Press Release
December 12, 2023

Bong Go extends aid to displaced workers in Ronda, Cebu

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go's Malasakit Team, in collaboration with the office of Moalboal Vice Mayor Paz Rozgoni, carried out a relief operation on Tuesday, December 12, providing assistance to the residents of Ronda, Cebu. This initiative was a part of Go's ongoing efforts to support communities in need across the country.

The aid activities were held at the Ronda municipal gym, where Go's Malasakit Team handed out snacks, shirts, masks, and vitamins to 192 individuals. They also gave away pairs of shoes to select recipients.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment conducted an orientation to extend livelihood support through temporary employment to qualified recipients, as part of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers program.

"Sa panahon ngayon, patuloy lang po ang ating pagbabayanihan, mga kababayan ko. Kami po sa gobyerno ay patuloy na gagawa ng mga paraan upang mabalik ang sigla ng ating ekonomiya," said Go in a video message.

"Asahan niyo po na ako naman ay patuloy niyong magiging kasangga sa Senado at magseserbisyo sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya," he said.

To help local businesses, Go has been pushing for stronger government efforts to boost micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The senator is one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act 11960, or the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Act.

The OTOP Philippines Program represents a governmental stimulus strategically crafted to nurture the expansion of MSMEs nationwide. The program strongly emphasizes harnessing local resources while concurrently safeguarding the rich tapestry of cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, Go has filed SBN 420, which aims to establish a system for providing short-term employment to eligible individuals from underprivileged households in rural regions. Within the framework of this proposed measure, a program called the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) would be created under DOLE.

If enacted into law, the primary objective of REAP is to offer temporary employment opportunities to individuals who meet the criteria of being economically disadvantaged, impoverished, displaced, or seasonal workers.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, mentioned that the government's medical assistance programs are readily available at any of the seven Malasakit Centers within the province.

Enacted into law in 2019, RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act, principally authored and sponsored by Go, brings together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. These one-stop shops aim to help indigent patients reduce their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

In Cebu City, Malasakit Centers are located at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital, and Cebu City Medical Center. Meanwhile, there are other Malasakit Centers at Cebu Provincial Hospital in Carcar City, Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital, Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City, and Talisay District Hospital in Talisay City.

There are now 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide which have assisted over ten million Filipinos as of October 2023, according to DOH.

Go also mentioned that more Super Health Centers are set to be established in the province. With the support of DOH, local government units, and fellow lawmakers, Go helped secure sufficient funds in the 2022 and 2023 national budgets for the construction of more than 600 Super Health Centers across the country.

Super Health Centers, geared towards emphasizing primary care, consultations, and early detection, have the goal of enhancing healthcare infrastructure, with a particular focus on rural communities.

Go also highlighted RA 11959, known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which he principally sponsored and was one of the authors in the Senate. This legislation holds significant importance in the healthcare legislative agenda of the Marcos Administration, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan spanning 2023 to 2028. The law is designed to establish Regional Specialty Centers within existing regional hospitals under the oversight of DOH.

Currently, there are three Regional Specialty Centers inside VSMMC, including cardiovascular care, neonatal care, and trauma care. There will be other specialty centers set to be established inside the hospital, such as renal care and transplant center, lung care, brain and spine care, orthopedic center, physical rehabilitation medicine, infectious disease and tropical medicine, mental health, burn care, toxicology, cancer care, geriatric care, eye care, and dermatology care.

Emphasizing the role of infrastructure development in driving economic recovery and fostering sustainable growth, Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, likewise supported various projects in the province, including the construction of multipurpose buildings in Barili, Cordova, Ginatilan, Pilar, Tabogon and Talisay City; improvement of existing roads in Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Asturias, Balamban, Boljoon, Borbon, Carmen, Madrilejos, Malabuyoc, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Pinamungajan, Sibonga, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Carcar City and Naga City; improvement of flood mitigation structures in Catmon and Tuburan; installation of street lights in Asturias, Compostela and Daanbantayan; and acquisition of ambulance units for Madridejos and Naga City.

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