SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go once again stressed the need to establish safe and properly equipped evacuation centers in every municipality, city and province across the Philippines.
He lauded the provincial government of Capiz for kickstarting the construction of its Multipurpose Evacuation and Convention Center in Pueblo de Panay and called on other local government units to initiate projects that would likewise significantly help their constituents in times of disasters.
Following their aerial inspection of areas hit by Tropical Storm “Agaton” in Pontevedra, Capiz, President Rodrigo Duterte and Go led the groundbreaking ceremony of the said center on Black Saturday, April 16. They then spearheaded the distribution activity at Pontevedra Elementary School for the Agaton victims.
“Tuluy-tuloy lang ang aming pagseserbisyo kahit Semana Santa lalo na sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo. Hindi po kami titigil ni Pangulong Duterte sa pagbibigay ng tulong sa ating mga kababayan. Wala pong pahinga ang aming pagseserbisyo sa bayan,” Go reassured.
The project, which Go helped fund as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, is an initiative of the provincial government, in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways, to better protect Capizeños from future disasters. The first phase of the project is worth PhP237.376 million.
“Hindi po natin alam kung kailan dadating ang sakuna sa bansa kaya naman po mas mainam na lagi tayong handa para maging ligtas ang ating mga mamamayan,” said Go.
“Ako po ay tiwala na kapag ito ay natapos na, marami itong matutulungan na kababayan natin diyan, hindi lamang sa Roxas kundi sa iba pang bayan diyan sa probinsya ng Capiz,” he added.
Go has always been steadfast in his commitment to push for more disaster-resilient communities in the country. He has consistently called for the passage of measures that will provide a more responsive and unified whole-of-government approach during crisis situations.
In 2019, he filed Senate Bill No. 1228 or the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act to ensure that disaster victims will have temporary shelters that will guarantee their safety and safeguard their welfare while they recover and rebuild their lives.
“Kapag dumating ang malakas na bagyo o kung anumang sakuna, sa mahihirap po talaga malakas ang epekto nito. Kada taon, iba’t ibang krisis ang hinaharap ng Pilipinas kaya naman dapat mabilis ang aksyon ng gobyerno upang mapaghandaan at maprotektahan ang buhay at kapakanan ng mga Pilipino,” Go earlier underscored.
“Kaya napaka importante po na tayo ay makapagpatayo ng mga safe, permanent, and dedicated evacuation centers na may sapat na emergency packs, tulad ng kumot, tubig, gamot, at iba pang relief goods,” he explained.
Go likewise continues to push for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience. Also filed by Go in 2019, SBN 205 aims to establish a focused department that would ensure a proactive approach to natural disasters.
“Bago pa dumating ang bagyo, mayroon na hong makikipag-coordinate sa LGUs, preposition of goods at ilikas po ang mga kababayan natin sa ligtas na lugar. At pag-alis ng bagyo, restoration of normalcy kaagad, maibalik kaagad sa normal ang pamumuhay ng mga kababayan natin. ‘Yan po ang layunin ng Department of Disaster Resilience,” Go previously explained.
Previously, President Duterte and Go also conducted an aerial inspection in the Agaton-hit areas in Baybay City and Abuyog town in Leyte on Good Friday, April 15. Later that day, they led similar relief activities for more victims at Western Leyte Provincial Hospital in Baybay City and Baybay City Senior High School.