Senator Christopher “Bong” Go praised the local communities in Basilan for the resilience they demonstrated in adapting to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He assured them that the Duterte administration will make sure that no one is left behind towards recovery amid the ongoing crisis.
In a video message at a recent relief effort in Lamitan, Go recognized the cooperation demonstrated by marginalized groups to the pandemic response and assured them that the government is working hard to meet their diverse needs at this time.
“Mga kababayan, patuloy na umiikot ang ating opisina diyan sa Basilan para bisitahin at magbigay ng tulong. Alam kong nahihirapan kayo. Hirap talaga ang sitwasyon natin ngayon pero ‘wag kayo mag-alala dahil magtulungan tayo para malagpasan natin ang pagsubok na ito,” said Go.
“Kapit lang tayo. Kung may maitutulong pa kami ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte, ‘wag kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa aming opisina dahil trabaho namin ang magserbisyo sa inyo,” he added.
His outreach team provided meals, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 5,000 beneficiaries, consisting of entertainers, fisherfolks, laborers, vendors, Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association members and other vulnerable residents.
The activity was held in batches at the Lamitan municipal gym from September 13 to 14 in strict adherence with the health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The team also provided computer tablets to selected beneficiaries to help their children participate in their classes under the blended learning set-up. In addition, some received new pairs of shoes while others were given bicycles for commuting.
As part of a holistic set of intervention measures by the national government for communities in crisis, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development also distributed financial assistance. The Department of Health, in turn, conducted free medical check ups and handed out additional masks.
The Department of Agriculture, on the other hand, committed to provide further assistance to qualified fisherfolk and laborers upon completing their assessments.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, the Senator urged the beneficiaries to get their Covid-19 shots as soon as they are eligible. He added that attaining herd immunity at the community level, which means having 60 percent to 90 percent of the population vaccinated, is critical to ending the pandemic.
“Target natin ngayon na makamtan ang population protection at herd immunity bago mag-Pasko para naman sumaya ang ating Pasko. Sa mga nasa priority list na, magpabakuna na kayo at ‘wag kayong maging kumpiyansa,” continued Go.
Go went on to encourage the sick and elderly to use the services of the Malasakit Center located at the Basilan General Hospital in Isabela City so they may conveniently avail of the medical assistance offered by the government.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which brings together the relevant agencies under one roof, namely the DOH, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Its primary aim is to help reduce a patients’ hospital bill to the lowest possible amount by covering various patient services and expenses through the existing medical assistance programs. Go authored and sponsored the bill that became Republic Act No. 11463, also known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.