SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go’s team on Tuesday, November 14, assisted more than a hundred families from Barangays 732 and 739, Malate, Manila City whose houses were damaged by a recent fire incident in the area.
In coordination with respective local and barangay officials, Go’s team held the relief activity along in Arellano Avenue, near PCP Arellano Police Station, in Barangay 751 and provided grocery packs, water containers, snacks, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball to 184 affected families. Meanwhile, there were also select recipients of shoes and mobile phones.
Personnel from National Housing Authority (NHA) were also present to assess the victims for possible emergency housing assistance.
“Sana po’y walang nasaktan, importante sa akin na walang nasaktan. Tandaan natin, ang gamit po’y nabibili naman. Ang pera po’y kikitain natin subalit ‘yung perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. A lost life is a lost life forever. Kaya pangalagaan natin ang buhay na binigay sa atin ng Panginoon,” Go emphasized in a video message.
Go also mentioned that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is currently undergoing a ten-year modernization program, following the enactment of the BFP Modernization Act of 2021 to ensure that it is better prepared and equipped to respond to fire-related incidents.
Under Republic Act 11589, which was primarily authored and co-sponsored by Go in the Senate, the BFP modernization program includes the acquisition of new fire equipment, hiring more firefighters, and provision of specialized training, among others.
Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, pointed out the importance of prioritizing one’s well-being as he encouraged the public to seek the assistance of the Malasakit Centers at Tondo Medical Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Hospital, and San Lazaro Hospital.
The Malasakit Centers Act, principally authored and sponsored by Go, simplifies access to medical assistance programs from various government agencies, including the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“Nung unang panahon, marami sa mga kababayan natin ang kinakailangan pang lumabas ng ospital at pumila sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno para humingi ng tulong. Ubos na panahon nila, ubos pa ang pera nila sa pamasahe. Mangungutang at ibebenta pa niyan ang kalabaw para may maibayad sa naiwang balanse,” Go said.
”Ngayon, hindi na nila kailangang gawin ‘yan. Kung may billing kayo sa ospital, puntahan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center at tutulungan kayo nito,” he added.
To date, 159 operational Malasakit centers have helped more than ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.
Go also supported the establishment of Super Health Centers. Through the concerted efforts of DOH, LGUs and lawmakers, adequate funding was allocated for the establishment of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 more in 2023. This includes four in Manila City. DOH, as the lead implementing agency, is responsible for identifying the optimal locations for the construction of these health centers.
Super Health Centers are medium versions of a polyclinic and an improved version of the rural health unit that offer a range of 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, which makes remote diagnosis and treatment of patients possible.
Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, aims to improve the delivery of public service in the city. It is for this reason he supported the acquisition of medical and educational supplies, surveillance systems, rescue patrol service, ambulances, and a multipurpose vehicle; and the purchase and installation of solar-powered street lighting for the city.