Bong Go’s Malasakit Team helps rural workforce in Antique overcome economic challenges

Bong Go’s Malasakit Team helps rural workforce in Antique overcome economic challenges

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go‘s Malasakit Team coordinated with Vice Governor Edgar Denosta to provide much-needed assistance to displaced workers in Patnongon, Sibalom, and San Remigio in Antique on Tuesday, June 4. The initiative aims to alleviate the struggles faced by those significantly affected by the previous pandemic and other crises.

In his message, Senator Go emphasized the critical role of government support for disadvantaged Filipinos. He stressed the importance of extending aid to those heavily impacted by the economic downturns brought about by the pandemic and other challenges.

The relief activities were held at the Barangay Aureliana Gymnasium in Patnongon and Sibalom Municipal Gymnasium, where 127 displaced workers benefitted. These individuals received snacks, shirts, basketballs, and volleyballs.

The event also saw representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) orienting qualified individuals about the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance designed to provide emergency employment for displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers for a minimum period of 10 days up to a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work.

“I firmly believe that we must support our fellow Filipinos, especially those who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and other crises,” Go stated. “This is why programs like TUPAD are essential—they provide financial assistance and valuable skills that can help our countrymen rebuild their lives.”

Senator Go highlighted that the program is not just about financial aid; it also equips beneficiaries with skills that can help them secure future employment and contribute to their communities.

“Hinihikayat ko ang lahat ng benepisyaryo na sulitin ang pagkakataong ito,” said Go. “Habang nandito kami upang suportahan kayo, mahalaga rin na magtrabaho kayo nang mabuti upang matiyak na sapat ang inyong pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan. Ang inyong pagsisikap ay hindi lamang para sa inyong pamilya, kundi pati na rin sa pag-unlad ng inyong mga komunidad.”

Senator Go also lauded the officials of Antique, including Congressman Antonio “AA” Legarda, Jr., Governor Rhodora Cadiao, Patnongon Mayor Johnny Bacongallo and Vice Mayor Tom Bacaoco, Sibalom Mayor Gian Carlo Occeña, and San Remigio Mayor Mar Mission, among others for their unwavering dedication to providing livelihood assistance to their constituents. He acknowledged their efforts to ensure that programs reach those who are most in need.

To further promote the welfare of Filipino workers affected by crises and ensure that those who reside in rural areas lacking job opportunities are taken care of, Go filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 420, which seeks to offer temporary employment to eligible members of low-income rural households. Under the proposed legislation, the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) would be created within the DOLE.

If this bill is enacted into law, REAP’s primary objective would be to offer temporary job opportunities to individuals who meet the criteria for economic disadvantage, poverty, displacement, or seasonal employment.

The senator reaffirmed his commitment to continue advocating for programs that uplift the lives of disadvantaged Filipinos, ensuring that no one is left behind in the journey toward recovery and progress.

Meanwhile, to alleviate the financial burdens faced by citizens seeking hospital care, Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, introduced the Malasakit Centers program in 2018. The program is designed to streamline government medical assistance programs, providing a one-stop shop approach for easier access. These centers aim to assist poor and indigent patients and minimize hospital expenses.

Since its inception, the Malasakit Centers program has successfully established 165 operational centers, including the one at Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose de Buenavista, benefitting approximately ten million indigent Filipinos, as the Department of Health (DOH) reported.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11463, or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.


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