Solon’s team aids nearly thousand victims in Cebu City
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support victims of disasters during his team’s second consecutive day of aid distributions for the victims of recent fire incidents in Cebu City on Wednesday, February 23.
“Mga kababayan, ako po’y nakikiramay sa nangyari sa inyo. Huwag kayong mag-alala. Alam ko masakit masunugan at halos balik ulit tayo sa umpisa. Pero ito lang ang tandaan natin, ang gamit po’y nabibili at ang pera po’y kikitain natin. Subalit ang perang kikitain natin ay hindi mabibili ang inyong buhay,” Go told the families in a video message.
“Alam kong hindi sapat ang tulong para sagutin ang lahat ng pangangailangan ninyo. Gayunpaman, bukas ang aming opisina ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte upang tulungan kayo sa abot ng aming makakaya,” he pledged.
Go’s team distributed meals, food packs and masks to a total of 245 families or 870 fire victims at the Basak San Nicolas and Capitol Site Barangay Halls. They also gave select individuals new pairs of shoes and computer tablets.
Moreover, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed financial assistance while the National Housing Authority assessed the needs of the victims.
The Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also conducted evaluations for their respective assistance programs.
“Naliparan kami ng bubong at natanggalan ng dingding nung Bagyong Odette. Tapos nagkasunog pa. As in buong bahay namin nasunog. Tsinelas na lang ang nadala namin at nagmamadali ako noon dahil mayroon akong maliit na anak. Kakapanganak ko lang kasi,” shared Joegie Sanchez, 31.
“Dahil sa tulong na matatanggap ko, dahan-dahan ko nang maipapatayo ang aming bahay. To President Duterte at Senator Bong Go, maraming salamat sa inyo. Malaki talaga ang inyong tulong at hindi niyo kami pinabayaan. Kahit ano pa man ‘yang trahedya lagi kayo nandiyan para sa amin,” she added.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go also offered to help those with medical concerns. He advised them to visit the nearest Malasakit Center which provides a streamlined process for requesting medical assistance from the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
As of writing, a Malasakit Center has been opened each at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and St. Anthony Mother & Child Hospital in Cebu City, Talisay District Hospital in Talisay City, Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital, Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City, and Cebu Provincial Hospital in Carcar City.
“Nasa loob na ng ospital ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong sa inyo para maging ‘zero balance’ ang inyong billing. Tuluy-tuloy lang ang programang ito dahil para sa amin ng Pangulo, hindi dapat pinahihirapan ang mga pasyente. Dapat tinulungan natin sila para hindi na sila pumipila sa iba’t ibang ahensya para makahingi ng tulong mula sa gobyerno,” explained Go, who authored the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
He concluded his message by thanking Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Donaldo Honteveros, Basak San Nicolas Punong Barangay Norman Navarro, Capitol Site Punong Barangay Manuel Guanzon and other local officials for providing support to the victims.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has also supported several infrastructure initiatives that aim to improve the delivery of public services and foster economic growth in Cebu City, such as the rehabilitation and expansion of the multipurpose building area in Brgy. Duljo Fatima and construction of a multipurpose building for Balay Silangan, a reformatory program for drug rehabilitation patients.
Other major initiatives include the construction of multipurpose buildings in Barili, Cordova, Ginatilan, Pilar, Poro, Tabogon and Talisay City; improvement of existing roads in Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Asturias, Balamban, Boljoon, Borbon, Carmen, Madrilejos, Malabuyoc, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Pinamungajan, Poro, Sibonga, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Carcar City and Naga City; improvement of flood mitigation structures in Catmon and Tuburan; installation of street lights in Daanbantayan, Asturias and Compostel; and acquisition of ambulance units for the local governments of Madrilejos and Naga City.
The lawmaker also recently sponsored a bill which will increase the bed capacity of the VSMMC from 1,200 to 1,500 beds to strengthen the city’s capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure has been approved on the third and final reading in the Senate, together with 14 other local hospital bills.
The previous day, February 22, Go’s team extended aid to 801 fire victims in Barangays Buhisan, Kinasang-an Pardo and Tisa. All distributions were conducted in batches to ensure strict compliance with the government-issued health and safety protocols.