Senator Christopher “Bong” Go distributed assistance to 26 families affected by a fire incident that happened on 4 February in Barangay Buhangin, Davao City.
“Alam kong hirap kayong lahat ngayon dahil sa pandemya tapos nawalan pa kayo ng bahay dahil sa nangyaring sunog,” Go told beneficiaries in a video call.
“Gusto ko lang ipaalam sa inyo na narito kami lagi sa gobyerno. Handa kaming tumulong lalo na sa panahon ngayon na lahat ay naghihirap,” he added.
The distribution activity was held on Thursday, 11 February at the Park Saint Jude Covered Court. The beneficiaries received meals, cash assistance, food packs, masks, face shields, and medicine packs.
“Suotin niyo ang mga masks at face shield para hindi na kumalat ang virus sa inyong lugar. Sumunod din tayo sa mga protocols ng gobyerno,” he reminded.
Go’s team made sure that during the distribution activity, necessary health protocols were strictly observed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and other diseases amid the ongoing pandemic.
Selected recipients also received bicycles for their commute to work given limited transportation options. Others received computer tablets for their children’s use in classes as part of their blended learning in school. Go also gave away pairs of shoes to other beneficiaries.
Evelina Mantigo, who is one of the beneficiaries of the assistance provided by Go, was emotional in expressing her gratitude towards the Senator.
“Ako ay nagpapasalamat nang malaki kay Senador Bong Go sa kanyang tulong dahil sa aming kalagayan na mga nasunugan. Pasensya na emotional lang ako, nagpapasalamat ako nang malaki dahil ito na rin ang paraan para makabalik kami at mapatayo namin ang aming mga bahay,” Mantigo said in an interview.
“Biglaan, hindi namin alam kung ano ang aming gagawin kaya wala talaga kaming nadala,” she added.
Go also told fire victims that once a vaccine is available and deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration, the poor and the vulnerable will be prioritized.
He also offered to help those who need major health operations and urged beneficiaries to visit the nearest Malasakit Center located at Southern Philippines Medical Center in the city.
“Kung sino man ang kailangan magpa-opera, lumapit lang kayo sa akin o sa aking staff. Tutulungan namin kayo para sa inyong mga operasyon,” Go said.
“At mayroon na rin tayong Malasakit Center kung saan naroon na ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno na nasa iisang bubong na lamang. Hindi na mahihirapan ang ating mga kababayan na manghingi ng tulong sa gobyerno para sa mga healthcare needs,” he added.
Last month, Go personally attended the blessing of a new building that now houses the Malasakit Center and several other offices that support health services at SPMC. In addition to this, thousands of patients in the hospital also received assistance from Go.
The Malasakit Center, now institutionalized by Republic Act No. 11463, is a one-stop shop for medical concerns. Four government agencies, namely the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, are all under one roof. The center also streamlines the process of requesting assistance from these agencies, hence, providing access and ease in obtaining medical assistance.
“Ang Malasakit Center ay para sa mga poor and indigent patients. Ano nga ba ang kwalipikasyon ng Malasakit Center? Basta Pilipino ka, qualified ka sa Malasakit Center,” Go highlighted.
Personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) were also present to distribute separate additional cash assistance to the beneficiaries. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also assessed potential beneficiaries for their livelihood program, while the National Housing Authority (NHA) committed to provide relocation and housing assistance once the assessment is completed.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) also provided scholarship grants and livelihood training.
Go also lauded the local government officials of Davao City through the leadership of Mayor Sara Duterte for always putting service to her constituents as a top priority.
“Patuloy lang kaming magseserbisyo sa inyo dahil para sa amin, ang serbisyo sa kapwa ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang tulong namin sa inyong lahat,” he ended.