SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go personally attended the mass oath-taking ceremony of 816 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials at the Convention Center in Malolos City, Bulacan on Wednesday, November 15.

The event was also attended by Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad and Vice Mayor Miguel “Migs” Tengco Bautista, as well as Bulakan Mayor Vergel Meneses, among others.

In his speech, Go underscored the vital role these barangay officials play in shaping their communities and pledged continued support for their endeavors.

He emphasized the significance of their roles, reminding the officials that, despite their diverse titles, they share a common purpose – to prioritize the needs of the public and uphold the principles of good governance.

“Magkakaiba man tayo ng posisyon pero pare-parehas tayong mga lingkod-bayan. Kaya alam ko na pare-parehas lang din tayo ng hangarin na mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang ating mga kababayan,” he said.

“Kung may maitutulong po ako sa inyong lungsod, bayan o barangay, lapitan niyo lang ang aking opisina at tutulong ako sa abot ng aking makakaya,” the senator continued.

Furthermore, Go expressed his admiration for the dedication exhibited by the barangay and SK officials, acknowledging the challenges they face in their daily responsibilities. He encouraged them to view these challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of their constituents.

“‘Wag kayong magpapasalamat sa amin ni (dating) pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte. Palagi ko kasing naririnig noon ‘salamat sa mga programa, salamat sa mga proyekto, salamat sa mga pagbabago na naidudulot.’ Pero huwag po kayong magpasalamat sa amin. Trabaho po namin ‘yan,” Go expressed.

“Kami po ang dapat na magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan nyo po kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyong lahat. Maraming, maraming salamat po. Hinding-hindi ko po sasayangin ang pagkakataon na ibinigay ninyo sa akin,” he added.

As a lawmaker, Go reiterated that he will continue to advocate for measures that would empower barangay officials and similar local leaders.  He assured them that he would push for legislation and initiatives aimed at providing the necessary support and resources to enhance their capabilities in fulfilling their roles effectively.

Go has filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 197, known as the Magna Carta for Barangays, with the goal of recognizing the crucial role played by barangay officials in the delivery of governmental services.

The proposed legislation addresses the daily challenges faced by barangay officials who shoulder the responsibility of managing a broad spectrum of issues within their jurisdiction, ranging from fatalities and medical cases to conflicts and various concerns. Emphasizing their frontline position, especially in combating illicit drugs, criminal activities, and corruption, the bill acknowledges the current constraints on the benefits accessible to these officials.

If passed, SBN 197 will not only grant honoraria but also establish salaries and other benefits similar to those enjoyed by regular government employees. Additionally, it seeks to eliminate restrictions on the number of tanods, allowing barangays to increase their numbers based on actual need.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, filed SBN 427, which would require the provision of allowances and benefits to barangay health workers. If passed into law, Go’s proposed measure seeks to provide a monthly allowance to all barangay health workers. They will also be entitled to benefits and privileges and security of tenure.

“Congratulations sa lahat ng mga nanalo sa nakaraang barangay and SK elections. Ang hamon ko sa inyo ay unahin palagi ang interes at kapakanan ng inyong mga nasasakupan nang may tunay na pagmamahal at malasakit sa kapwa,” Go said.

“As you enter public service, always remember that public office is a public trust. Alagaan niyo yung ibinigay na tiwala ng ating mga kababayan sa inyong lahat. At bilang inyong senador, tutulong ako sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya,” he added.