DURING his recent visit to Laguna, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go headed the distribution of assistance to 1,407 TODA members in Brgy. Bulilan Sur, Pila to help uplift their livelihoods amid the ongoing COVID-19 threat.
Go acknowledged how the COVID-19 crisis affected the lives of essential workers such as those in the public transportation sector. He assured them that the government is doing its best to accelerate the vaccine rollout, address the challenges caused by the pandemic, and bring back normalcy in communities.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go renewed his call to soon open the vaccine rollout to the A4 and A5 priority groups, so the government can fast-track the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to poor and vulnerable sectors, including TODA members since public transportation workers are part of the A4 category.
“Sabi ko nga sana pwedeng payagan na ang A4 list… importante dito walang masayang dahil may ibang A1, A2, A3 na ayaw pa nila magpabakuna. Pwede namang balikan na lang sila,” he said earlier.
“Importante ay walang masayang na bakuna, walang ma-expire, walang masayang na panahon, habulan po ito para makamit ang herd immunity this year. ‘Yun ang target natin, ma-attain ang herd immunity para naman po sumaya ang ating Pasko,” he added.
Given the continuing expansion of the countrywide vaccination, Go has supported the “Focus and Expand–Center of Gravity” vaccination strategy where Laguna is part of the critical areas. The strategy commits the government to focus its inoculation program on nine high-risk areas – National Capital Region, the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Pampanga, and Batangas; and the urban agglomerations of Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.
“Ang essential sectors o A4 category, kasama na diyan ang economic frontliners, ay napakaimportante upang mabalanse lalo ang pagprotekta sa kalusugan at pagpapasigla ng ating ekonomiya. Tulad din ng pangako namin ni Pangulong Duterte, sisiguraduhin nating makakarating ang bakuna sa mga mahihirap… ito ang A5 category kung saan nabibilang ang mga indigent,” Go said in an earlier statement.
“Ang bakuna ang susi o solusyon upang malampasan ang pandemyang ito at makabalik tayo sa normal na pamumuhay,” he stressed further.
Meanwhile, Go said it was his first time to visit Pila town and he was fascinated by the infrastructure and how its cultural assets were well preserved over time. With the support from local officials, the Senator pledged to help in the improvement of the town to further boost and sustain economic growth.
“Kung ano pong maitutulong namin, kahit kaunti, na makatulong pong mapaunlad ang inyong bayan. At, pangalawa, tutulong po sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan na alam naman nating talagang apektado po nitong pandemyang ito,” Go said.
He reminded everyone in attendance to follow basic health protocols, such as frequent washing of hands, social distancing, wearing of mask and face shield, and avoiding non-essential travels. The Senator said that adhering to this will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Kapag malakas ang inyong resistensya, mas lalaban po ang inyong katawan kontra COVID-19. Mask at face shield, kung hindi naman po kailangan, huwag munang umalis ng pamamahay natin dahil delikado pa po,” Go said.
The senator proceeded with the distribution of assistance where his staff handed out masks, face shields, and vitamins to recipients while observing safety and health protocols. In addition, Go gave bicycles, computer tablets, and new pairs of shoes to selected recipients.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also gave financial assistance through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program, the Department of Agriculture supplied vegetables, while the Department of Health provided additional vitamins and medicines. The Department of Trade and Industry committed to assess possible recipients who can take advantage of their Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa Program.
Aside from the successful groundbreaking of Pila Municipal Center which he attended on the same day, Go announced more projects in Pila, such as the improvement of Multi-Purpose Building and construction of Multi-Purpose Covered Court at Brgy. Aplaya, Brgy. Linga, and Brgy. Bulilan.
“Ako naman po, handa akong tumulong sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya. Kami po ni Pangulong Duterte, ayokong mangako, kung ano lang pong kaya naming gawin ay gagawin po namin. Magseserbisyo po kami ni Pangulong Duterte sa abot ng aming makakaya,” Go committed.
Earlier that day, the senator led the inauguration of the 113th Malasakit Center in San Pablo City. More so, Go mentioned the two available Malasakit Centers in Laguna located at San Pablo City General Hospital in San Pablo City and Laguna Medical Center in Sta. Cruz.
Among those in attendance were Mayor Edgardo “Egay” Ramos, Vice Mayor Reggie Bote, Pila Chief of Police Captain Robin Martin, Police Provincial Director Col. Jun Petalio, and many others.
“At tandaan n’yo po, ako po, kapitbahay lang tayo. Batangueno rin po ako, ala ey Batanguenong Bisaya. So kahit na lumaki kami sa Davao, pero ang lolo’t lola ko ay dito lang sa Sto. Tomas at tsaka sa Tanauan po. So, magkapitbahay lang po tayo ng probinsya. So, salamat mga taga-Laguna, ingat po kayo parati,” Go ended.
In 2019, Go was declared an ‘adopted son’ of CALABARZON by the region’s governors. In a manifesto, they cited his 21 years of service as a trustworthy and dependable assistant of President Duterte. They noted his “heart for his country” through the projects he initiated, including the Malasakit Centers program, which have benefited millions of Filipinos.
On May 19, the team of Senator Go also extended assistance to seven families who were affected by the recent fire incident on May 17 in Brgy. Bagumbayan, Paete, Laguna.