marami po ang nagsara na negosyo, kaya mga kababayan ko, magpabakuna na po kayo, para naman po ito sa kapakanan nating lahat,” he said.
“Magtiwala lang ho kayo sa gobyerno. Kami po ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte, ginagawa po namin ang lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya upang malampasan po natin itong krisis na ating kinakaharap sa ngayon,” he added.
During the activity held at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City, around 1,114 beneficiaries were provided with meals, masks, face shields and vitamins. The activity was conducted in batches while strictly complying with the necessary health protocols to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
One of the beneficiaries, Federico de Guzman, Jr., thanked the government and Go for the support he received.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa gobyerno at sa Pangulong Duterte sa pagbibigay ng ayuda na ngayon ko lang natanggap kaya malaking kaluwagan (sa amin ito). Sa DSWD, nagpapasalamat ako dahil malaking tulong sa pamilya ko at tsaka sa aming gastusin sa araw-araw,” he said.
He also commended Duterte and Go for promoting their rights and welfare amid the hardships caused by the pandemic.
“Kaya po nagpapasalamat po ako ulit, kasama ang iba pang mga drayber na nangangailangan ng tulong mo, Presidente, maraming salamat po. Sana habang nabubuhay kayo, sana ay marami kayong matulungan na gaya namin na maliliit. Maraming salamat po,” de Guzman said.
“Maraming salamat, Senador Bong Go. Maraming salamat sa tulong na ibinigay mo sa amin lahat na kapwa ko driver o nangangailangan ng tulong o pantustos sa pamilya namin,” he added.
As further support, the Senator offered to assist those who are in need of medical attention. He strongly advised them to seek the nearest Malasakit Center where they may conveniently avail of medical assistance from government.
Nine Malasakit Centers have been established in Quezon City located at the Lung Center of the Philippines, Novaliches District Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, and the Philippine Orthopedic Center. There are 25 such centers scattered in Metro Manila and 121 established nationwide.
Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, authored and sponsored by Go, was signed by President Duterte in December 2019. The law mandates the establishment of the centers in every DOH-run hospital nationwide and in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. Other public hospitals can also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided they meet the standard set of criteria to guarantee the sustainability of the center’s operation.
Meanwhile, the DSWD also provided financial assistance to the beneficiaries, particularly to those who were not covered by the Social Amelioration Program and the Supplemental Amelioration Program.
“Alam kong hirap na kayo pero konting tiis lang po, mga kababayan ko. Patuloy tayong magtulungan at magmalasakit sa kapwa natin. Sino ba naman magtutulungan kundi tayo lang kapwa Pilipino,” said Go.
On Saturday, June 19, Go also sent his team to distribute assistance to a little more than a thousand senior citizens at the DSWD Central Office.