SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go assisted his fellow Davaoeños in recovering from a recent fire incident in Davao City. In coordination with Barangay Captain Rodrigo Hiponia Badayos, Go’s team organized a relief activity at Brgy. Pampanga Hall on Thursday, November 30.
They provided financial assistance, snacks, grocery packs, water containers, shirts, vitamins, masks, and balls for basketball and volleyball to 12 affected households. They also gave away a watch and pairs of shoes to select recipients.
Meanwhile, a team from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the National Housing Authority (NHA) conducted an assessment for potential beneficiaries of their respective livelihood and housing programs to further help the families recover.
In his video message, Go renewed his call to local government units (LGUs) to intensify and promote fire safety and preparedness in their respective communities.
“Nakakalungkot man po na masunugan dahil para po kayong bumalik sa simula pero mas importante po ang buhay ng bawat isa. Ang gamit po ay nabibili, pero ang pera na kikitain natin ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. Kaya pag-ingatan natin ang buhay na binigay sa atin ng Panginoon,” said Go.
“Kaya hinihikayat ko rin po ang inyong lokal na pamahalaan na mas lalo pang palakasin ang fire prevention awareness. Karamihan po sa ating mga kababayan ay kulang pa po ang kaalaman sa fire safety kaya mas mabuti po na ibahagi natin ito sa kanila para maiwasan ang mga ganitong pangyayari,” he added.
To lessen the frequency and mitigate the impact of fire-related occurrences, Republic Act No. 11589, also known as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Act, was primarily authored and co-sponsored primarily by Go.
RA 11589, which was signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte, mandated the BFP to start a modernization program. The acquisition of modern firefighting equipment, the expansion of the workforce, and the execution of specialized training programs for firefighters are all part of the program.
In partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the LGUs, the BFP is responsible for carrying out regular fire prevention campaigns and informational outreach programs, particularly in far and underserved areas.
Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, urged his fellow Davaoeños to prioritize their health and seek the services of the Malasakit Center located at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in the city, should they need any medical-related assistance from the government.
The 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide have already assisted around ten million indigent Filipinos, according to the Department of Health (DOH). RA 11463, which established the Malasakit Centers, was principally authored and sponsored by Go to ensure that Filipinos have convenient access to medical assistance programs by the government.
“Kung kailangan niyo po ng tulong sa pagpapaopera sa Maynila, huwag po kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa ating mga lokal na opisyal o kaya sa aking opisina. Magsabi lang ho kayo at kami po ay handang tumulong sa abot nang aming makakaya,” Go offered.
Go also highlighted his efforts to support the construction of Super Health Centers in 11 strategically identified locations across Davao City, intending to make public health services more accessible to communities in need.
Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, LGUs, and DOH, sufficient funds have been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 Super Health Centers in 2023. DOH, as the lead implementing agency, identifies strategic areas where these centers will be built.
Super Health Centers offer 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, through which remote diagnosis and treatment of patients are made possible.
Go also highlighted the passage of RA 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which he principally sponsored and is one of the authors in the Senate. This law, signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., on August 24, marks a substantial stride in bringing specialized medical care closer to underserved rural areas.
The legislation mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. It is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to enhancing access to healthcare nationwide.
There are specialty centers inside SPMC, which include cardiovascular care, lung care, neonatal care, trauma care, toxicology, cancer care, eye care, and dermatology care. It will also soon provide a renal care and transplant center, brain and spine care, orthopedic center, physical rehabilitation medicine, mental health, burn care, infectious disease and tropical medicine, and geriatric care.
Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, also pushed for the progress of Davao City by supporting several projects including the construction of various multipurpose buildings and local roads, rehabilitation of water systems, drainage systems, and flood control structures in different barangays throughout the city, the construction of a 300-bed capacity infectious diseases building for SPMC and the acquisition of ambulances.