Senator Christopher “Bong” Go sent aid in Southern Leyte on Thursday, 21 October and delivered much-needed assistance to thousands of residents in Anahawan and San Ricardo.
In a video message, Go reassured that the government is carefully and gradually lifting restrictions so workplaces can reopen but added that everyone’s cooperation is still necessary to ensure COVID-19 cases do not spike.
“Alam po namin na marami ang nangangailangan ng kabuhayan at trabaho sa panahong ito. Ito ang rason kung bakit unti-unti na natin pinapayagang bumukas ang mga negosyo pero kailangan magawa ito sa ligtas na paraan upang hindi ito magdulot ng panibagong pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19,” cautioned Go.
“Kaya pinapa-alalahanan ko ang publiko na huwag maging kampante. Remain vigilant and cooperate by following the health and safety protocols. Ito ang mga pangunahing paraan upang maproteksyonan natin ang ating mga sarili,” he continued.
The senator’s staff provided meals, vitamins, masks, and face shields to a total of 2,000 residents from various sectoral groups. The activities were conducted in batches at the Anahawan New Bus Terminal and Barangay Cabutan Auditorium in San Ricardo in compliance with the mandated protocols.
They also gave selected residents new shoes and bicycles for commuting, as well as computer tablets for children’s classes.
Moreover, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development also handed out financial assistance as part of a continuing effort by the government to assist sectors severely impacted by the pandemic. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, in turn, evaluated potential beneficiaries for their respective assistance programs.
“May dalawa akong anak na nag-aaral ngayon. Nasa kolehiyo ang isa at kindergarten naman ang bunso. Wala kaming trabaho ng asawa ko pero nagtutulungan kami sa sakahan sa bukid. Nakakaraos naman kami kasi bina-budget namin ang pera. Malaking bagay itong ayuda na ito kasi may pang-load kami sa online classes ng panganay ko at may extra kaming pangbili ng pagkain,” said Ibie Castillon, 44.
“Maraming salamat sa ating mahal na Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte at Senator Bong Go para sa tulong. Sana matulungan pa nila kaming mga magsasaka para makaraos kami sa pang-araw-araw,” she added.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, the senator reminded the public to follow the protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the continuity of essential health services at this time. He offered help to those seeking medical care and advised them to visit the Malasakit Center at the Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital in Maasin City where they may avail of government assistance for their medical expenses.
Aiming to improve access to healthcare services, Go authored and sponsored the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019. The law provides for the establishment of one-stop shops which provide convenient access to the medical assistance programs of the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
“Lagi natin alalahanin na hindi kaya ng gobyernong mag-isa ang laban kontra pandemya. Hindi rin kakayanin ng mga medical frontliners kung patuloy na dadami ang kailangang dalhin sa mga ospital. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 starts with us being responsible citizens and following the health and safety protocols,” said Go.
“Ang ating pagiging mga responsableng mamamayan na nagmamalasakit sa kapwa at nakikisama sa bayanihan ay ang susi sa ating mabilis na pag-ahon mula sa krisis na ito. Magtulungan tayo para hindi bumagsak ang healthcare system habang binabalanse natin na pasiglahin muli ang ating ekonomiya,” he reiterated.
Go also thanked Governor Damian Mercado, Vice Governor Christopherson Yap, Anahawan Mayor Roberto Loquinte and Vice Mayor Nestor Vestal, and San Ricardo Mayor Roy Salinas and Vice Mayor Victor Torregosa, among others, for their efforts to provide continuous assistance amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go supported the installation of LED solar streetlights in San Ricardo and many other initiatives to support the development of Southern Leyte, including the improvement of roads in Maasin City, Limasawa, Malitbog, Hinundayan, San Francisco, Libagon, Pintuyan and other towns; construction of multi-purpose buildings in Libagon, Limasawa, Macrohon, Malitbog, Padre Burgos, Pintuya and Tomas Oppus; construction of a slaughterhouse in Maasin City; rehabilitation and improvement of the Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital in Maasin City; rehabilitation of the rural health unit in Silago; and renovation of the municipal public market in Silago.
Last September, the senator’s staff conducted similar relief activities for thousands of struggling residents in Hinundayan, Liloan, Limasawa, Malitbog, Saint Bernard, Silago and Sogod.