Press Release
December 28, 2023

Bong Go sends assistance to Iloilo City fire victims while pushing for stronger fire prevention awareness within local communities

Amid the Holiday season, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go underscored the need for enhanced fire prevention awareness within local communities while assisting victims of a recent fire incident in Iloilo City.

Go's Malasakit Team conducted the relief activity at the Baluarte Elementary School in Barangay Habog-Habog, Molo District for a total of 84 affected families on Friday, December 22.

The Malasakit Team distributed snacks, water containers, grocery packs, vitamins, masks, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball.

Simultaneously, teams from the National Housing Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry evaluated the fire victims to determine their eligibility for respective housing and livelihood assistance.

In a video message, Go informed the beneficiaries that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is undergoing a ten-year modernization program, as mandated by the BFP Modernization Act of 2021. The law aims to better prepare and equip the BFP to respond effectively to fire-related incidents.

Go, a primary author and co-sponsor of Republic Act 11589, explained that the BFP modernization program includes acquiring new fire equipment, hiring more firefighters, and providing specialized training, among other initiatives.

Addressing the affected residents, Go emphasized the irreplaceable value of human life and urged everyone to prioritize safety.

"Sa mga biktima ng sunog, huwag ho kayong mag-alala. Sabi ko nga sa inyo noon, ang gamit ay nabibili. Ang pera ay kikitain, subalit 'yung perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. A lost life is a lost life forever," he underscored.

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

The Malasakit Centers, institutionalized through RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, are one-stop shops that enable various government agencies to collaborate and assist indigent patients with medical expenses.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Act, which paved the way for the establishment of 159 Malasakit Centers. These centers are currently operational nationwide and have 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, as well as Western Visayas Sanitarium, and General Hospital in Santa Barbara.

Expressing gratitude, 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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