Bong Go attends graduation of Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLCFI) in Albay

Bong Go attends graduation of Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLCFI) in Albay

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go, known for his advocacy for education and sports development, attended the Commencement Exercises of Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLCFI) in Legazpi City, Albay, on Thursday, June 6.

Addressing the students, faculty, and staff members, Senator Go emphasized the importance of education as a key to unlocking a brighter future. He highlighted how education empowers individuals, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to overcome challenges and achieve their goals in the future.

The Senator likewise stressed that education is about gaining academic knowledge and cultivating values and character to guide students throughout their lives.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to the faculty and staff of Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLCFI) for their unwavering commitment to providing quality education to our youth. Your dedication and passion for teaching have helped all these young minds and equipped them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in our ever-changing world,” said Go.

As Go inspired the students by sharing stories of his humble beginnings and how education played a pivotal role in every Filipino’s journey toward success, Jennifer Divina, one of the graduates, paid tribute to Go’s initiatives and support in their province, particularly the Malasakit Centers program institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which Go principally authored and sponsored.

“The Malasakit Centers program is an initiative to provide accessible health care and financial assistance to Filipinos, particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable sector of society. We are very proud to have with us today the one who launched the said program, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go,” Jennifer said.

Addressing the significant contribution of the Malasakit program in their community, Jennifer enumerated its key features:

“First, the Malasakit Center. It is a one-stop shop that consolidates assistance from various government agencies; second, it gives financial assistance which offers to cover hospital bills and medical expenses for those who are unable to pay those expenses; third, accessibility since Malasakit Centers are strategically located in public hospitals across the country especially those in remote and underserved areas; fourth, extreme line process which by integrating the services of different government agencies in one location, the program reduces the bureaucratic red tape for patients; and fifth, expansion and legislation as numerous centers are established nationwide.”

Jennifer ended her speech by thanking the Senator on behalf of the school, its faculty, parents, and the community: “We cannot thank you enough (for what you have done). May God bless you more as you continue to bless the people in need, Senator Bong Go.”

In Albay, the Malasakit Center is located at Bicol Regional Training and Teacher Hospital in Daraga. Since its inception in 2018, 165 Malasakit Centers have been established, benefiting approximately ten million Filipinos, according to the Department of Health.

The 289 graduates and SLCFI faculty members have received graduation packs from Go. The College valedictorian, Angelyn Banga, a graduate from Bachelor of Business Administration major in Human Resource Development Management, High School valedictorian Jasmine Mangampo, and Grade 10 top 1 Laurence Magdaong, also received a watch each from the senator.

Go then urged students to dream big and work diligently to realize their aspirations. Emphasizing that every individual has the potential to excel, the Senator reminded the students that they possess the power to achieve greatness and positively impact society.

“The journey you embark on is filled with endless possibilities and opportunities. I have faith in every one of you, and I believe that you have the power to shape a better future for yourselves and our nation,” Go uttered.

The Senator also acknowledged the local government officials headed by Governor Grex Lagman, Mayor Carmen Rosal, Vice Mayor Bobby Cristobal, and Councilor Carol Ziga, among others, as well as the SLCFI Founder Engr. Edgar B. Quinto.

He then shared that during the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, RA 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, was enacted into law. This law has immensely supported impoverished students by providing free education in local colleges, universities, and state-run technical vocational institutions. Building upon the successes of RA 10931, Go co-authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1360 seeks to expand the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) coverage.

Furthermore, Go likewise commended President Marcos Jr. for signing into law RA 11984, also known as the “No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act.” Go also co-authored and co-sponsored the measure in the Senate.

The lawmaker also co-authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1864, or the Student Loan Payment Moratorium During Disasters and Emergencies Act. This proposed legislation aims to assist students facing challenges in repaying their student loans due to unexpected disasters and emergencies.

The recent signed law RA 11997, or the “Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act,” which Go co-authored and co-sponsored is a significant legislative measure aimed at increasing the teaching supply allowances for public school teachers.

Meanwhile, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, Go encouraged the students to engage in productive activities actively. The Senator firmly believes that by participating in sports, the youth can divert their energies away from harmful vices and instead channel their passion and energy toward building a healthier, more productive future.

The Senator highlighted one of his priority measures successfully passed — Republic Act No. 11470, establishing the National Academy of Sports (NAS) in 2020.

According to Go, this landmark legislation recognizes the importance of sports and physical education in the holistic development of the youth. The National Academy of Sports provides an avenue for talented and deserving student-athletes to receive world-class training and education, enabling them to excel in their chosen sports and academic pursuits.

On the same day, Go aided the displaced workers in Makati City and the TODA and cooperative members in Legazpi City, Albay. He also attended the inauguration of the New Legazpi Evacuation Center, funded through his support, and the 2nd Bicol Social Media Summit 2024.

“Ako po ay patuloy na magseserbisyo sa inyong lahat sa abot ng aking makakaya dahil bisyo ko na ang magserbisyo at ako po ay naniniwala na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo po ‘yan sa Diyos,” he ended.

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