Senator Christopher “Bong” Go highlighted the significance of enhancing the government’s fire prevention efforts, particularly through public awareness campaigns targeted at fire-prone areas. On Tuesday, June 7, Go’s team extended assistance to a total of 49 beneficiaries who were impacted by several fire incidents in Barangays 31 and 34 in Caloocan City.
“Tuwing may mga nasusunugan po, una kong tinatanong kung mayroon bang nasaktan, mayroon bang nasawi. Kasi para sa akin, importante ang buhay at kalusugan ng bawat isa,” said Go in a video message.
“Ang gamit naman po nabibili natin ‘yan. Ang damit, labhan lang natin ‘pag nadumihan, kung gusto nating bumili ng bagong pantalon, nabibili natin ‘yan. Ang pera po’y kikitain natin ‘yan. Subalit ‘yung perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay kaya mag-ingat tayo parati,” added Go.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order, the lawmaker went on to note how Republic Act No. 11589 or the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2021, which he primarily authored and co-sponsored, will significantly improve BFP’s capability to respond to fire-related incidents.
The law provides for a ten-year modernization program that includes acquiring modern fire equipment, recruiting more firefighters, and developing specialized training, among others.
“Modernizing the country’s Bureau of Fire Protection has always been one of our main advocacies with (former) president Rodrigo Duterte. Just like you, it is our vision to see a better and modern fire response service that is capable of ensuring that this country will be fire-safe,” said the senator.
Held at the District Office of Caloocan 2nd District Representative Mitch Cajayon-Uy, the team of Go provided grocery packs, vitamins, masks, snacks, and shirts to the victims. The team also gave away shoes, and balls for basketball to select beneficiaries.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development also extended financial assistance to the victims.
Go offered additional aid to those in need of medical care. He also advised them to visit any of the 31 Malasakit Centers across Metro Manila, including one at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City should they need medical assistance from the government.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where patients can conveniently avail of medical aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
To date, there are 157 Malasakit Centers that have helped over seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to the DOH. Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go likewise backed the establishment of Super Health Centers.
In the city, three Super Health Centers were funded. SHCs are medium versions of polyclinics and are bigger than rural health units, which offer basic services such as out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostics and laboratory services such as x-ray and ultrasound, pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit.
Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation center and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
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.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has also extended his support to several infrastructure initiatives in Caloocan City to help boost its economic growth, such as the construction of multipurpose buildings.
In the end, Go recognized the dedication and hard work of all the local officials, saying, “Salamat po sa inyong tulong sa panahong ito. Huwag n’yo pong pabayaan ang ating mga kababayang mahihirap po.”