Press Release
December 25, 2023

Bong Go pushes for mandatory evacuation centers in communities through Ligtas Pinoy Centers bill while assisting typhoon-affected towns in Aklan

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go maintained his advocacy for the proposed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2451, or the Ligtas Pinoy Centers Act, recognizing the country's susceptibility to typhoons and various disasters.

On Wednesday, December 20, Go dispatched his Malasakit Team in Aklan to assist recovering Typhoon Egay Victims from various barangays and municipalities including Banga, Makato, Nabas, Tangalan, and Madalag.

In his message, Go shared his support for SBN 2451 which he co-sponsored and is one of the authors in the Senate. The bill, primarily sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, aims to establish permanent, well-equipped evacuation centers nationwide. Earlier, Go filed a previous version of the bill entitled the "Mandatory Evacuation Center Act," underscoring his enduring commitment to improving the country's disaster preparedness infrastructure.

He highlighted the importance of establishing clean, permanent, and safe evacuation centers nationwide to ensure that calamity victims are comfortable while they are recovering from disaster-related incidents.

"Isa po sa mga isinusulong ko ay ang pagkakaroon ng malinis at ligtas na evacuation center sa mga probinsya. Itong mga centers na ito ay dapat mayroong sapat na mga emergency packs, katulad ng blankets, tubig, gamot, flashlight, at ready na relief goods. Obligasyon ng gobyerno na palaging maging handa sa oras ng sakuna," stressed Go.

Go's Malasakit Team coordinated with the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Region 6 and the local officials of Aklan to assist a total of 200 typhoon victims.

To efficiently distribute relief goods, Go's Malasakit Team grouped the beneficiaries and held two relief activities at the respective municipal halls of Tangalan and Madalag.

All typhoon victims received grocery packs, snacks, vitamins, masks, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball while some of them received pairs of shoes.

"Bukod sa ating tulong, nabigyan din sila ng ayuda mula sa NHA bilang bahagi ng programang ating isinulong upang matulungan sila sa pagbili ng mga materyales tulad ng pako at yero para sa muling pagtatayo ng kanilang mga tahanan," Go shared as the NHA distributed emergency housing assistance to qualified families.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, extended help to those requiring medical attention. He informed the recipients that they could access medical assistance programs for their healthcare needs from the Malasakit Centers located at Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that houses representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Its primary aim is to help reduce the patient's hospital bill to the lowest possible amount by covering various patient services and expenses, such as surgeries, laboratories, and medicines.

Go principally authored and sponsored Republic Act No. 11463, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. To date, 159 centers have been successfully established and have helped more or less ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

Go also underscored the creation of Super Health Centers in Aklan, specifically in Boracay, Ibajay, Kalibo, Banga, Batan, Malay, Nabas, New Washington, Numancia, and Balete. He stressed the vital function these centers serve in decongesting hospitals, enabling early detection of diseases, and delivering healthcare services like primary care and medical consultations directly to the community.

He also highlighted the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers through RA 11959, which was recently signed into law. Go is a principal sponsor and one of the authors in the Senate of the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which mandates the establishment of regional specialty centers within existing DOH regional hospitals.

As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has supported numerous initiatives focused on improving the delivery of public services in the province.

Among these projects are the construction of local roads in Makato, the installation of streetlights in Tangalan, the construction of an evacuation center in Numancia and a two-story building for the Ibajay District Hospital, and the renovation of the Ibajay Municipal Park.

He also supported the construction of roads in Balete and Makato, riverbank protection structures along the Tigayon-Kalibo and Minalezo sections of the Kalibo River, and a multi-purpose building for monitoring emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and another multi-purpose building in Balete. He further backed the refurbishment of the Altavas and Libacao public parks.

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