Calamity victims affected by tropical storm Quiel were given assistance by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and other concerned government agencies during a visit on Tuesday, November 12. The senator, who immediately rushed to Paluan, Occidental Mindoro right after attending the morning plenary session in the Senate on the 2020 General Appropriations, distributed food, groceries and financial assistance to each family affected by the incident.
Four barangays and around 240 individuals were affected by the sea swell caused by typhoon Quiel last weekend with 23 houses damaged.
“Kahit saang sulok po ng Pilipinas, pupuntahan ko po kayo hanggang sa makakaya ko para magbigay ng tulong at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go told the victims, explaining that he regularly visits victims of calamities to listen to their concerns and provide solutions to their daily struggles.
Go was joined by representatives of concerned government agencies who also gave much needed assistance to the sea swell victims. The government agencies present were the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource (BFAR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and National Housing Authority (NHA), to name a few.
“Pinakiusapan ko rin po ang mga national agencies na magdala rito ng tulong tulad ng BFAR na nagbigay po ng mga bangka para sa mga mangingisda at ‘yung PCSO, meron na po silang assistance para sa municipalities,” Go said.
“‘Yung DTI, livelihood assistance, at ‘yung NHA naman po, housing materials, at pati po sa DSWD din po, mayroon din silang assistance na ibibigay. So, iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno (ang tutulong at may dagdag din) tulad ng scholarship at trabaho mula sa DOLE,” the senator added.
Go also told Paluan Mayor Carl Michael M. Pangilinan that he will assist in fast tracking the repair of the town’s seawall and its extension to further protect coastal residents.
“Sabi ko kay mayor, ‘yung mga nasirang seawall dito ay ipaparepair kaagad natin para maproteksyunan kung saka-sakali mang may dumating pa na bagyo (pero) huwag naman sana,” Go said.
In response to the media’s queries on why he continues to visit victims of calamities and natural disasters, Go told reporters that he is simply fulfilling his campaign promises and his mandate to the people.
“Alam niyo po, kaming mga probinsyano, kapag sinabi namin, pangako namin, tinutupad namin. Pangako ko noon sa kanila, kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas, dagat man o bundok diyan, kung saan may earthquakes at bagyo, papasukin ko po kayo basta kaya lang po ng aking panahon,” Go explained.
Go also said that plans are underway to establish a Malasakit Center in the province of Occidental Mindoro. A Malasakit Center consolidates the financial assistance programs provided by various government agencies in one office so that patients or their representatives will save time and resources in availing such assistance from the government.
“The Malasakit Center is one of the solutions the Duterte government has developed to provide quick and quality access to healthcare to all Filipinos, regardless of their age, sex, ethnic background, religion and political affiliation,” Go said.
Go also reported that the Senate already approved on third and final reading on Monday, November 11, Senate Bill No. 1076, otherwise known as the Malasakit Center Act of 2019, which seeks to institutionalize the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all 73 hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH).
Citing the vulnerability of the country to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and typhoons, Go also said that it is time for the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience to mitigate the consequences and take a more proactive approach to such calamities.
The senator filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 205 or the “Disaster Resilience Act of 2019”. The measure proposes for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience, “an empowered, highly specialized department with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.”
Go recently urged his fellow legislators and concerned government agencies to act immediately to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on the country.
“Huwag na po tayong magsayang ng oras. Huwag na po natin antayin na may dumating pang matinding kalamidad na tumama sa ating bansa. It is time to scale up our preparedness and resiliency against natural disasters. Panahon na para magkaroon tayo ng ahensyang magbibigay ng buong atensyon sa ating paghahanda at pagresponde sa mga kalamidad at sakuna,” Go explained.
As for the President’s 3-day rest, Go told that the President will continue to work despite being in Davao City.
“Alam niyo po, tao lang po ang Pangulo at kailangan niya rin po magpahinga. Ang comfort zone niya po ay sa Davao. Doon po siya nakakatulog at nakakapagpahinga,” the senator said.
“Ngunit nandoon man po siya sa Davao ay nagtatrabaho naman po siya. In fact, ngayong Biyernes ay pupunta kami ng North Cotabato, pupuntahan niya yung mga farmers doon na nananawagan sa kanyang programa. Gusto rin niyang marinig mismo ang mga hinanaing nila,” Go said.
The senator further explained that President Duterte continues to work hard to fulfill his duties as President and his mandate to the people. Go told reporters that both he and the President, in fact, met with Chairman Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to talk about long and lasting peace in the Mindanao region just the night before today.
“Dati na pong ginagawa ni Pangulo ito, week-long po nasa Davao City po siya, at doon po sa Mindanao ang ikot niya. At kagabi naman, magkasama kami sa pagpulong with Chairman Nur Misuari of MNLF para to create itong Peace Coordinating Committee between the government of the Philippines and MNLF,” Go said.
Go also highlighted during the interview that the President signed into law Republic Act 11148, also known as “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon na Mag-Nanay Act”, which aims to address the growing malnutrition in the country.
Go, who is also the current chair on the Senate Committee on Health, said that the law will upscale the current national and local health programs for maternal, neonatal and child health nutrition. He also assured that he will continue to prioritize public health as Senate health committee chair.
“Ako naman, bilang chairman ng Committee on Health, ay uunahin ko po ang kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino. ‘Di po ako papayag na matatapyasan ang pondo ng health dahil para sa akin, napaka-importante po ang kalusugan ng Pilipino at ‘yung mga health workers natin, dapat ma-renew sila, dapat tuloy-tuloy po ung trabaho nila,” Go said.