Press Release
November 28, 2023

Supporting tourism sector for economic recovery, Bong Go provides aid to Samal Island tour guides

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go reiterated his call for stronger government efforts for economic recovery, especially for those residing in economically disadvantaged communities throughout the country. He highlighted the role of tourism in boosting the economy and providing livelihood to communities.

On Thursday, November 23, Go's team, in coordination with the Samal Island Gabay Association, held a relief activity in Barangay Peñaplata at the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS), Davao del Norte for 50 tour guides.

All tour guides received shirts, vitamins, masks, and balls for basketball and volleyball while there were select recipients of a mobile phone, a pair of shoes, and a watch from the senator's office.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) extended livelihood grants to the qualified beneficiaries.

"Marami man po ang nawalan ng trabaho pero kami po, bilang inyong public servants, hindi po kami titigil sa paghahatid ng serbisyong nararapat po sa inyo. Kailangan lang po namin ng inyong koordinasyon at disiplina para mas mapabilis pa ang ating pagbabalik sa normal na pamumuhay," remarked Go in a video message.

Go, a member of the Senate Committee on Tourism, underscored the pivotal role of tourism in fortifying economic recovery, emphasizing the need for sustained government support in the said sector.

"Ako po, bilang miyembro ng Senate Committee on Tourism, willing po akong sumuporta sa abot ng aking makakaya, kung ano pa ang mas magpapaganda para ma-encourage natin ang mga turista na pumunta dito," cited Go.

"Tourism will help generate jobs. Trabaho para maka-recover tayo sa pandemya. Marami ang apektado noong pandemya, kaya nga noong panahon ng pandemya lubos ang pagtulong naming mga opisyal," he reassured.

Go emphasized the ongoing initiatives aimed at mitigating the economic repercussions on ordinary Filipinos and assisting local communities in their recovery.

Republic Act 11960, also referred to as the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Act, was co-authored and co-sponsored by Go. It shall serve as a government stimulus program to encourage the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country through the utilization of indigenous raw materials, local traditions, and cultures across the country.

The OTOP program encourages Filipinos to take pride in their local products, providing a platform for small-scale producers to access a wider market.

Go highlighted the employment potential and capacity for driving economic advancement within communities through the OTOP program. The senator emphasized that by endorsing and investing in locally crafted goods, the OTOP Philippines Act has the potential to greatly benefit local economies and create enduring livelihoods for numerous individuals and families nationwide.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also reminded the public to prioritize their health. If they need medical-related assistance, Go mentioned that there are nearby Malasakit Centers located at Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City or Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that brings together under one roof relevant agencies, namely, DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), to ensure that indigent patients have more convenient access to medical assistance programs.

Principally authored and sponsored by Go, RA 11463 has currently established 159 operational centers nationwide. According to DOH, these centers have helped more than ten million Filipinos.

"Ito pong Malasakit Center, ginawa po yan para po sa Pilipino. Isa lang po ito sa mga programa na layuning ilapit ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa inyo, mga kababayan ko. Kaya kung kayo po ay may nararamdaman, huwag po kayo magalinlangang magpatingin sa doktor at magpagamot. May Malasakit Center na handang tumulong sa inyong bayarin," encouraged Go.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, likewise supported the construction of several roads including the road stretching from Crossing Toril, Babak to Brgy. Sto. Niño, Babak District; the road connecting San Agustin Elementary School to Maximo Arellano Elementary School, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Babak District; and the road at the port of Brgy. Sta. Cruz to Brgy. Linosutan, Talicud Island, Kaputian District.

In the end, Go expressed gratitude to the local officials and frontliners for their dedication and service, saying, "Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng ating mga local officials at sa ating mga frontliners. Kung wala po ang inyong malasakit sa ating kapwa ay hindi po natin maaabot ang inaasam na pagbalik sa normal. Kaya nakikusap po ako na huwag niyong pabayaan ng mga kababayan natin, lalo na yung mga hopeless at helpless."

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