CONSIDERING the devastating effects of recent calamities that hit the country, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, together with his fellow senator Robinhood Padilla, went to Davao Occidental and personally spearheaded a relief effort for typhoon victims in the town of Sta. Maria on Friday, November 25.
Held at the Sta. Maria Municipal Grounds, Go and his team provided relief items, such as grocery packs, vitamins, masks, meals and shirts to 2,500 affected residents.
They also gave away cellular phones, watches and shoes to select individuals, as well as bicycles and balls for basketball and volleyball to others as part of his advocacy to encourage more Filipinos to engage in sports activities.
“Mayroon akong dalang mga bola. Bilang Chairperson sa Committee on Sports sa Senado, ini-engganyo ko ang kabataan na get into sports, stay away from drugs. Iyan ang isang paraan upang ilayo ang mga kabataan sa iligal na droga. Huwag nating sayangin ang naumpisahan ni (dating) pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte na labanan ang iligal na droga,” urged Go in his speech.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development also extended separate financial aid to each affected household through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.
Meanwhile, Go likewise reaffirmed his commitment to push for more initiatives to help build a more disaster-resilient nation. Thus, he continues to advocate for the enactment of Senate Bill No. 188 which would establish his proposed Department of Disaster Resilience.
The proposed measure shall create a cabinet secretary-level department that would develop holistic measures for better disaster preparedness.
“Dapat nating i-scale up ang disaster resiliency. Dapat lagi tayong handa. Mayroon po akong isinusulong na Department of Disaster Resilience — isang department secretary-level na nakatutok bago pa dumating ang bagyo. Panahon na para magkaroon tayo ng departamento na naka-focus sa bagyo,” cited Go in an ambush interview after the event.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go likewise reassured that the health of Filipinos remains his top priority. In this regard, Go offered additional assistance to those in need of hospital care as he encouraged them to visit any of the 153 Malasakit Centers in the country.
Particularly in Davao Region, poor and indigent patients may seek medical assistance from the Malasakit Centers located at Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital in Digos City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center in Mati City, and Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital in Davao de Oro.
Principally authored and sponsored by Go, Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act, mandates the establishment of a Malasakit Center in all hospitals administered or managed by the Department of Health, and in the Philippine General Hospital.
“Kung kailangan n’yo ng tulong sa pagpapaospital, lapitan n’yo lang si Mayor (Dinko Bautista), ilapit natin sa Davao, kami na ang magbabayad sa ospital sa SPMC. Tutulungan namin kayo hanggang makauwi kayo dito sa inyo. Tutulong kami sa inyo dito sa abot ng aming makakaya,” the senator offered.
He likewise supported the construction of two Super Health Centers in Don Marcelino and Sarangani which will offer database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Go, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, also committed to help boost the province’s economic development by supporting several initiatives, such as the construction of a multipurpose building and cold storage facility in Don Marcelino; construction of a water system, evacuation center and road rehabilitation in Jose Abad Santos; construction of an indoor sports building and road improvements in Malita.
“‘Wag kayong magpasalamat sa amin ni Robin. Kami ang dapat na magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan n’yo kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo. Maraming salamat sa inyo,” he expressed.
“Magkapitbahay lang naman tayo, taga-Davao City lang ako, kaya ganyan namin kayo kamahal. Mga kababayan totoo ito… twenty four years akong nagtatrabaho kasama si (dating) presidente Duterte, sanay ako sa trabaho. Sa almusal, tanghalian, hapunan, kahit sa panaginip trabaho pa rin. Pero masaya ako na makita ko kayo, nawawala ang aming pagod kapag nakikita kayo na masaya, ngumingiti at natutulungan,” he concluded.
On the same day, Go and Padilla likewise visited the town of Matanao where they joined the inauguration of a multipurpose building and provided assistance to more indigents in the town. They likewise inspected the town’s Super Health Center.
On November 26, Go also personally visited the town of Malalag and continued to provide assistance to more flood victims.