THE Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go provided supplemental aid to the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community who sought government support and whose needs are currently being catered to by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City.
On Saturday, May 24, Go’s personnel handed out meals, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 837 beneficiaries, as part of a wider initiative organized by the Senator’s office to support the Department’s response to the pandemic. The DSWD also provided each beneficiary with financial assistance in a separate distribution.
“Sa mga kababayan kong LGBT, alam ko marami sa inyo ang nahihirapan. You have faced discrimination and exclusion from within your own communities. Now, the pandemic has taken your jobs and livelihoods too,” Go said in a video message.
“If there is anything I can do to help you, ‘wag kayong mahiya lumapit sa aking opisina. Gagawin namin ang lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya upang tulungan kayo,” he continued.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go offered his assistance to any beneficiary in urgent need of medical care. He advised them to visit their local Malasakit Center where they may conveniently avail of medical assistance from the government.
The center is a one-stop shop which aims to reduce to the lowest possible amount the balance of the hospital bills of those who seek its assistance. It covers various patient services and expenses, such as laboratories, medicines, surgeries and operations.
A total of 113 hospitals have opened their own Malasakit Centers, including the Lung Center of the Philippines, Novaliches District Hospital, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and East Avenue Medical Center.
Continuing his message, the Senator offered his reassurance that the government is fast-tracking the implementation of the vaccine rollout so essential workers and vulnerable sectors can get inoculated soon.
“Huwag kayong matakot sa bakuna, matakot kayo sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna ang tanging solusyon natin upang malampasan ang krisis na ito. Ito ang susi para makabalik na tayo sa normal natin na pamumuhay,” he explained.
Last May 8, Go’s personnel also provided additional assistance to 200 other beneficiaries, composed of displaced musicians and television production staff, at the DSWD Central Office. Each activity was carried out in batches while observing the government-issued health and safety protocols against COVID-19.
Go delivered a speech during a Senate session in August of 2019 expressing his support for the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality Bill. He urged his colleagues to ensure that all citizens, especially gender minorities, are treated equally and justly, and acceptance and inclusivity are fostered at all levels of their political and social life.
“We are all equal under the law and it is our duty in this institution to ensure that all Filipinos — regardless of their age, sex, religion, ethnicity or gender orientation — are treated equally and justly,” said Go.
“As a country that prides itself for its diversity, it is our moral obligation to safeguard a culture of acceptance and inclusivity to ensure that our children and generations of Filipinos to come will live in a nation where they feel loved, cared for and accepted,” he added.