SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go’s office provided assistance to recovering fire victims in Barangay Lapakan, Zamboanga City as part of his commitment to uplift the lives of Filipinos in crisis situations.
Held at the Barangay Lapakan Hall, there were a total of 18 families who received financial assistance, grocery packs, water containers, vitamins, and masks while there were also select recipients of shoes, a bicycle, and a mobile phone from the senator’s team.
Meanwhile, a team from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) conducted an assessment of their respective livelihood and housing programs to further help the families sustain their needs while recovering.
In his video message during the relief activity held on Thursday, November 9, Go reiterated his plea for local government units to enhance and advocate for fire safety and readiness within their communities.
“Nakakalungkot man po na masunugan dahil para po kayong bumalik sa simula, pero mas importante po ang buhay ng bawat isa. Ang gamit po ay nabibili, pero ang pera na kikitain natin ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. Ang nawalang buhay po ay wala na. A lost life is a lost life forever,” Go said.
“Kaya hinihikayat ko rin po ang inyong lokal na pamahalaan na mas lalo pang palakasin ang fire prevention awareness. Karamihan po sa ating mga kababayan ay kulang pa po ang kaalaman sa fire safety kaya mas mabuti po na ibahagi natin ito sa kanila para maiwasan ang mga ganitong pangyayari,” he noted.
Go cited that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is currently undergoing a modernization program pursuant to Republic Act No. 11589, also known as the BFP Modernization Act of 2021, which he primarily authored and co-sponsored.
The Act shall enable the agency to respond faster and more effectively to fire-related incidents in the country. The ten-year modernization program includes procuring new fire equipment, expanding manpower, and conducting specialized training for firefighters, among others.
Furthermore, it also mandates the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the respective local government units (LGUs).
Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, remains committed to providing poor and indigent patients with better access to medical assistance programs through the 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide, including those at Zamboanga City Medical Center, Mindanao Central Sanitarium and General Hospital, and Labuan General Hospital.
RA 11463 was principally authored and sponsored by Go. It aims to ensure that Filipinos can easily avail themselves of government medical assistance programs.
“Kung kailangan niyo po ng tulong sa pagpapaopera sa Maynila, huwag po kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa ating mga lokal na opisyal o kaya sa aking opisina. Magsabi lang ho kayo at kami po ay handang tumulong sa abot nang aming makakaya,” Go offered.
Additionally, Go noted that the Department of Health (DOH) has identified three locations in the city for the establishment of Super Health Centers. Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, DOH, and LGUs, sufficient funds have been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 Super Health Centers in 2023. DOH, as the lead implementing agency, identifies strategic areas where these centers will be built.
Super Health Centers offer database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine, through which remote diagnosis and treatment of patients are made possible.
Furthermore, Go is a principal sponsor and one of the authors of RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act. This legislation requires the creation of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. Each center is designated to offer specific specialties, extending services akin to those provided by hospitals in Metro Manila, such as the Heart Center, Lung Center, and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, to communities in closer proximity.
Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported the construction of a multipurpose building that will be turned into a sub-national laboratory capacity building for serology and molecular testing, the construction of a children’s park, and a two-story building inside Camp Navarro General Hospital.