Better healthcare access for remote islands pushed
Underscoring the need to ensure that every Filipino gets access to affordable healthcare, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the Department of Health and the local government for the successful groundbreaking of the Siargao Island Medical Center in Surigao del Norte on Thursday, 16 February.
The groundbreaking was attended by House Speaker and 1st District of Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, DoH Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario S. Vergeire, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco, and House of Representatives Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, among others.
In his video message, Go expressed his confidence that the rise of SIMC will further boost the health services on the island.
Republic Act 11500, which Go principally sponsored and former president Rodrigo signed in 2020, upgraded the Siargao District Hospital in the town of Dapa, Surigao del Norte into a Level II General Hospital and increased its bed capacity from 50 to 100.
The Act likewise provides for the improvement of the hospital’s professional health care services and facilities to particularly benefit all residents in the eight towns composing the Siargao Island.
Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, likewise reiterated the need to bolster the country’s health sector, especially with the striking effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Go’s office provided assistance to fire victims in Quezon City last Wednesday, 15 February.
Go, who had personally led separate relief operations for residents in Malvar, Batangas, and Calamba City, Laguna on the same day, also took time to check on the situation of the fire-hit families in Quezon City through a video conference call.
The senator began his message by lauding the officials of Quezon City, including Representative Arjo Atayde, Mayor Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, and Barangay Manresa Captain Arturo Tambis for immediately addressing the needs of the fire victims. He then committed to provide more support to the best of his capacity.
To ensure better fire preparedness and response, Go primarily authored and co-sponsored Republic Act 11589, otherwise known as the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2021.
Under the law, the BFP is undergoing a 10-year modernization program by recruiting more firefighters, acquiring new fire equipment, and developing specialized training, among others.
On Thursday, 16 February, Go’s staff also distributed aid to victims of a recent fire in Barangay Tuburan Sur, Danao City in Cebu.
The distribution was held at the City Social Welfare Development Office where 10 affected residents received grocery packs, vitamins, masks, snacks, and shirts while select individuals were likewise given bicycles, cellular phones, shoes, umbrellas, watches, and balls for basketball and volleyball.
In addition, the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided separate financial assistance to help the victims recover.
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