Press Release
July 2, 2021

Bong Go says gov't's COVID-19 response on the right track; expresses support for Bayanihan 3 and additional aid to poor and vulnerable sectors but stresses need to identify sources of funds

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go expressed his confidence in the government's COVID-19 response, assuring that it will continue to balance the health and economic interests of Filipinos amid the current challenges brought by the pandemic.

"So far, so good naman po. Binabalanse naman po ng ating gobyerno ang lahat, lalung-lalo na po itong pag-a-assess ng sitwasyon, it is based on good science always," said Go during his visit to fire victims in San Rafael Village, Navotas City on Thursday, July 1.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go said that the health and well-being of Filipinos should always be the top priority.

"More than anything else po dahil ang buhay natin isang beses lang 'yan. So, pangalagaan po natin ang buhay. So far, so good ang response ng gobyerno. Ginagawa ang lahat, itong bakuna pinaghirapan po natin ito," said Go.

Meanwhile, Go expressed support for the proposed Bayanihan 3 bill to further assist Filipinos still struggling because of the pandemic, provided that sources of funds are identified by government finance managers.

"Ako naman po, iba't ibang version 'yan. Ako, suportado ko po 'yan, matagal na po akong nanawagan, kung mayro'n pong Bayanihan 3," said Go.

"Kaya lang po nakausap ko si Sec. Dominguez, pinag-aaralan pa nila ng mabuti at nakasalalay po ito sa mga finance managers ng Executive Department kung may pondo o may savings ho ba ang ating gobyerno para po i-appropriate para sa Bayanihan 3," the Senator shared.

Go also mentioned that he will support other initiatives geared to further support Filipinos, especially the poor and vulnerable sectors, in these times of difficulty.

"Ako naman, kung ano pong puwedeng maitulong, mga ayuda sa mga kababayan natin, tulong po ito sa COVID response natin, suportado ko po ito. And I'm willing to work 24 hours, hearing tayo, suportado ko po ito," said Go.

"Basta po maibibigay sa tao 'yung dapat sa kanila. Lalung-lalo na po sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan na ito pong sobrang apektado ngayon. Sila po ang apektado ngayon, dapat po tulungan natin ang ating mga kababayang mahihirap," he added.

During the re-imposition of tougher quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces due to the rapidly rising number of new COVID-19 cases in March, Go has successfully appealed to Duterte and concerned national government agencies to provide additional assistance to poor Filipinos through an expanded Supplemental Amelioration Program.

He also emphasized that government must work together to fill in the gaps as the needs of Filipino families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow and evolve.

Go, then, encouraged anew urban dwellers to consider relocating to their provinces after the pandemic as he assured them of government's support under the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program.

"Kung sino ang gustong umuwi, sinong gustong mag-avail ng livelihood sa kanilang probinsya, gusto nang umuwi, gusto nang maghanapbuhay doon, sariling pamamahay, ina-assess po 'yan ng DSWD. Marami na pong nakauwi sa kanilang mga probinsya," said Go.

He emphasized, however, that the program is voluntary and would prioritize Filipino families who are willing to start again in the countryside.

"Pero wala naman po itong pilitan. Dahil 'yung iba po, ayaw munang umalis ng Maynila dahil nandito po 'yung trabaho nila, nandito po 'yung anak nilang nag-aaral, ayaw nilang ma-displace 'yung kanilang pamumuhay," said Go.

"So, ako naman po'y nirerespeto ko 'yon. So, sa gustong umuwi mayro'n tayong Balik Probinsya Program, i-avail n'yo po ito dahil para po ito sa mga kababayan nating gusto na pong mamuhay sa kanilang mga dating probinsya," he ended.

The Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program or BP2 is a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and whole-of-government initiative which seeks to decongest Metro Manila and enhance regional development by incentivizing residents and businesses to settle and invest in areas outside Metropolitan areas.

BP2 roll-outs are presently temporarily suspended due to the pandemic and shall resume once conditions are deemed safe. However, preparations by local government units and partner agencies are underway.

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