Press Release
August 3, 2020

Whole-of-nation approach needed to overcome COVID-19 crisis; Bong Go urges DOH to improve communication efforts, expresses support in establishing pop-up bicycle lanes

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher "Bong" Go expressed on Monday, August 3, his support on the adoption of Senate Resolution No. 483. The resolution calls for the Senate to act as a Senate Committee of the Whole to conduct an inquiry regarding the state of the health of the nation. The inquiry will center on the status, capability and plan to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

"As Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Demography, I fully support the conduct of an inquiry into the state of our health system during this time of crisis," Go said in his manifestation of support.

The Senator further explained that more responsive measures must be provided by the government in order to strengthen efforts to prevent the further spread of the virus and help Filipinos overcome the ongoing crisis.

"We must ensure that this government continues to be responsive with its measures that squarely address the pandemic," he said, adding that the legislative branch can help government agencies improve measures to effectively address the ongoing crisis.

Go also urged government agencies to improve its communication efforts and disseminate the right information to the public.

"We need timely, accurate and relevant information on COVID-19-related updates and initiatives to strengthen the country's collective efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic," Go added.

Meanwhile, Go also encouraged government officials to consult more subject-matter experts from various fields and involve groups who are willing to share their expertise. He emphasized that a whole-of-nation approach is needed to overcome the ongoing crisis.

"This pandemic needs a whole-of-nation approach. It is important that we involve and consult our experts from all fields and open the doors to those who want to help and share their expertise," Go said.

Previously, Go also said that he will continue to engage with various sectors and assure them that their voices will be heard by the government.

"Bukas po tayo sa mga suggestions mula sa mga doktor, ekonomista, at iba pa dahil marami naman pong gustong tumulong. Pakinggan po natin ang mga hinaing ng iba't ibang grupo tulad nitong mga nasa medical community," he stressed earlier.

"Nakasalalay po ang ating mga desisyon sa tamang impormasyon na base sa science at health experts. Tulungan natin ang ating mga kababayan na gumawa ng tamang desisyon para sa kanilang pamilya tulad ng mga desisyon na ginagawa ng Pangulo at ng gobyerno para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino," he said in a previous statement, explaining that such information can also empower the people and allow them to help fight the pandemic.

"Sa ating mga health officials, pakiusap lang po: tulungan natin ang ating mga kababayan na makabangon gamit ang tama at klarong impormasyon. Huwag na po natin dagdagan ang iniisip ng taumbayan lalo na't hilong hilo na po lahat dahil sa hirap na dulot ng pandemya. Siguraduhin niyo po na maipaliwanag ng maayos at tama ang impormasyon na inyong binibigay," he appealed.

In the same Senate session, Go also manifested his support for Senate Bill No. 1582 establishing a network of pop-up bicycle lanes and emergency pathways for use during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic being sponsored by Sen. Pia Cayetano.

"During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, I reiterated my support for the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation. I have been urging various government agencies to designate bike lanes to ensure the ease and safety of those who opt to use such mode of transportation as well as the general public," Go manifested during the period of interpellations of the said proposed measure.

"Siguraduhin natin na properly assigned ang mga lanes na ito, mas maaayos na demarcation at lighting at assured ang safety ng lahat ng nasa daan. Safety first," he added.

Go said that this proposed measure is not only necessary to help ease transportation concerns but is also relevant to the issues surrounding environmental and health concerns, especially during this time of pandemic.

"Ngayon, sa panahon ng pandemya, naging malaking konsiderasyon ang social distancing. Ang paggamit ng bisikleta ay isang simpleng paraan upang makamit ito. Maganda ang initiative na ito hindi lamang para sa kaligtasan ng lahat kundi para na rin sa kalusugan ng lahat," he said.

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