To many Filipinos, 2020 was the year of Covid-19, devastating typhoons, floods and fires, and a volcanic eruption.
2020 was also the year a first-time senator made good on his campaign promise not just to legislate but likewise to help Filipinos both here and abroad who badly need help because of the coronavirus health crisis, or those natural disasters mentioned above.
That senator is Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and his industry and zeal as a public servant give a new dimension to the term “public service.” His industry and zeal are complemented by his commitment to equal access to public service and opportunities for all Filipinos, regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity and social standing.
In January 2020, Senator Go provided relief goods and financial assistance to thousands of fire victims in Metropolitan Manila, particularly in Manila, Quezon City, Pasay City, Las Piñas,
Malabon, Muntinlupa, Parañaque and Taguig, and Bacoor, and in Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Dumaguete, Mandaue in the Visayas, and in Davao City, Butuan, Tagum and Zamboanga in Mindanao. Similar relief operations for other fire victims were also held in Agusan del Norte, Aklan, Bulacan, Davao del Norte and Sulu.
Likewise in January 2020, Go provided assistance to his fellow Batangueños affected by the violent eruption of Taal Volcano.
September last year saw Go helping flashflood victims in Zamboanga City. Victims of similar natural disasters in both Agusan provinces, General Santos City, Quezon Province, Maguindanao, Samal Island and Sultan Kudarat also received due assistance from his office.
In the wake of super typhoon “Rolly” and the equally devastating typhoon “Ulysses” in November, Senator Go brought badly needed aid to affected families in Quezon City, Caloocan and Marikina in the National Capital Region, and elsewhere in Albay, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cavite, Iriga City, Laguna, Pampanga, Rizal and Zamboanga City.
The aftermath of typhoon “Quinta” saw Go helping out desperately needy families in Mindoro. Flood victims in Cagayan and Isabela were also assisted.
At the height of the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, Go continued to extend assistance to people affected by the virus. He also gave badly needed help to thousands of distraught public market vendors in the metropolis and in other areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Displaced employees and wage earners were also beneficiaries of the senator. That list includes farmers, boatmen, fisherfolk, jeepney and tricycle drivers, marginalized athletes and wellness workers.
At the height of the strict quarantine measures imposed nationwide, many locally stranded individuals turned to Go for help to go home to their provinces. Slowly but surely, they were all accommodated by the senator.
Covid-19 patients, particularly those who have recovered in hospitals in the Visayas, received medical assistance from Go so that they can remain free from the virus.
Hours before Christmas Eve 2020, Go handed out yuletide presents to everyone at Balay Pahulayan, a resting area for patients’ watchers at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
Frontline workers at hospitals and airports also received assistance from Go in recognition of their laudable work during the health crisis. Go also created a systematic means of distributing masks and test kits, as well as medical and hospital equipment to Covid-19 treatment centers.
In a chance interview given to the media, Go thanked his hardworking staff who made his public service endeavors possible. He also said that he is only fulfilling his campaign promise not to limit his work to legislation, but to include all aspects of public service as well.
“I will not limit my public service to just working in the Senate. As a public servant, I will work for the welfare and interest of every Filipino wherever he or she may be. That is a promise I made, and it is a promise I have kept, and I will continue to keep,” Go declared.
Yes, 2020 was a bad year for many, but Senator Go’s outreach program undoubtedly eased up the sorrows of many Filipinos that same year. Come to think of it, isn’t that what public service is really all about?