SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go personally visited Candijay, Bohol on Wednesday, November 29 to celebrate the town’s 169th Founding Anniversary. The event was attended by Congresswoman Alexie Tutor, Mayor Thamar Olaivar, Vice Mayor Christopher Tutor, as well as mayors and other officials of nearby municipalities.

In his speech, Go acknowledged the rich history and cultural heritage of Candijay, praising the resilience and unity of its people throughout the years. He commended the progress the town has made and expressed his optimism for its future.

The senator went on to emphasize his commitment to support the development of Candijay and the entire province of Bohol. He emphasized the need to bring public services closer to the communities to achieve a more inclusive development.

“Marami pa po akong gustong maitulong, tulad ng mga infrastructure at healthcare services sa inyong komunidad. Kahit noon pa man, tumutulong na ako sa Bohol. Suportado ko ang mga Boholanos. Sa panahon ng sunog, sa panahon ng bagyo, andito lang ako para magserbisyo sa abot ng aking makakaya,” stressed Go in an interview.

“’Yan po ang pinangako ko sa inyo, kahit saang sulok kayo ng Pilipinas, pupuntahan ko kayo basta kaya ng aking panahon at katawan. Tutulong ako sa abot ng aking makakaya, isusulong ko ang mga proyekto na makakapagpaunlad ng lugar, tutulong ako sa paglapit ng serbisyo lalo na sa kalusugan tulad ng pagtatayo ng mga Super Health Center, at makapag-iwan po ng kaunting kasiyahan sa panahon ng kalungkutan ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has supported numerous projects in Candijay, such as the rehabilitation of roads, construction of multipurpose buildings, installation of street lights in some barangays, among others. Along with other lawmakers and local leaders, he also supported the construction of the Candijay Sports Complex, which he briefly inspected earlier that day.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Tutor acknowledged Go’s presence and thanked him for making time to personally celebrate with Boholanos in the said festivities, saying, “Una, malaki ang ating kasiyahan dahil nandito ang ating senador ngayon. Ang ating Mr. Malasakit ng Pilipinas, hindi lang sa Senado, hindi lang sa Kongreso, kundi sa buong Pilipinas. The only Mr. Malasakit, Senator Bong Go.”

“Marami ang nagmahal sayo, Mr. Malasakit. Maraming salamat talaga, Mr. Malasakit… We will always be appreciative and be grateful of all the things that we have,” she added.

In line with his advocacy to bring government services closer to Filipinos, Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, supported the construction of Super Health Centers nationwide which are strategically designed for delivering primary care, offering consultations, and enhancing the early detection of diseases in the grassroots.

The Super Health Center is an improved version of a polyclinic that offers basic health services, such as database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine.

On the same day, Go even inspected the Super Health Center being built in Candijay. Super Health Centers were also funded in other parts of Bohol such as in Buenavista, Dauis, Sagbayan, Talibon, Antequera, Balilihan, Bien Unido, Carmen, Panglao, Ubay and Tagbilaran City.

Through the collective efforts of Go, the Department of Health (DOH), local government units, and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated for the construction of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023.

Go also highlighted that he supported the construction of specialty centers inside Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) in Tagbilaran City. It will soon cater to orthopedic care and geriatric care.

Go principally sponsored the Regional Specialty Centers Act and was also one of the authors in the Senate. This legislation holds significant importance in the healthcare legislative agenda of the Marcos Administration, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan spanning 2023 to 2028.

Republic Act No. 11959, known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. Each center will host a different specialty, bringing services such as those available in Metro Manila-based hospitals like the Heart Center, Lung Center, and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, closer to communities.

Meanwhile, Go also pushed for the construction of the Governor Celestino Gallares Multi-Specialty Medical Complex in Cortes, Bohol which he principally sponsored in the Senate and was legislated as Republic Act No. 11883.

Lastly, he also encouraged those with health concerns to visit GCGMH or Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital in Ubay, both of which house a Malasakit Center if they need medical-related assistance from the government.

Initiated by Go in 2018, the Malasakit Centers program brings together concerned agencies with medical assistance programs under one roof to ensure particularly poor and indigent patients conveniently get medical-related support to lower their hospital bills to the lowest amount possible. To date, the centers have assisted around ten million Filipinos according to DOH.

“Ang target po ng Malasakit Center ay matulungang mabayaran ang inyong pagpapagamot. Kaya huwag po kayong mahihiyang lumapit sa Malasakit Center dahil para po yan sa inyo, mga kababayan kong Pilipino,” explained Go.

Meanwhile, Go also supported other projects in Bohol, such as the construction of multipurpose buildings in Alburquerque, Alicia, Anda, Balilihan, Batuan, Buenavista, Corella, Danao, Dauis, Dimiao, Duero, Garcia Hernandez, Guindulman, Loay, Loon, Pilar,  Tagbilaran City, and Valencia; improvement of evacuation centers in Panglao, Anda, Balilihan, Carmen, Corella, Garcia-Hernandez, Sikatuna, and Valencia; installation of a water system in Alicia, Antequera, Inabanga, and President Carlos P. Garcia; as well as the construction of slaughterhouses in Inabanga and Loay.

Furthermore, he also pushed for the improvements of public markets in Bilar, Calape, Clarin, Lila, Sagbayan, and Tagbilaran City; the acquisition of an ambulance and rescue vehicle in Trinidad and Catigbian; the installation of solar street lights in various towns of Bohol; as well as road rehabilitations throughout the province.