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Go sends aid to fire-hit Tondo residents

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Photo courtesy of Jennifer Cunanan

Two weeks after his initial visit, an outreach team of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go returned to Tondo, Manila City on Wednesday, June 30, this time to deliver aid to residents who were affected after a fire erupted at a residential structure in 375 Maria Payo Street.

“Mga kababayan, sana nasa mabuti kayong kalagayan. Alam namin mahirap ang panahon ngayon dahil sa mga iba’t ibang krisis na ating hinaharap pero kapit lang tayo. Hindi kayo pababayaan ng gobyernong ito. Malalampasan natin ang kahit anong pagsubok basta nagtutulungan at nagbabayanihan tayo,” Go started in a video call.

 

His team distributed relief items, financial assistance and meals to a total of 55 families at a local gym in Barangay 26, Zone 2, District 1. The relief items included food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields.

Moreover, selected beneficiaries were given new pairs of shoes or bicycles to travel around the city. Other residents also received computer tablets so their children can participate better in their blended learning activities.

To help facilitate their recovery, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development were also present to distribute separate financial assistance. The National Housing Authority, in turn, assessed potential beneficiaries for their emergency housing program.

“Nagulat kami nung umaga na ‘yun dahil biglang may nag-spark na kuryente. Tapos may sumigaw na may malaking apoy sa taas. Kung mahirap ang buhay dati, ngayon triple kasi hindi namin alam kung saan kami kukuha ng pera. Sa ngayon, natutulog nalang kami sa kalye ng mga anak ko,” said Myrah Lopez, 29.

“Umaasa nalang kami sa mga nagbibigay ng pagkain. Napakalaking bagay ang lahat ng natanggap namin sa araw na ‘to. Maraming salamat sa lahat, President [Rodrigo] at Senador Bong Go. Sana matulungan niyo kaming makapag-umpisa muli,” she added.

To mitigate the incidence of fires or to prevent them from occurring, Go principally authored and co-sponsored a measure, Senate Bill No. 1832, which mandates the Bureau of Fire Protection to implement a modernization program.

The bill provides for the acquisition for new fire equipment, hiring of additional personnel and provision of specialized training for firefighters. It also directs the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government and local government units.

“Hindi lamang po ang pag-modernize ng ating equipment ang makatutulong sa paglaban sa mga sunog. Mahalaga rin dito ang fire safety education. ‘Yung atin dito, kung papaano i-prevent at maturuan ang mga kababayan natin kung paano ba maiiwasan ang mga sunog,” explained Go.

Continuing his message, the Senator offered assistance to any resident in need of medical attention. He advised particularly poor and indigent patients to take advantage of the services of the Malasakit Centers at the San Lazaro Hospital, Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, and Philippine General Hospital.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where Filipino patients can conveniently avail of medical assistance from the relevant government agencies, namely the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The program has benefited over two million Filipinos nationwide since its launch in 2018.

To end, the Senator thanked the local officials, led by Punong Barangay Alfredo de Ocampo, for working together to assist the victims and rebuild the affected areas of the community.

“Huwag sana kayong mawalan ng pag-asa dahil nandirito ang gobyerno para tulungan kayong makabangon muli. Lapitan niyo ako kung may iba pa kaming maitutulong. Patuloy kami ni Pangulong Duterte na magseserbisyo sa inyo sa abot na aming makakaya,” reassured Go.

The activity was carried out in small batches and strict compliance with the government-issued health and safety protocols against Covid-19. Go also took the opportunity to encourage residents to get vaccinated.

“Hinihikayat din natin ang ating mga kababayan na magpabakuna na dahil ito po ang susi at solusyon upang malampasan ang krisis na ito at makabalik tayo sa normal na pamumuhay,” he said.

“Huwag tayong matakot sa bakuna. Kung gusto nating maproteksyunan ang ating sarili at mga mahal sa buhay, magpabakuna na po tayo alinsunod sa ating vaccine rollout guidelines,” he added.

 

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