Press Release
February 28, 2024

Bong Go leads relief operation for fire victims in Tondo, Manila

On Tuesday, February 27, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go personally attended to the needs of fire victims from Barangay 52, Tondo, Manila, ensuring immediate aid provision to those affected by the unfortunate incident. He visited right after he provided assistance to recovering fire victims in Barangay 17 to help them rebuild their homes.

"Alam nyo iyan po ang aking ipinangako sa inyo. Kahit saang sulok kayo ng Pilpinas pupuntahan ko kayo basta kaya po ng aking katawan at panahon. Umabot na po ako ng Batanes, Aparri hanggang Jolo; inabutan din tayo ng lindol, putok ng bulkan, buhawi, bagyo, baha, sunog pinupuntahan ko yan," shared Go in his speech.

During his visit, Senator Go, known as Mr. Malasakit, expressed his sincere hope for the safety of every resident. He pledged to continue supporting the victims to the best of his capacity, highlighting his commitment to aiding those in need.

"Mahirap pong masunugan. Masakit masunugan. Tinatanong ko una, mayroon bang nasaktan o namatay? Kaya tandaan po natin ang gamit po nabibili. Ang damit po nalalabhan. Ang pera po'y kikitain. Subalit ang perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. A lost life is a lost life forever. Diyos lang po ang nakakaalam kung kailan tayo mawawala sa mundong ito. Pasalamat tayo buhay po tayo at magtulungan lang po tayo," encouraged Go.

Held at the Barangay 51 Covered Court, 96 families received grocery packs, water containers, snacks, shirts, vitamins, masks, and balls for basketball and volleyball. There were also select recipients of bicycles, mobile phones, shoes, and watches.

Meanwhile, representatives from the National Housing Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry assessed the families who may qualify for further housing or livelihood assistance.

The senator then commended the local officials and community leaders at the relief operation. He emphasized the significance of collective efforts and unity in overcoming challenges, stating, "It is through our joint efforts that we can ensure that no one is left behind in the journey towards recovery."

Moreover, as the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Go underscored his advocacy for the development of Tondo and the broader city through support for various infrastructure projects.

Among these projects are the rehabilitation of roads in several barangays, structural improvement of public buildings, evacuation center construction, medical and educational supplies, ambulances, multipurpose vehicles, surveillance systems, and installing solar-powered street lights.

Additionally, a significant part of his speech was dedicated to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Act of 2021, or Republic Act No. 11589, which he primarily authored and sponsored. This Act mandates the BFP to have a ten-year modernization program, including recruiting additional firefighters, acquiring modern fire equipment, and providing specialized training.

As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Go also offered assistance to those who might have been injured in the fire and individuals with other health concerns through the Malasakit Centers located in the city.

The RA 11463, or the Malasakit Centers Act, was principally authored and sponsored by Go to ensure that Filipinos have convenient access to medical assistance programs by the government.

There are Malasakit Centers located at Tondo Medical Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Hospital, and San Lazaro Hospital.

The 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide have already assisted around ten million indigent Filipinos, according to the Department of Health (DOH). These centers are part of a nationwide initiative to provide accessible healthcare services to Filipinos, especially those in need.

Meanwhile, he also mentioned that he has supported the construction of four Super Health Centers in the city that shall bring primary care closer to Manileños. 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 over 700 Super Health Centers nationwide.

Moreover, Go is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the recently passed RA 11959, or the Regional Specialty Centers Act. The law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals.

"Mga kababayan ko pangatlong prayoridad po namin is yung Specialty Center. Prayoridad ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos at ni SP Migz Zubiri... Halimbawa dito po sa Tondo, mayroon kayong trauma and dermatology, lalagyan po ng burn care at geriatric care para po sa mga matatanda. Diyan na po, hindi na kayo kailangang magbiyahe pa ng malalayong ospital. Itatayo na po dito sa Tondo Medical Center po," shared Go.

"Isinabatas lang po natin, it's a multiyear plan of the government, five-year plan. Ilapit natin yung serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan. Ako po ang principal sponsor at co-author nito sa Senado ng Regional Specialty Center," he added.

In Tondo Medical Center, there are existing specialty centers that focus on trauma care and dermatology care. It also plans to have burn care and geriatric care.

There are also specialty centers in Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Hospital, including those specializing in dermatology, neonatal, cancer, and eye. Other specialty centers will also be established, including brain and spine, burn, trauma, and orthopedic.

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