Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, in coordination with the Office of Mayor Joenime Kapina, assisted typhoon victims in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, by organizing a relief activity at the Palimbang Municipal Gymnasium on Wednesday, 6 December.
His team provided shirts, masks, vitamins, snacks and balls for basketball and volleyball to 192 affected households. They also gave away a watch, a cellular phone, and pairs of shoes to select recipients.
Meanwhile, a team from the National Housing Authority also provided emergency housing assistance to qualified beneficiaries to help them rebuild. NHA's program, which Go advocated for and continues to support, provides assistance to families who have lost their homes due to natural calamities such as fires, typhoons, earthquakes, and other disasters.
"Gusto ko lang pong pasalamatan ang National Housing Authority sa kanilang dedikasyon at serbisyo para sa ating mga kababayan. Ang EHAP ay nagbibigay ng pag-asa at bagong simula para sa mga biktima. Isinulong at sinuportahan ang implementasyon para mabigyan ng pambili ng yero, pako at iba pang materyales na pampaayos ng bahay ang mga biktima ng sakuna," said Go.
"Magdasal po tayo at ipagdasal po natin 'yung mga mahal natin sa buhay. Ang gamit po ay nabibili. Ang pera po ay kikitain din po natin, magsipag lang tayo. Subalit 'yung perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. Ang nawalang buhay po ay wala na. A lost life is a lost life forever," he added.
At the forefront of Go's legislative initiatives is Senate Bill No. (SBN) 188, which seeks to establish the Department of Disaster Resilience. The proposed law seeks to elevate disaster preparedness and response by creating a Cabinet-secretary-level department solely focused on disaster resilience.
The senator emphasized that if enacted and established, DDR would focus on three critical areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building back better.
Furthermore, Go co-sponsored SBN 2451, or the Ligtas Pinoy Centers bill, which was primarily sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada. This bill, based on the Mandatory Evacuation Center bill previously filed by Go, aims to establish permanent and well-equipped evacuation centers nationwide.
Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, likewise urged those with health concerns to seek the services of the Malasakit Center located at Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan.
A brainchild of Go, the Malasakit Centers program provides one-stop shops designed to help indigent patients with their medical expenses by bringing partner agencies under one roof.
Principally authored and sponsored by Go, Republic Act No. 11463 institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program, which has now established 159 centers and helped more than ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to the Department of Health.
Furthermore, Go continues to push for the construction of more Super Health Centers nationwide. Such centers will offer database management, dental, outpatient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy, and an ambulatory surgical unit. Other services that will be available include eye, ear, nose, and throat care, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine, which enables remote diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, local government units, and DOH, sufficient funds have been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.
Furthermore, Go cited the recent approval of RA 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Act, a law that he principally sponsored and co-authored in the Senate. The objective of this legislation is to decentralize specialized medical services by creating specialty centers within existing regional hospitals.
In line with his efforts as vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go also supported the concreting of roads in Esperanza, Bagumbayan, Isulan, Lambayong, Lebak, Lutayan and Tacurong City. Additionally, he supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Columbio and Isulan, as well as the procurement of ambulance units for other towns.