IN a celebration marking CitiHardware’s 100th store and its 25th anniversary on Friday, November 17, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go extended his congratulations and emphasized the company’s significant contributions to the local economy of Davao City.
The event, held at the establishment’s milestone location at CitiHardware Balusong in the city, symbolized the remarkable growth of a local enterprise into a national retail powerhouse. Homegrown CitiHardware has expanded its reach nationwide, contributing to the economic landscape and job creation.
In his speech, Go lauded CitiHardware’s journey, saying, “This achievement is not just a testament to the growth and success of CitiHardware but also a reflection of the dedication and hard work of everyone involved.”
He highlighted the company’s role in providing quality products and services and its significant contribution to the economic development of communities across the Philippines.
To help other local businesses, Go has been pushing for stronger government efforts to boost micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive. The senator authored and co-sponsored Republic Act 11960 or the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Act.
The law aims to assist and capacitate MSMEs in developing new, innovative, and more complex products and services through significant improvement in the areas of quality, product development, design, packaging, standards compliance, marketability, production capability, brand development, sustainability, and securing licenses, product registration and other market authorization, among others.
Go highlighted the OTOP program’s potential to create jobs, stimulate economic growth in communities, and empower Filipinos to become self-reliant entrepreneurs. The senator added that by promoting and investing in locally made products, the OTOP Philippines Act can help revitalize local economies and provide sustainable livelihoods for countless individuals and families across the country.
Go then expressed pride in Davao City’s development under the leadership of local officials and with the support of businesses like CitiHardware.
“Sobrang ganda na ng Davao, na-develop na ang Davao. Ang iba gusto na ngang tumira dito sa Davao parang Metro Manila.”
In a significant part of his speech, Go urged the public to access the services of the Malasakit Center located at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).
Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.
Go is the principal author and sponsor of RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.
As of now, 159 Malasakit Centers are operational across the country, poised to assist with patients’ medical expenses. DOH reported that the Malasakit Center program has already aided more than ten million Filipinos.
“Sa mga pasyente, lapitan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center dahil para ‘to sa inyo. Kung may hospital bill kayo, nandiyan ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong para mabayaran ito,” said Go.
Go also emphasized the importance of sports in youth development and crime prevention.
“It’s one way of encouraging the youth to get into sports, stay away from drugs and keep them healthy and fit,” he stated.
He pledged support for local sports programs and initiatives, underlining the role of sports in fostering a healthy and engaged community.
Go also emphasized the importance of grassroots sports development, saying, “Tinututukan din natin ang grassroots sports development upang mahubog ang mga kabataan na nasaan man sila sa bansa na nagnanais na sumabak sa mga pambansa at pandaigdigang palaro.”
In line with this, he highlighted his role as author and co-sponsor of RA 11470, which established the National Academy of Sports (NAS) in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac.
“Ang NAS ay nagbibigay ng de-kalidad na edukasyon at sports training sa mga batang may potensyal na maging world-class athletes,” he added.
Additionally, Go filed Senate Bill No. 423, or the Philippine National Games (PNG) Act, to institutionalize a national platform for athletes, especially the youth, to showcase their talents.
Go reiterated his commitment to service, “Ako po ang inyong Senator kuya Bong Go, patuloy na magseserbisyo sa inyong lahat.”