Press Release
December 10, 2023

Declared as adopted son of Oriental Mindoro, Bong Go joins Araw ng Pasasalamat festivities during province's founding anniversary

On Sunday, December 10, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go participated in Oriental Mindoro's Araw ng Pasasalamat, a significant event within the annual Fiesta 'Mahalta Na' celebrating the province's founding anniversary.

During the event, Go was honored as an adopted son of the province, a distinction confirmed by the unanimous passage of Resolution No. 6823 during the 11th Sangguniang Panlalawigan's standard session on February 27, 2023. After the ceremony, he visited Bansud town to attend the inauguration of a new Super Health Center.

The celebration, held at the Balai Mindoro Event Center in Calapan City, was also attended by 426 barangay and SK chairpersons, 15 mayors, 15 vice mayors, two congressmen, and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, showcasing the province's rich cultural heritage.

Go opened his speech by highlighting his humble beginnings and deep appreciation for the opportunity to serve.

"Kami po'y mga probinsyano lamang na taga-Mindanao na binigyan ninyo po ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo. Kami po ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa pagkakataon," said Go.

He also emphasized not just his roots but also his relentless work ethic. Go remarked on his dedication, "Magtatrabaho po ako para sa Pilipino. At hindi po ako pulitiko na mangangako sa inyo. Gagawin ko lang po ang aking trabaho sa abot ng aking makakaya."

Meanwhile, Go also took a moment to acknowledge the contributions of various government officials, expressing his gratitude: "Hindi ko po palalampasin ang pagkakataon na pasalamatan po ang mga opisyales dito."

Go specifically thanked Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who was also declared adopted son of the province, Governor Humerlito "Bonz" Dolor, Vice Governor Ejay Falcon, and Congressman Alfonso "Boy" Umali. Go, then, proceeded to individually recognize various local officials, including mayors, vice mayors, and barangay captains from different municipalities. He emphasized the importance of their roles and commended them for their hard work in serving their communities.

In addition to local leaders, Go also expressed his appreciation for the representatives from national government agencies present at the event. He acknowledged their contribution to the country's governance and development, showcasing the collaborative nature of government efforts.

Go also paid special tribute to the barangay officials, acknowledging their crucial role in local governance and community service. He mentioned his legislative efforts aimed at supporting these grassroots leaders, reflecting his commitment to empowering local governance.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, then outlined his priorities in safeguarding the health of every Filipino.

He discussed the establishment of the Malasakit Centers, describing them as a "one-stop shop" within hospitals that house four government agencies - the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. They aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

"Para po 'yan sa mga poor and indigent patients, para po 'yan sa Pilipino," Go elaborated.

In Oriental Mindoro, a Malasakit Center is located at the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital in Calapan City. Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.

As of now, 159 Malasakit Centers are operational across the country, poised to assist with patients' medical expenses. The DOH reported that the Malasakit Center program has already provided aid to more than ten million Filipinos.

Go also reiterated his resolve to support the establishment of more Super Health Centers across the country, considering how they can significantly help reduce hospital occupancy rates while bringing government medical services closer to the grassroots.

"Patuloy po akong tutulong sa pagpaparami ng Super Health Centers sa bansa sa abot po ng aking makakaya," said Go.

"Sa mga itinayo ng Super Health Centers, nakita namin kung gaano kalaki ang naitutulong nito sa komunidad lalo na sa rural areas. 'Yun po ang layunin ng mga Super Health Centers, ang ilapit sa mamamayan ang serbisyong medikal ng gobyerno," he added.

Finally, Go also principally sponsored and is one of the authors of RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which was signed into law on August 24. The law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. It stands as a testament to the government's commitment to uplift the nation's health infrastructure.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports, emphasized the role of sports in nation building and in steering the youth away from vices. "Kaya iniengganyo ko ang mga kabataan to get into sports, stay away from drugs," he stated, offering support for local sports programs and activities that engage young people.

In a more personal segment of his speech, Go connected with his audience by referring to his roots in the region, "Ako po ay isang Bisaya na Batangueño. Magkapitbahay lang tayo."

He encouraged the people to pursue their aspirations, drawing on his experience and learnings from former president Rodrigo Duterte, "Isa lang po ang sikreto diyan na natutunan ko kay (dating) Pangulong Duterte - mahalin n'yo po ang kapwa ninyo Pilipino, hindi po tayo magkakamali diyan."

Go then underscored the importance of compassion and proactive assistance towards others. He stated, "Minsan lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa, gawin na po natin ngayon dahil hindi na po tayo babalik sa mundong ito."

The senator closed his address by affirming his belief in the virtue of service, "Ako po ang inyong Senador kuya Bong Go, patuloy po akong magseserbisyo sa inyong lahat. Dahil ako po'y naniniwala na ang serbisyo sa tao, serbisyo po 'yan sa Diyos."

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