Press Release
September 17, 2019

Bong Go aids Quezon City fire victims; pushes for fire protection modernization and establishment of better evacuation centers

Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go provided assistance on Monday, September 16, to more than 80 families that were affected by two separate fire incidents in Barangay Old Capitol Site in Quezon City.

Go distributed financial assistance and grocery packs to the victims and told parents that he would provide for the uniforms and school supplies of their children.

The Senator was also joined by representatives from concerned government agencies to give additional help to the victims. These include the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and National Housing Authority (NHA).

"Ambag-ambag lang po, para pantawid ng mga pamilya (I asked them to contribute to help the families get by)," Go told reporters in an interview after the event, which was conducted in the barangay hall compound where the victims are currently staying.

To prevent similar tragedies and to help victims of disasters, Go filed Senate Bill No. 204 that aims to modernize the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Senate Bill No. 205 that seeks to establish a Department of Disaster Resilience, which includes a provision for the construction of permanent evacuation centers.

"Nag-file na po ako ng Fire Protection Modernization bill para ma-equip natin nang maayos ang ating mga bumbero, maiwasan po itong mga sunog, at part ng Department of Disaster Resilience bill naman po itong mga gagawing evacuation centers," he said.

He added that part of the fire protection modernization plan is to improve the equipment as well as the capabilities of firefighters. "Kayang-kaya nila dapat pasukin ang mga eskinita po at mabilis na magresponde para mapatay kaagad ang apoy at masagip ang buhay ng mga biktima."

He also sympathized with the victims for being in an evacuation center that lacks sanitation and sleeping facilities. "Kawawa sila, nandidito lang po sila habang nag-aantay na makabalik sa kanilang mga tirahan. Dapat magkaroon na tayo ng maayos na mga evacuation centers na meron pong maayos na mga comfort room, sanitation, at may higaan po sila at kumportable po hanggang hindi pa sila nakakabalik sa kanilang mga tirahan."

Four houses sheltering a total of 10 families were razed by a fire on Rosal Street on September 12, while another 40 houses sheltering a total of 80 families were burned to the ground on Masaya Street on September 14. A total of 274 individuals were displaced.

Asked about the reported cases of African swine fever in Quezon City and other places, Go said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is doing actions to help prevent losses in the swine industry.

"Sa ngayon po ay merong intervention na ginawa ang DA para sa mga hog raisers para hindi maapektuhan ang industriya," he said.

The Senator added that pigs that tested positive of the disease must be disposed of properly. "Ayusin natin ang protocol dito sa pag-dispose ng mga tinamaan at apektadong baboy. Huwag lang po natin basta-basta itapon."

Asked if the government is ready now that there is a breakout of the disease, Go answered, "Yes, DA is on top of it." DA clarified, however, that there is no epidemic and that the outbreak is confined to few towns in two provinces only---Rizal and Bulacan.

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