Press Release
December 26, 2023

Bong Go highlights the role of TechVoc training in enhancing economic opportunities as he aids TESDA graduates in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go demonstrated his support for 350 beneficiaries of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) program in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. This gathering, which marked the distribution of allowances and training certificates, represented a significant educational collaboration between TESDA and the Philippine Call Center Institute in the town.

Go's support underscored his commitment to vocational education and skills development initiatives. As part of his support, Go's Malasakit Team provided them with food packs, snacks, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball on Thursday, December 21.

In a video message, Go underscored the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country's development. He said TVET aims to bridge the skills gap and ensure that all Filipinos, regardless of their economic background, have the opportunity to gain relevant and in-demand skills that will allow them to secure gainful employment and contribute to the country's overall economic growth.

"The skills and knowledge you have acquired here will be your foundation for success in your chosen field," said Go.

"Your dedication, hard work, and determination have truly paid off, and you stand as shining examples of the power of education and skill development. Through your commitment, you have not only enhanced your own capabilities but also contributed to the growth and progress of our nation," he added.

Go also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2115, which aims to institutionalize TVET as well as livelihood programs for rehabilitated drug dependents. The bill aims to provide skills training to enhance the employability of former drug dependents and allow them to rebuild their lives and contribute to their communities.

"By institutionalizing technical-vocational education and training programs, we empower rehabilitated drug dependents with skills for a better future," he said.

Meanwhile, in a continued effort to enhance the well-being of Filipino workers facing crises and residing in rural areas with limited employment prospects, Go introduced SBN 420. This proposed legislation aims to provide temporary employment to eligible members of low-income rural households by establishing the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) under the Department of Labor and Employment.

If approved, the primary goal of REAP would be to furnish temporary job opportunities to individuals meeting specific criteria related to economic disadvantage, poverty, displacement, or seasonal employment.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said that the government's medical assistance programs are conveniently accessible in a Malasakit Center at the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose de Buenavista town.

Signed into law in 2019, the Malasakit Centers Act, which was principally authored and sponsored by Go, institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program to ensure that indigent patients have convenient access to medical assistance programs.

Malasakit Centers bring 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 support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

There are now 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide, which have assisted around 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.

Designed to focus on primary care, consultation, and early detection, Super Health Centers aim to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure, particularly in rural communities.

Go also brought attention to Republic Act 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Act, for which he served as a principal sponsor and one of the authors in the Senate. The Regional Specialty Centers Act plays an important role in the healthcare legislative priorities of the Marcos Administration, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan for the years 2023 to 2028. This law shall create Regional Specialty Centers within pre-existing regional hospitals under the jurisdiction of DOH.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported several projects in the province to boost its development. These projects included the purchase of multicabs in Laua-an, the improvement of a public park in Belison, the expansion of the water system in Libertad, the construction of a bridge in Patnongon, the purchase of an ambulance, the construction of a flood control structure in San Jose, and the construction of a covered court in San Remigio, among others.

On December 9, Go also aided families affected by a bus accident in Antique.

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