Press Release
November 31, 2023

Bong Go seeks more livelihood support for the poor as he helps displaced workers in Iba and Botolan, Zambales

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, adopted son of the town of Iba and the province of Zambales, provided aid to workers who lost their jobs in Iba and Botolan, Zambales, on Thursday, December 28. Understanding the challenges posed by job loss in these areas, Go highlighted the importance of implementing strategies to secure their financial well-being and facilitate recovery.

The relief activity was held at Brgy. Amungan covered court in Iba, and Brgy. Panan covered court in Botolan in coordination with Governor Hermogenes Ebdane and Board Member Samantha Ablola. Go's Malasakit Team provided snacks, masks, vitamins, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball to a total of 354 identified beneficiaries while select recipients received a watch and pairs of shoes.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also provided temporary employment for those who are eligible for their Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

"Sa totoo lang po, 'wag po kayong magpasalamat sa amin. Kami po ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan n'yo kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo," Go said in a video message.

"Kami po ay probinsyano tulad ninyo na binigyan n'yo po ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo. Kaya hinding-hindi ko sasayangin ang pagkakataon na ibinigay ninyo sa akin. Magtatrabaho po ako para sa Pilipino sa abot ng aking makakaya," he added.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, extended further support to residents requiring medical aid. He urged them to avail themselves of the various medical assistance programs provided in the Malasakit Centers situated at the President Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Hospital in Iba.

Established in 2018, the Malasakit Centers were created as one-stop shops that consolidate various government medical assistance programs, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. To date, 159 operational centers have helped around ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

Furthermore, the senator emphasized his ongoing commitment to push for the establishment of Super Health Centers nationwide.

"Sa pag-iikot ko sa bansa, napansin ko na kailangan talaga ng dagdag na health facilities lalo na sa maliliit at malalayong mga lugar. Minsan po, 'yung iba ay nanganganak na lang sa tricycle sa layo ng byahe pa-ospital," said Go.

"Huwag sana natin hayaan na mangyari pa 'yon. Kaya talagang isinusulong ko ang pagkakaroon ng Super Health Centers para mailapit ang pangunahing serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan sa malalayong lugar," he added.

Super Health Centers offer health services including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine.

Through the collective efforts of the DOH, local government units (LGUs), and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated under the DOH for the construction of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022, 322 in 2023, and 132 in 2024. DOH, as the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where these Super Health Centers will be established.

Go then underscored RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, a legislative initiative for which he is the principal sponsor and one of the authors in the Senate. The Regional Specialty Centers Act is designed to establish Regional Specialty Centers within existing regional hospitals under the DOH jurisdiction.

In its Resolution No. 205 dated August 8, 2022, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Zambales declared Go as its adopted son, noting that the senator has "embodied the spirit of good governance and public service" by exerting great efforts to help the whole province.

Meanwhile, in a resolution adopted by the Sangguniang Bayan on June 23, 2022, Go was also declared as an adopted son of Iba, citing that Go has shown a big heart for the country, especially to local government units where he helped pour government resources to empower LGUs.

In line with his commitment to helping develop the province, Go supported the rehabilitation of roads in Botolan, Masinloc, San Felipe, San Marcelino, and Olongapo City; rehabilitation of the public market in San Antonio; construction of a seawall in Masinloc; and construction of two multipurpose buildings and installation of solar powered street lights in Botolan.

"Mga kababayan ko, mag-ingat po tayo. Magdasal po tayo, magtulungan po tayo, magbayanihan po tayo, magmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Magtiwala lang po kayo sa gobyerno at makakaahon din po tayo bilang nagkakaisang mamamayang Pilipino," encouraged Go.

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