Bong Go

Bong Go lauds EO providing policy framework for all gov’t initiatives on peace process

January 3, 2022 People's Journal 389 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go hailed President Rodrigo Duterte for issuing Executive Order 158, which establishes a framework for the implementation, coordination, integration, monitoring and evaluation of all government initiatives aimed at promoting peace, reconciliation and unity.

“It is necessary to reexamine and realign how policies and programs on peace processes are planned, implemented and monitored on a regular basis to more successfully build on our gains in peacebuilding engagements over the years,” noted Go.

“Napapanahon lamang po ang pag-issue ng Pangulo ng EO na ito upang masiguro natin na ang ating peace initiatives ay patuloy na maging epektibo sa pagtatag ng kapayapaan sa bansa,” he added.

EO 158 provides for the principles of the Comprehensive Peace Process, including addressing the root causes of the conflict, involving whole-of-society engagement, and promoting the people’s meaningful participation, especially vulnerable groups, towards reconciliation.

Under the EO, the goals and strategies of the Comprehensive Peace Process shall be anchored on embedding peace, reconciliation and unity; enhancing resilience for peace; and social, economic and political engineering.

It also provides an administrative structure for the policy framework, with the President tasked to provide overall policy direction in the conduct of the Comprehensive Peace Process. A Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (PAPRU) will also be appointed by the President and will have the rank of a cabinet member.

The EO also allows for the establishment of Government Peace Negotiating Panels (GPNPs), each composed of a chairperson and such number of necessary members, all appointed by the President as his official emissaries to conduct direct negotiations, dialogues and discussions with the rebel groups.

Upon the signing of a final peace agreement with a rebel group, the concerned GPNP shall be dissolved and a counterpart Government Peace Implementing Panel (GPIP) may be created, whose members shall be appointed by the President, to engage the relevant rebel group for the implementation phase of the peace agreement.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is also reorganized and renamed as the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU).

Go assured the Filipino people that the Duterte government remains committed to achieving its vision of long-term peace and development in the country, particularly in rural areas. Despite the ongoing pandemic, he maintained that government efforts continue to resolve local disputes and address core causes of insurgencies like hunger and poverty.

“Importante sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte ang kapayapaan lalo na sa Mindanao. Wala na po dapat na patayan, sino ba namang gustong magpatayan kapwa Pilipino laban sa kapwa Pilipino. Masakit ‘yon,” Go previously remarked.

“We hope that the government’s efforts will be successful in achieving sustainable peace and development across the country,” he added.

Recalling his own experiences in Davao city, the senator also underscored the need for government programs, services and support to address the root causes of conflict and give former rebels an opportunity to be reintegrated into society.

He likewise reaffirmed his commitment to supporting programs and projects that would nurture a climate conducive to the implementation of reconciliation and reintegration activities.

“Kahirapan ang isa sa pangunahing dahilan kung bakit naeengganyo ang ibang Pilipino. Kaya minarapat lamang na tugunan ang kahirapan, lalo na sa mga liblib na lugar, sa pamamagitan ng pinagbuting programa sa kabuhayan, kalusugan, pabahay, edukasyon, atbp,” said Go.

“Marami sa mga nagrerebelde ay mula sa mga komunidad na hirap makapasok ang mga basehang serbisyo mula sa gobyerno. Ilapit na natin ang gobyerno sa kanila. Dapat ramdam nila na merong gobyernong handang magserbisyo at magmalasakit sa kanina,” he added.

In 2018, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70 which provided for the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. The order also institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach to attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and directed the adoption of a National Peace Framework which provides for the harmonized and synchronized delivery of services in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas.

“Kaya mahalaga ang whole-of-nation approach upang tukuyin at solusyunan ang root causes ng pag-aaklas ng ilan nating mga mamamayan,” he ended.

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Bong Go appeals for greater vigilance, cooperation in face of increasing COVID-19 cases, threat of Omicron variant

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher “Bong” Go urged Filipinos to be more cautious and to continue strictly adhering to the health and safety protocols as there have been an increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in the Philippines.

As of January 1, the Department of Health has detected 14 cases of Omicron variant throughout the country. Three of the cases are local, with two from Bicol and one from Metro Manila, and the rest are imported. The health department also noted that there is a “high possibility” of local transmission of the said variant.

“As the holiday season draws to a close, everyone is reminded to remain vigilant as we continue to battle COVID-19. It is important to understand that the health protocols will only work if every person remains disciplined and cooperative,” Go emphasized.

He warned that noncompliance with the protocols and other requirements will be strongly dealt with, in accordance with the law.

“Huwag muna tayong makumpiyansa dahil delikado pa rin ang panahon lalo na at may mga bagong variant ng COVID-19 gaya nitong Omicron,” said Go.

“Sayang ‘yung naumpisahan natin — ang magandang takbo ng ating COVID-19 response at vaccine rollout — kung magiging kampante muli tayo,” he added.

The senator renewed his appeal to Filipinos to get inoculated as soon as possible. He also urged those eligible to get their booster shots.

“Magpabakuna na sa kanilang pinakamalapit na vaccination site upang makuha ang proteksyon na kailangan laban sa patuloy pa ring kumakalat na COVID-19 na sakit at iba’t ibang variants nito,” stressed Go.

“Libre naman po ang bakuna mula sa gobyerno. Paraan din ito upang maprotektahan ang inyong mga pamilya at mga komunidad,” he added.

DOH revealed on Saturday that data from hospitals in the National Capital Region showed that 85 percent of those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) who require ventilators are unvaccinated.

Due to the spike in new COVID-19 cases, calls to the hospital referral system have also doubled. On Sunday, the country registered 4,600 new cases, up from less than 500 new cases per day in early December.

Go assured that the government is using every available tool to prepare for a possible new wave of infections and protect the economy from its damaging effects.

The government moved swiftly and raised the alert level status in Metro Manila from Level 2 to Level 3 from January 3 to 15.

“Pabilisin pa natin ang pag-deploy ng mga bakuna sa buong bansa upang mas maaga nating ma-attain ang ninanais nating herd immunity sa gitna ng iba’t ibang pagsubok na dala ng pandemya at ang pag-usbong ng mga bagong variants ng COVID-19,” Go said.

As of January 1, the country has administered a total of 108,757,357 doses of vaccines. A total of 49,797,374 Filipinos are fully vaccinated while 57,147,099 have received their first doses. A total of 1,812,884 booster shots have been administered.

“Please remember that the government cannot do this alone. We need your cooperation in ending this pandemic, just as we need your help in continuing our collaborative work in the community in light of the multiple crises that we are facing,” he ended.

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