Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, on Saturday, June 3, expressed his appreciation to the communication professionals at the Bicol Social Media Summit in Naga City, Camarines Sur, emphasizing the significance of upholding the truth in journalism and promoting the welfare of media workers.
The event was organized by the Bicol Press Club, the Philippine Information Agency-Camarines Sur and other private and public sector partners. This year’s theme discusses the role of public servants and social media in society particularly in the post-pandemic situation.
In a speech, Go extended his support to the media, recognizing their role as frontliners during the pandemic and natural disasters.
“Sa media naman po, suportado ko po kayo. Kayo po ang naging hero sa panahon po ng pandemya. Kayo po ang nagdadala ng balita sa panahon po ng bagyo. Binubuwis ninyo po lahat ang inyong buhay. Minsan nagsasakripisyo para lang po makapagdala ng balita, basta po sa kapakanan ng ating bayan, yung totoong balita lang,” reminded Go.
Go also addressed the mass communication students present during the event, emphasizing the importance of the youth and encouraging them to embrace their potential as future leaders.
The senator then expressed his disdain for fake news, which he believes has a detrimental impact on families and the communities as a whole. He urged the media to continue pursuing the truth and assured them of his support in these endeavors.
“Kapag kumakalat na yung fake news, maawa po tayo sa ating mga kababayan. May mga pamilya rin po ‘yan, may mga anak na nasasaktan rin po kapag naging biktima sila ng fake news,” explained the senator.
“Alam n’yo, ‘yung iba ayaw na pumasok sa paaralan ng kanilang mga anak kapag naging biktima sila ng fake news.
Naaapektuhan talaga ang mental health ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.
Go also shared that he filed Senate Bill No. 1183, or the proposed “Media and Entertainment Workers’ Welfare Act”, seeks to provide enhanced protection, security and incentives for media workers through additional health insurance package, overtime and night differential pay, and other benefits
Continuing his speech, Go also took the opportunity to discuss his advocacies, particularly in the fields of health and sports. As the chairman of the Committee on Health in the Senate, he highlighted the accomplishments and programs he has supported for improving healthcare services in the country.
He mentioned the continuing operations of 157 existing Malasakit Centers nationwide, which provide medical assistance to poor and indigent patients. In the province, Malasakit Centers are located at the Bicol Medical Center in the city and Bicol Region General Hospital and Geriatric Medical Center in Cabusao.
Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. To date, the program has helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to the DOH.
Additionally, he shared his support for the establishment of Super Health Centers, which would provide accessible medical services to Filipinos in far-flung areas.
“Halimbawa dito sa Naga, maglalagay po ng Super Health Center dito. Hindi na po kailangang bumiyahe doon sa regional hospital sa Bicol Medical Center. Pwede na pong manganak doon sa mga Super Health Center. So, it will help decongest the hospital,” he added.
Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.
In the province, Super Health Centers will be located in the cities of Naga, Libmanan, and Iriga, and in the towns of Baao, Bato, Bombon, Buhi, Goa, Lagonoy, Lupi, Pili, Ragay, Sagnay, San Fernando, Sipocot, Tigaon, and Tinambac.
Go likewise championed the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers to provide specialized medical services to patients, eliminating the need for them to travel long distances to access treatment in metropolitan areas like Manila.
On May 31, the Senate ratified the Bicameral Conference Report on the Regional Specialty Centers Act which was principally sponsored by Go. If the bill is enacted, the DOH shall be mandated to establish specialty centers within designated DOH-hospitals in every region within a span of five years.
During the summit, Go acknowledged several local officials, including Senator Francis Tolentino, Albay Governor Greco Lagman, Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, Libmanan City Mayor Jes Camara, Pasacao Mayor Jorge Bengua, Milaor Mayor Anthony Reyes, Goa Mayor Marcel Pan, Iriga City Mayor Rey Oliva, and many others.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Bicol Press Club officers led by Ruel Saldico and Board of Directors, officers of the National Press Club of the Philippines, uniformed personnel, media personalities, and various other individuals.
In closing, Go expressed his gratitude to the people of Bicol for giving him the opportunity to serve them. He reiterated his dedication to work for their welfare and promised to continue championing initiatives that would benefit the marginalized and underserved sectors of society.
“Uulitin ko po, bukas po ang aking opisina para sa inyong lahat. Ako po ay magtatrabaho para sa Pilipino,” assured Go.
“Sanay po ako sa trabaho, kahit saang sulok kayo ng Pilipinas, basta kaya lang po ng aking panahon at katawan, pupuntahan ko po kayo. Makatulong, makapagbigay ng solusyon sa inyong problema, makatulong sa mga pasyente, makatulong sa mga proyekto, makapag-iwan po ng ngiti sa panahon ng pagdadalamhati ng ating mga kababayan.
Mayroon po kayong Kuya Bong Go sa Senado,” he concluded.
On the same day, Go also provided aid to thousands of indigents, attended the groundbreaking for the Naga City Super Health Center, and inspected a bypass road in the city which he supported for funding as Finance Committee vice chair. He also conducted a monitoring visit of the Malasakit Center at the Bicol Medical Center where he extended support to patients and frontliners.