THE Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, together with other government agencies, provided aid to small business owners in Balingasag, Balingoan, Binuangan and Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, whose lives and livelihoods were affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a video message, Go urged those who are already eligible to get vaccinated to get their COVID-19 shots to ensure that they are protected against the virus, as well as their families and communities.
“Ngayon po, mga kababayan ko, sa Metro Manila unti-unti na hong bumababa ‘yung kaso dahil po mahigit 77% na po ng populasyon sa Metro Manila ay bakunado. Ibig sabihin, ‘pag marami pong bakunado, mas protektado po. Ang iniiwasan natin ay bumagsak ang ating healthcare system, ‘yung napupuno po ‘yung mga hospital. Magtulungan ho tayo,” said Go.
“Magtiwala ho kayo sa gobyerno, magtiwala ho kayo sa bakuna. Ang bakuna po ang tanging susi o solusyon sa ngayon para makamtan po natin ang population protection, ‘yung 50% po ng population ang bakunado. At herd immunity kapag 70% na po ng population ang bakunado. ‘Yan po ang target natin ngayon, makamtan po natin ang population protection at herd immunity para naman po sumaya ang ating Pasko,” he added.
“Kung mababa ang kaso, mabubuksan natin muli ang ekonomiya. ‘Pag bukas ‘yung ekonomiya, makakabalik kayo sa trabaho at may laman ang tiyan niyo. Alam niyo, hindi lang COVID ang kalaban natin ngayon, kagutuman rin po,” he also assured.
Go’s staff distributed meals, vitamins, masks, and face shields to a total of 345 small business owners. They provided new shoes and a bicycle to selected recipients. They also gave a computer tablet to help with children’s blended learning activities.
In addition, representatives from several government agencies offered further aid to help them cope with the economic effects of the pandemic. The Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed livelihood assistance under its Sustainable Livelihood Program. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, on the other hand, awarded scholarships to 50 individuals per town.
The Department of Agriculture also distributed seedlings while the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Labor and Employment assessed those eligible for their various programs.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, the senator reminded residents not to neglect their health amidst the ongoing pandemic. To help them avail medical care, he encouraged them to reach out to his office or visit the Malasakit Center located at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center or J.R. Borja General Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City for assistance on their hospital-related expenses.
“Hindi niyo na kailangan pumila o umikot pa sa iba’t ibang opisina para humingi ng tulong pampagamot dahil nasa loob na sila ng iisang kwarto. Lapitan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center at wala itong pinipili. Karapatan niyo bilang mga Pilipino ang maka-avail ng serbisyo nito,” he continued.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which streamlines the provision of medical assistance by bringing the relevant government agencies under one roof, namely the DOH, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The center’s primary aim is to help reduce a patients’ hospital bill to the lowest possible amount by covering various patient services and expenses through the existing medical assistance programs. Go principally authored and sponsored the measure that became Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
In the end, Go recognized and thanked the provincial and local officials for their efforts in assisting the small business owners.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has supported various initiatives to promote the development of infrastructure and public service delivery in Misamis Oriental, such as the rehabilitation of local roads in Baliangao, Balingasag, Balingoan, Initao, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Libertad, Lugait, Magsaysay, Manticao, Cagayan de Oro City, and El Salvador City; construction of water systems in Balingasag and Jasaan; construction of multi-purpose buildings in Initao, Magsaysay, Cagayan de Oro City, and Gingoog City; and flood control projects in Magsaysay, Medina, and Gingoog City.
He also supported the construction of a public market in Manticao; development of the public plaza in Lugait; and acquisition of ambulance units for the local governments of Balingoan, Kinoguitan, Libertad, Lugait and Cagayan de Oro City.
On October 14, Go’s team provided assistance to hog raisers and other agricultural workers in Alubijid, Misamis Oriental on Thursday, October 14, whose livelihood was affected by the pandemic as well as the spread of the African Swine Fever virus in their area.