ON Tuesday, March 22, the Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go organized a relief activity in Novaliches, Quezon City for residents struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic to provide support and hear their concerns during these uncertain times.
In a video message, Go acknowledged that many Filipinos are currently out of work or worried about their livelihood. He assured that the government will continue to prioritize workers and their families as it addresses the challenges brought by the ongoing health crisis.
“Mga kababayan, alam naming mahirap ang panahon ngayon. Marami ang nagsara ang negosyo o nawalan ng trabaho at ang bawat isa diyan ay may pamilyang pinapakain. Kailangan muna natin magtulungan at magbayanihan upang malampasan natin ito bilang nagkakaisang mamamayang Pilipino,” encouraged Go.
“Huwag po tayong mag-alala. Ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para i-balanse ang kalusugan ng bayan at ang pangangailangan ninyong magtrabaho para sa inyong mga pamilya,” he added.
The senator’s team provided meals and masks to 666 residents at the Zabarte Subdivision Covered Court in Barangay Kaligayahan. They gave select individuals new pairs of shoes or bicycles for transportation and provided others with computer tablets to address their children’s learning needs.
In addition, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development handed out financial aid as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to assist individuals in crisis situations.
Go then reminded everyone to remain vigilant in their daily lives. He urged those eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 so they can avoid getting seriously ill and, by extension, help ease the strain on the healthcare system. He likewise encouraged everyone to continue observing the minimum public health requirements.
“Ang pangunahing layunin natin ay ang matigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa para mas mapabilis ang pagbalik natin sa normal. Pakiusap ko sa mga kapwa ko Pilipino, kung eligible kayo, ‘wag kayo matakot at magpabakuna kayo. Kapag marami ang bakunado, mas ligtas ang ating mga pamilya at komunidad,” appealed Go.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he also offered to help those with health concerns and advised them to avail of medical aid from the government at their nearest Malasakit Center.
The center is a one-stop shop which caters to patients seeking assistance from the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
There are currently 151 Malasakit Centers nationwide, 11 of which are located in Quezon City. The program was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 114631, which Go primarily authored and sponsored in the Senate.
“Ito ang isinulong kong batas na pinirmahan ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte. Para ito sa mga poor at indigent na pasyente na walang matakbuhan kundi ang gobyerno. Tutulungan kayo ng mga ahensya para maging zero balance ang babayaran ninyo sa ospital,” explained Go.
He also successfully pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 11501 in 2020, increasing the Quirino Memorial Medical Center’s bed capacity from 500 to 1,000 beds; and R.A. No. 11561 in 2021, increasing East Avenue Medical Center’s (EAMC) bed capacity from 600 to 1,000 beds.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, the lawmaker has likewise supported various projects in Quezon City, such as the construction of an advanced Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Vertical Expansion of New ER Building in EAMC, the rehabilitation of road networks of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center and Veterans Memorial Medical Center, and the construction of several multipurpose buildings.
The previous day, March 21, the senator personally conducted a monitoring visit at the EAMC where he witnessed the turnover of PhP635 million in financial assistance for various hospitals and extended additional aid to 2,891 health workers and 945 indigent patients.