Assures gov’t support for rebel returnees
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go personally visited and delivered assistance to 3,600 struggling workers, composed of farmers, fisherfolk, ambulant vendors, and tricycle drivers, in San Isidro, Davao Oriental on Wednesday, March 16, at the municipal gymnasium.
“Ang pagseserbisyo dapat talaga galing ito sa inyong puso. Kaya ako kahit na matagal akong nagtrabaho kay Presidente (Rodrigo) Duterte pero diyan ko natutunan sa kanya, diyan lang ako sa tabi niya palagi, nalaman ko kung gaano kahirap maging mahirap kaya ginawa ko lahat at wala akong ibang bisyo kung hindi magserbisyo lang talaga sa inyong lahat,” Go told the beneficiaries.
He assured the workers of his firm commitment to continue pushing for measures to accelerate their recovery. He had early on appealed for the government to extend aid to workers who were at risk of displacement. Particularly, he had successfully pushed for the implementation of the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program and “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers” of the Department of Labor and Employment, among others, which provided financial and livelihood assistance to millions of low-income Filipinos.
To promote inclusive pandemic recovery, the senator also reached out to the members of the New People’s Army and assured them that the government will give them full support should they decide to start their new lives as reintegrated members of society.
“Sa mga NPA, mag-usap lang tayo dahil sino ba naman ang gustong magpatayan, eh, pareho lang naman tayong Pilipino? Kung ano ang maitulong namin, kung pagod na kayo diyan sa bukid, pumunta lang kayo dito dahil mas masaya dito at wala kayong makikita doon kung hindi mga tuko,” remarked Go.
“Kaya dito na kayo, may pabahay pa si Presidente, bibigyan pa kayo ng livelihood at trabaho,” he urged.
President Duterte created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict through Executive Order No. 70 in 2018. It institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and adopting a National Peace Framework.
The government agencies involved in the NTF-ELCAC provide assistance through various programs dedicated to help the body achieve its target goals.
The President also signed Administrative Order No. 10 institutionalizing the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program which focuses on the reintegration efforts for former rebels in their respective localities.
Go then led the distribution of masks, vitamins and snacks to the workers. He also gave away bicycles and new pairs of shoes to select individuals as well as computer tablets to help their children in their learning activities.
Staff from the Department of Social Welfare and Development also provided livelihood grants through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation.
The DOLE, Department of Trade and Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, meanwhile, assessed potential beneficiaries of their respective assistance programs.
In line with his commitment to look after the health and well-being of Filipinos, Go, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, encouraged the beneficiaries needing medical attention to visit the Malasakit Center at Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center in Mati City.
A one-stop shop, the Malasakit Center is designed for poor and indigent Filipinos to conveniently avail of medical assistance from DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
To date, there are 151 Malasakit Centers nationwide that have assisted over three million Filipinos. Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
The senator told them that they may also visit the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
“Kung mayroon kayong sakit sa puso at kailangan ninyong magpaospital, huwag niyo ng patagalin, huwag kayong mag-alala na magpa-check up sa Davao. Mayroon tayong Malasakit Center diyan sa SPMC, kami na ang magbabayad sa inyong bayarin sa inyong pagpapaospital,” he assured.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has also extended his support in the construction of a slaughterhouse and flood control structure in San Isidro; construction or rehabilitation of the local roads in Baganga, Boston, Caraga and Cateel; installation of street lights in Banaybanay; construction of potable water systems in Baganga; and construction of the Davao Oriental Sports Complex and rehabilitation of Buso Hot Spring Park in Mati City.
On the same day, Go also personally visited the town of Lupon to provide similar aid to its vulnerable residents and witness the ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly-rehabilitated MATAVISAN farm-to-market road in Barangay Macangao.