Press Release
December 31, 2023

Bong Go helps disadvantaged workers in Batangas City, Tanauan City, and Lemery in Batangas province

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, adopted son of CALABARZON and has familial ties to the Tesoro clan of Batangas, gave support to displaced workers in Batangas City, Tanauan City, and Lemery on Wednesday, December 27.

Go's Malasakit Team coordinated with Board Member Alfredo Corona, Board Member Arthur Blanco, and Emma Tumambing, former captain of Barangay 24 in Batangas City, to provide assistance to 353 affected workers. Go's Malasakit Team joined three relief activities to distribute assistance efficiently at Batangas City Sports Coliseum, Lemery Municipal Covered Court and Barangay Darasa Hall in Tanauan City.

Each beneficiary received snacks, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball while select individuals were given shoes and a mobile phone from the senator's team.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also conducted an orientation as part of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program for temporary employment to qualified beneficiaries.

"Sa totoo lang po, 'wag po kayong magpasalamat sa amin. Kami po ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan n'yo kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo. Kaya hinding-hindi ko sasayangin ang pagkakataon na ibinigay ninyo sa akin. Magtatrabaho po ako para sa Pilipino sa abot ng aking makakaya," Go assured in a video message.

Go also underscored the need to safeguard the interests of marginalized workers, especially those in rural communities who are in need of more job prospects.

In response, the lawmaker filed Senate Bill No. 420, which advocates for setting up a framework to offer short-term job opportunities for qualified individuals from low-income rural families. The bill proposes the creation of the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) within the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Should this bill become law, REAP would primarily focus on providing temporary employment options to those who qualify based on economic hardship, poverty, displacement, or reliance on seasonal work.

"Patuloy po tayong magtulungan upang mas mapabuti pa ang kalagayan ng ating mga disadvantaged at displaced workers. Magkasama tayo sa layuning ito na makabuo ng mas maginhawa at mas matatag na lipunan para sa lahat ng Pilipino," Go said.

Go likewise encouraged residents to take advantage of the medical assistance offered in any of the Malasakit Centers in the province located at Batangas Medical Center in Batangas City and Batangas Provincial Hospital in Lemery.

First established in 2018, the Malasakit Centers are designed to be one-stop shops for medical assistance programs offered by concerned agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. To date, 159 operational centers have helped around ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

The senator also highlighted that he pushed for the establishment of more Super Health Centers across the country. Through the collective efforts of Go, DOH, local government units, and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated 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.

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.

In the province, three Super Health Centers are funded in Lipa City, and one each for San Pascual, Agoncillo, Calatagan, San Jose, Malvar, Taysan, Ibaan, San Juan, Tingloy, and Lian.

Go also emphasized the importance of RA 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Act. He is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the new law which specifically mandates the formation of Regional Specialty Centers within the current regional hospitals overseen by the DOH.

In Batangas Medical Center, there are three Regional Specialty Centers, including Mental Health, Neo-Natal Care, and Geriatric Care. Other Regional Specialty Centers are set to be established inside the hospital such as cancer care, cardiovascular care, renal care and transplant center, lung care, brain and spine care, orthopedic center, physical rehabilitation medicine, burn care, trauma care, toxicology, infectious disease and tropical medicine, and eye care.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has likewise supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Alitagtag, Batangas City, Ibaan, Lemery, Lipa City, Mabini, San Jose, San Juan, San Luis, San Nicolas, Santo Tomas, and Taal; the concretion of farm-to-market roads in Agoncillo, Laurel, Nasugbu, and Tuy; the acquisition of ambulance units in Ibaan and Lemery; and the acquisition of multipurpose vehicles in Lipa City and San Juan.

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