Bong Go

Bong Go’s office conducts five-day relief efforts for Agaton victims

May 9, 2022 People's Journal 139 views

Bong Go

THE Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go continues to help more victims of calamities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From May 2 to 6, Go’s team provided aid to a total of 9,575 Typhoon Agaton victims in Abuyog, Leyte.

Go’s outreach team handed out masks and snacks to 2,056 typhoon victims on May 2; 2,094 on May 3; 2,215 on May 4; 2,364 on May 5; and 846 on May 6. They also gave shoes, phablets, and bicycles to select individuals.

The team mounted the relief operations for the affected families residing in Barangays Balocawehay, Paguite, Can-aporong, Tabigue, Barayong, San Isidro, San Francisco, Pilar, Malaguicay, Bahay, Buenavista, Sta. Fe, Nalibunan, Bunga, Guintagbucan, Buntay, Loyonsawang, Sto. Niño and Victory.

To ensure safe and well-coordinated week-long distributions, the team grouped the beneficiaries into smaller batches at the respective barangay gymnasiums.

In his video message, Senator Go thanked the government agencies that extended other forms of support to help speed up the recovery of the victims, saying, “Salamat po sa lahat ng ahensya na nandito. Salamat po sa tulong na ipinaabot niyo. Tuluy-tuloy lang tayo sa pagseserbisyo hanggang sila po ay makaahon muli.”

Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided financial assistance. Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority assessed potential beneficiaries of their respective programs.

The senator then assured the beneficiaries that he will continue to promote the welfare of victims of natural and man-made calamities. He vowed to push for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1228 which mandates the establishment of a safe and fully-equipped evacuation center in every city, municipality and province.

The proposed measure, which Go filed in 2019, sets the minimum requirements for every evacuation center, such as its location, amenities and accessibility, and operation and management, among others.

“Napakaimportante po na tayo ay makapagpatayo ng mga safe, permanent and dedicated evacuation centers na may sapat na emergency packs, tulad ng maayos na tulugan, tubig, gamot at iba pang relief goods. Nakahanda na dapat ito kahit wala pang sakuna,” Go underscored.

Go also renewed his call for a more proactive and holistic disaster response in the country by establishing the Department of Disaster Resilience. In 2019, he filed SBN 205 which directs the creation of DDR, a highly-specialized agency to lead all disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

The bill mandates the creation of an early warning system, a database for relevant disaster risk reduction and climate change data, and new protocols for the swift delivery of basic goods to affected areas, among others.

Meanwhile, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go offered to help those in need of hospital care. He encouraged them to visit any of the five Malasakit Centers in the province that are ready to assist them with their medical expenses.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which streamlines the process of acquiring aid from the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office. Since its launch in 2018, there are now 151 Malasakit Centers that have benefitted more than three million Filipinos nationwide. Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act.

The Malasakit Centers in Leyte are located at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City, New Western Leyte Provincial Hospital in Baybay City, Ormoc District Hospital in Ormoc City, and Leyte Provincial Hospital and Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez General Hospital and Schistosomiasis Center (GBTRGHSC) in Palo.

As part of his commitment to improve the country’s healthcare system, the senator also earlier sponsored and successfully pushed for the passage of measures to increase the bed capacity of the EVRMC and another to convert the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital into the GBTRGHSC.

Go, as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, also committed to help Abuyog build back better. He earlier supported the construction of a multipurpose building and a farm-to-market road, rehabilitation of an evacuation center, and procurement of multi-cabs and an ambulance in the town.

On April 15, Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte in personally visiting and giving aid to the victims of Agaton who were temporarily staying at the Baybay City Senior High School in Leyte. Meanwhile, on April 27 to 30, Go’s outreach team conducted a similar series of relief efforts for more typhoon victims in Abuyog.