Press Release
December 15, 2023

Bong Go sends assistance to recovering typhoon victims in Oton, Leon, and Maasin, Iloilo

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go provided additional aid and support for the full recovery of typhoon victims in Oton, Leon, and Maasin in Iloilo, by organizing a relief activity at the Bakhaw Mandurriao Integrated School on Friday, December 15.

His Malasakit team provided food packs, shirts, masks, vitamins, snacks, and balls for basketball and volleyball to 78 affected households. They also gave away pairs of shoes to select recipients.

With Go's initiative, the National Housing Authority (NHA) also provided aid, through its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), to qualified beneficiaries to help them rebuild. NHA's program, which Go advocated for and continues to support, provides assistance to families who have lost their homes due to natural calamities such as fires, typhoons, earthquakes, and other disasters.

"Gusto ko lang pong pasalamatan ang National Housing Authority sa kanilang dedikasyon at serbisyo para sa ating mga kababayan. Ang EHAP ay nagbibigay ng pag-asa at bagong simula para sa mga biktima. Isinulong at sinuportahan ang implementasyon para mabigyan ng pambili ng yero, pako at iba pang materyales na pampaayos ng bahay ang mga biktima ng sakuna," said Go.

"Magdasal po tayo at ipagdasal po natin 'yung mga mahal natin sa buhay. Ang gamit po ay nabibili. Ang pera po ay kikitain din po natin, magsipag lang tayo. Subalit 'yung perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. Ang nawalang buhay po ay wala na. A lost life is a lost life forever," he added.

At the forefront of Go's legislative initiatives is Senate Bill No. (SBN) 188, which seeks to establish the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR). The proposed law seeks to elevate disaster preparedness and response by creating a Cabinet-secretary-level department solely focused on disaster resilience.

The senator emphasized that if enacted and established, DDR would focus on three critical areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building back better.

Furthermore, Go co-sponsored SBN 2451, or the Ligtas Pinoy Centers bill, which was primarily sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada. This bill, based on the Mandatory Evacuation Center bill previously filed by Go, aims to establish permanent and well-equipped evacuation centers nationwide.

He expressed concern for their well-being and encouraged them to take advantage of additional assistance, particularly for health, by visiting the Malasakit Centers at West Visayas State University Medical Center and Western Visayas Medical Center, both in Iloilo City.

The Malasakit Center, institutionalized through Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, is a one-stop shop where various government agencies collaborate to assist indigent patients with medical expenses.

Go, the principal author and sponsor of the Act, mentioned that 159 Malasakit Centers are currently operational nationwide. The Malasakit Centers already assisted around ten million Filipinos, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Other Malasakit Centers in the province are located at Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center Extension Hospital in Barotac Nuevo, and Western Visayas Sanitarium, and General Hospital in Santa Barbara.

Go acknowledged the efforts of local officials in Iloilo City for prioritizing their constituents' interests and providing crucial support, especially in challenging times.

He concluded with a reminder for everyone to seize opportunities to do good and extend help to others, saying, "Mga kababayan ko, tandaan n'yo po, minsan lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung anuman pong kabutihan o tulong na pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa ay gawin na po natin ngayon dahil hindi na po tayo babalik sa mundong ito."

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also emphasized the significance of Super Health Centers in decongesting hospitals, facilitating early disease detection, and providing basic healthcare services in communities, especially in underserved areas.

Through the collective efforts of the DOH, local government units, and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated under the DOH for the construction of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023.

Lastly, Go cited the enactment of RA 11959, or the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which he principally sponsored and is one of the authors in the Senate. The law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. It stands as a testament to the commitment of the government to uplift the nation's health infrastructure and bring actual medical services closer to the Filipino people.

Furthermore, Go also extended his support to various projects in the province, including the construction of multipurpose buildings in Barotac Viejo, the completion of various barangay health stations throughout Iloilo City and the construction of a multipurpose building in the Iloilo City Public Market.

Other major initiatives he supported include the concreting or construction of roads in Badiangan, Banate, Carles, Dumangas, Lemery, Miag-ao, and Sara; completion of the barangay health stations in Leon; construction of a flood control system in Balasan; construction of a seawall in Banate; construction of the legislative building complete with facilities in San Dionisio; and improvement of the public parks in Dueñas.

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