Bong Go extends support to fire victims in Cebu City

The team of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go visited Cebu City on Wednesday, 8 March, to hand out assistance to fire-hit communities in Barangays Sudlon 2, Labangon, and Guadalupe.

In observance of Fire Prevention Month, Go reassured that the government remains focused on strengthening the country’s fire prevention efforts through Republic Act No. 11589, otherwise known as the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2021, which he primarily authored and co-sponsored.

The law mandates the bureau to undergo a ten-year modernization program to improve the BFP’s capabilities in dealing with fire-related incidents, which includes the provision of specialized training, expansion of manpower, and acquisition of new advanced fire equipment, among others.

“Importante po na mabigyan ng suporta ang modernization ng ating Bureau of Fire Protection dahil napaka-importante ng tungkulin na ginagampanan nila upang makapagligtas ng buhay,” said Go.

“Halos linggo-linggo po akong bumababa sa mga nasusunugan. Nakikita ko po ang hirap ng ating mga kababayang nasunugan. Kahit isang bahay lang po ang masunog, damay po pati ang kapitbahay. Maraming pamilya ang apektado. Kaya po dapat lang na palakasin ang kapasidad ng BFP sa pagresponde sa sunog,” he added.

Go’s team then proceeded to hand out grocery packs, snacks, masks, vitamins, and shirts to the 44 affected families. They also gave away shoes, cellular phones, bicycle, watch, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development gave additional financial assistance to further help them recover from the damages.

Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, then urged the family members to prioritize their health and encouraged them to visit any of the Malasakit Centers in the city, located at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital.

Other Malasakit Centers in the province are located at Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City, Cebu South Medical Center in Talisay City, Cebu Provincial Hospital in Carcar City, and Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital.

After witnessing the struggles of low-income Filipinos in securing medical assistance, Go initiated the Malasakit Centers program in 2018. It was later institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, which was principally authored and sponsored by Go.

To date, there are 156 Malasakit Centers that have helped millions of Filipinos nationwide.

Meanwhile, to ensure that basic healthcare services are more accessible, especially to those residing in far-flung communities, Go also supported the construction of hundreds of Super Health Centers nationwide.

In Cebu, Go supported the funding for the establishment of Super Health Centers in the cities of Bogo, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue; and in the towns of Borbon, Cordova, Moalboal, Samboan, and San Francisco in 2022.

This year, more Super Health Centers will be established in the cities of Carcar, Cebu, Talisay, and Toledo, and in the towns of Carmen, Consolacion, Liloan, Medellin, and San Nicolas. An additional Super Health Center will also be established in Danao City.

Through Go’s efforts and the support of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated under the 2022 Health Facilities Enhancement Program for the construction of some 307 Super Health Centers. As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, he was likewise successful in pushing for additional funds under the 2023 budget to support the construction of more SHCs in other parts of the country.

Super Health Centers 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.

Lastly, as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Barili, Cordova, Ginatilan, Pilar, Tabogon, and Talisay City; improvement of existing roads in Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Asturias, Balamban, Boljoon, Borbon, Carmen, Madrilejos, Malabuyoc, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Pinamungajan, Sibonga, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Carcar City and Naga City; improvement of flood mitigation structures in Catmon and Tuburan; installation of street lights in Asturias, Compostela, and Daanbantayan; and acquisition of ambulance units for Madridejos and Naga City.

“Magtulungan po tayo, mga kababayan ko. Importante pong malampasan natin itong krisis na ating kinakaharap bilang nagkakaisang mamamayang Pilipino,” Go said.

“Sa mga nasunugan dito, huwag po kayong mawalan ng pag-asa, ang importante ay buhay kayo. Ang gamit po ay napapalitan, ang pera ay kikitain pero ang pera ay hindi nabibili ang buhay. A lost life is a lost life forever. Kaya mag-ingat kayo palagi,” he ended.

Last 20 February, Go’s team also assisted more fire victims in the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.

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