Press Release
December 28, 2023

Bong Go bats for enhanced fire prevention efforts during Holidays as he assists fire victims in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat

After visiting the community, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go dispatched his Malasakit Team to help fire victims in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat on Friday, December 22.

In a video message during his Malasakit Team's relief activity at the City Social Welfare and Development Office, Go underscored his continued advocacy to establish stronger fire prevention initiatives in local communities especially during the holiday season.

He also highlighted the ongoing modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) through the enactment of Republic Act No. 11589. The BFP Modernization Act, principally authored and co-sponsored by Go, requires the agency to engage in a decade-long modernization effort. This Act aims to transform the BFP into a world-class institution, improving its fire response capabilities.

Go said that this will be achieved through expanding the firefighter workforce, procuring advanced fire-fighting equipment, and providing specialized training, along with other strategic initiatives.

"Sa pag-iikot ko ng bansa para makatulong sa mga nasunugan, nakita ko po talaga ang importansya ng pagpapalakas ng ating fire prevention campaigns. Kaya naman nagpapasalamat ako sa dating pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa pag-apruba ng BFP Modernization Act para mas lalo pang lumakas ang kapasidad ng ahensya," expressed Go.

"Sa mga nasunugan naman po, alam ko pong napakahirap ng panahon ngayon at kayo po ay nasunugan pa pero huwag po kayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Ang pera naman po ay kikitain pero ang pera ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. A lost life is a lost life forever. Kaya mag-ingat po tayo palagi," he reminded.

Go's Malasakit Team provided financial assistance, snacks, grocery packs, water containers, shirts, vitamins, masks, and balls for basketball and volleyball to two affected households.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, offered further assistance to those in need of medical treatment. He advised them to make use of the medical assistance programs available at the Malasakit Center located at Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan.

Observing firsthand the difficulties economically challenged Filipinos encounter in paying hospital bills, Go launched the Malasakit Centers program in 2018. These centers consolidate relevant agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, allowing patients to conveniently access various medical assistance programs.

The lawmaker principally authored and sponsored RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act. Presently, there are 159 Malasakit Centers established nationwide that have helped around ten million indigent Filipinos, according to DOH.

Additionally, Go continues to advocate for improved healthcare at the local level by promoting the creation of more Super Health Centers across the country, including the one in the city. The senator personally witnessed the city's Super Health Center turnover ceremony on December 20.

Super Health Centers offer health services including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine.

Through the collective efforts of DOH, local government units, and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated under DOH for the construction of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. As the lead implementing agency, DOH identifies the strategic areas where these Super Health Centers will be established.

Aside from Tacurong City, more Super Health Centers will be built in Sultan Kudarat including Bagumbayan, Columbio, Isulan, Palimbang, Esperanza, and another one in the city as identified by DOH.

Go then highlighted the significance of RA 11959, for which he was the principal sponsor and one of the authors in the Senate. This law, known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, mandates the establishment of specialized medical care centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. The objective is to make these specialized services more accessible to local communities.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has likewise supported the concreting of roads in Esperanza, Bagumbayan, Isulan, Lambayong, Lebak, Lutayan, and Tacurong City. Additionally, he supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Columbio and Isulan, as well as the procurement of ambulance units for other towns.

On December 20, Go checked the Tacurong City Tatap Center and was also invited to witness the ribbon-cutting of the city's dialysis center. These facilities are part of the local government's efforts to enhance the provision of public services in the community.

Go also inspected the Solar Lights Project along Duwalan-Marbel Road and Kidapawan-Allah Junction, a project he also supported.

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