Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday, 9 November visited the Antipolo City Hospital System Annex IV in Barangay Mambugan, Antipolo City where he met with the hospital management, key medical staff and patients to discuss the hospital’s needs and the ways in which his office may be of further help.
Go toured the hospital, which notably served as the venue for the national government’s first provincial vaccination rollout for healthcare workers, and following this gave a message where he expressed his appreciation to the frontline HCWs for their hard work and dedication during this time.
“Sa lahat ng mga frontliners — nurses, doctors, medical technicians, security guards at pati utility workers — maraming salamat sa sakripisyo niyo sa panahong ito. Hindi mababayaran ng kahit anuman ang inyong sakripisyo. Patuloy akong magtatrabaho para ipaglaban ang kapakanan ninyo,” vowed Go.
“Huwag n’yo akong ituring na senador. Tawagin n’yo akong Bong Go o Kuya Bong Go. Bukas ang aking opisina para makinig sa inyong mga hinaing. Lapitan n’yo ako, nandirito lang ako para sa inyo,” he reassured.
As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, the senator reaffirmed his commitment to their welfare and cited his previous success in pushing for and ensuring enough funding was allocated for the implementation of a Supreme Court decision upholding a provision of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 which increased the minimum salary grade of the Nurse I position to SG-15.
He was also instrumental in the enactment of the Salary Standardization Law 5, which he authored and co-sponsored. The law gives all civilian government employees, including public nurses, their fifth round of salary increases broken down in tranches from 2020 to 2023.
Go and his team served meals and provided food packs, vitamins, and masks to a total of 197 health workers and 130 patients during the visit.
They also gave selected beneficiaries new shoes and bicycles for their daily commuting needs and provided others with computer tablets to help their children with their school activities under the blended learning approach.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed financial assistance to each patient and 146 rank-and-file employees which included the custodian and security personnel.
“Huwag niyong pabayaan ‘yung mga kababayan nating mahihirap, ‘yung helpless, hopeless at ‘yung mga walang matakbuhan. Unahin n’yo sila. ‘Yun lang ang pakiusap ko sa mga social workers, ubusin n’yo ang pera ng gobyerno at ibalik niyo sa ating mga kababayan dahil inyo naman ‘yan. Bakit ba pahirapan ang Pilipino kung, sa totoo lang, inyo ‘yan,” appealed Go.
He also renewed his appeal to Filipinos, particularly those in the priority list of the national vaccination program, to get vaccinated so they can be protected against COVID-19. He explained that an increasing number of vaccinated individuals would allow the government to reopen the economy and further relax restrictions once herd immunity is attained.
“Tuloy-tuloy ang pagdating ng mga bakuna, mayroon na pong 114 milyon na dose ng bakuna. Mga kababayan, kung mahal niyo ang inyong pamilya at mga frontliners, magpabakuna na kayo. Kasi pag bakunado na po kayo, maiiwasan niyo ang pagka-ospital. ‘Pag hindi napupuno ‘yung mga ospital, nakakaginhawa ang ating mga frontliners,” Go added.
“Napapansin niyo lumuluwag na at may mga insentibo kung ikaw ay bakunado. Wala pong pilitan pero kami na ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte ang nakikiusap sa inyo, magpabakuna na kayo,” he added.
Go also offered to assist any health worker or patient who is in need of medical care. He encouraged them to seek aid from the government through the Malasakit Center located within the hospital, Margarito A. Duavit Memorial Hospital in Binangonan, Bagong Cainta Municipal Hospital or Casimiro A. Ynares Sr. Memorial Hospital in Rodriguez.
To improve and streamline access to medical assistance, Go had authored the measure that became Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the ‘Malasakit Centers Act of 2019’. The center is a one-stop shop where poor or indigent patients can conveniently avail aid from the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Go expressed his gratitude to various individuals for their support and contributions to the government’s campaign against COVID-19, namely DOH Undersecretary Charade Mercado-Grande, DSWD Undersecretary Aimee Torrefranca-Neri, Office of the President Assistant Secretary Girlie Veloso, Governor Rebecca Ynares, Mayor Andrea Ynares, former Governor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III, and Chief of Hospital Dr. Virgilio Zafra.
He also thanked Councilors Robert Altamirano, Arnel Camacho, Enrico De Guzman, Agnes Gratil, Felipe Pimentel, Susana Say, Christian Tapales and Lemuel Zapanta.
“Ito lang ang mapapangako ko sa inyo, kahit maging ordinaryong mamamayan ako, patuloy akong magseserbisyo sa aking kapwa Pilipino. Pakiusap ko sa mga susunod na mamamuno sa ating bansa, kung may mga programa na nakakatulong naman, tulad nitong Malasakit Center, sana ipagpatuloy niyo at wala namang pangalan ‘yang mga Malasakit Center,” said Go.
Earlier that day, the senator conducted an activity at the Ynares Sports Arena and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office building where he led the distribution of aid to 728 indigent residents and 76 fire victims. All activities were held in batches in strict observance of the health and safety protocols against COVID-19.