Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reminded residents, particularly those in disaster-prone areas, to heed government warnings when there is a need to evacuate during times of calamities. He also continued to assist residents affected by natural disasters. Most recently, he sent aid to communities hit by Typhoon Auring in the remote island communities in Tagana-an in Surigao del Norte.
“Alam kong sa panahon ngayon, marami ang nawalan ng trabaho at nagsara na negosyo. Bawat tao na apektado ay may pamilyang binubuhay at pinapakain kaya magtulungan po tayo. Importante na malampasan natin itong krisis na ito,” Go began in a video message.
“Ngayon, ang iba sa inyo ay tinamaan pa ng bagyo. Mag-ingat tayo dahil paparating na ang tag-ulan. Makinig tayo sa mga paalala ng gobyerno. Kapag may warning, lumikas na tayo at dahil delikado ang mabahaan,” he urged.
Go’s personnel distributed meals, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 2,122 beneficiaries at the Barangays Aurora and Talavera covered courts on Tuesday, April 27. Over half of the residents hailed from the island communities of Brgy. Talavera, Brgy. Patinio and Brgy Cawilan, the farthest of which is a 40-minute boat ride from the mainland town.
Selected beneficiaries also received new pairs of shoes while others were given bicycles so they can commute with ease. Another set of residents was provided computer tablets to help their children participate remotely in their classes under the blended learning set-up.
To ensure their health and well-being, the Senator further offered to assist any beneficiary seeking medical care. He advised those in need of medical assistance to avail the services of the Malasakit Centers at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City and Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City.
The center is a one-stop shop which provides convenient access to the medical assistance programs of the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
In addition to Go’s personnel, teams from the Departments of Labor and Employment, and Trade and Industry and the National Housing Authority were likewise present to assess potential beneficiaries for their respective aid programs.
Furthermore, the DSWD provided financial assistance while the Department of Agriculture distributed supplies of vegetable seeds. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also offered scholarship grants and livelihood training courses to qualified beneficiaries.
In the end, the Senator recognized the local officials for all their efforts to support the needs of the affected residents. He specifically thanked Governor Francisco Matugas; Vice Governor Eddie Gokiangkee, Jr.; Mayor Cesar B. Diaz Jr.; Vice Mayor Cesar A. Diaz; and Councilors Conrado Astronomo II, Ryan Manugas, Marte Manubag, Vicente Beberino Jr., Nestor Soriano Jr., Joffrey Beneficto, Windelyn Alipao, and Maxuel Jusain.
To mitigate the impacts of disasters on local communities, Go renewed his commitment to push for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1228 which provides for the establishment of an evacuation center in every municipality, city and province.
The bill, which he filed in 2019, is currently pending in the Senate Committee on National Defense and Public Works.
“Dapat mayroon tayong mga safe, permanent and dedicated evacuation centers kung saan pwede makapagpahinga ang mga apektado na residente. Dapat may komportableng higaan, comfort rooms at maayos na sanitation para hindi sila magkasakit,” explained Go.
“Besides providing temporary shelter, they should also be able to cater to the victims’ basic needs. Mayroon dapat itong sapat na mga emergency packs, katulad ng blankets, tubig, at gamot na handa na tuwing may sakuna,” he continued.
The previous day, April 27, the Senator also extended aid to hundreds of affected residents in the towns of Sison and Mainit. Each activity was conducted in smaller batches in observance of the health and safety protocols against COVID-19.