Press Release
April 16, 2024

Bong Go joins 20th Kesong Puti Festival in Santa Cruz, Laguna; provides aid to displaced workers

On Monday, April 15, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go visited Santa Cruz, Laguna for its 20th annual Kesong Puti Festival. During this cultural celebration, Go also took the opportunity to assist displaced workers there and provide support to the community especially for poor and vulnerable sectors.

Senator Go, who is an adopted son of CALABARZON, shared his gratitude for being able to participate in local celebrations that showcase the country's rich culture and heritage.

"Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating mahal na Mayor Egay San Luis sa pag-imbita sa akin sa Kesong Puti Festival. Alam n'yo, paborito ko pa naman po itong kesong puti... kung ano kinakain ninyo ay 'yon rin ang kinakain ko," expressed Go in an interview after the event.

"Nandito po ako na handang magserbisyo sa inyong sa abot ng aking makakaya. Bukas ang aking opisina sa inyo at ang bisyo ko ay ang magserbisyo sa inyong lahat," added Go who is known as Mr. Malasakit for his compassionate service to Filipinos in need.

Meanwhile, Mayor Edgar "Egay" San Luis extended a warm welcome to Go, expressing deep appreciation for his visit and ongoing commitment to public service.

"Isang karangalan po na makasama natin dito sa pagdiriwang ng Kesong Puti Festival ang may malasakit at talagang aksyon lagi at ang senador na may busilak na puso, Senator Bong Go," Mayor San Luis stated.

"Serbisyo, hindi negosyo. 'Yun ang aming slogan noon. Sa inyo, bisyo ang magserbisyo," the mayor reiterated, echoing a slogan that resonated with the values of the community and Go's compassionate brand of service.

Highlighting the festival's significance, Go stressed the importance of preserving and promoting the culture and heritage distinct in every locality in order to promote the economy, boost tourism, and enhance livelihood opportunities for the community.

"Habang tinatangkilik natin ang ating pinagmamalaking kesong puti, alalahanin natin ang dedikasyon at kasanayan ng ating mga lokal na magsasaka at manggagawa na siyang nagpapanatili sa tradisyong ito. Higit pa sa pagiging isang ordinaryong keso, ito ay kumakatawan sa inyong pagkakakilanlan at pagiging malikhain bilang mga taga-Sta Cruz," said Go.

Aside from the festivities, Go also distributed various forms of aid to 500 displaced workers during his visit at Santa Cruz Elementary School, where the beneficiaries received food packs, snacks, masks, vitamins, shirts, and sports equipment like basketballs and volleyballs. Additionally, select individuals were given shoes, bicycles, watches, and mobile phones.

Through Go's initiative, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also conducted an orientation for the qualified participants for its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

Go commended DOLE's proactive approach to addressing the pressing issue of unemployment: "By helping the most vulnerable sectors, we create an environment where every Filipino can strive for a better future."

"Patuloy po tayong magtutulungan upang mas mapabuti pa ang kalagayan ng ating mga disadvantaged at displaced workers. Magkasama tayo sa layuning ito na makabuo ng mas ligtas at mas matatag na lipunan para sa lahat ng Pilipino," he added.

Go also filed Senate Bill No. 420, which aims to institutionalize of a Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP). If enacted, the primary objective of REAP is to furnish temporary employment avenues for individuals meeting specific criteria, including economic hardship, poverty, displacement, or reliance on seasonal employment.

Go then extended his appreciation towards local officials for their service and hard work, notably Governor Ramil Hernandez, Vice Governor Karen Agapay, Board Member JM Carait III, Board Member Francis Joseph San Luis, and Mayor San Luis, among others.

He also attended the Malasakit sa Kooperatiba event on the same day at the Cultural Center Provincial Capitol of Santa Cruz to provide support to cooperatives in boosting local enterprises.

As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go mentioned that Malasakit Centers in the province are located at Laguna Medical Center in Santa Cruz and at the San Pablo City General Hospital in San Pablo City if they need medical-related assistance.

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, 162 operational centers have helped more than ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The senator also stressed that he continues to support establishing more Super Health Centers nationwide to bring primary care, medical consultations and early disease detection closer to grassroots communities. Through the concerted efforts of Go, fellow lawmakers, the DOH, led by Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, and local government units, adequate funding was allocated for establishing more than 700 Super Health Centers nationwide. In Laguna, a total of 13 Super Health Centers are funded.

To further support the development of Santa Cruz, Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported the various initiatives and projects in the town. Notably, with Go's support, the existing Capitol Building is undergoing an upgrade through various rehabilitation and renovation efforts.

He also supported projects improving local roadways, including constructing and rehabilitating roads in Brgy. Palasan and the widening of the road from Brgy. Bagumbayan to Brgy. Bubukal. Additionally, Go supported several multipurpose buildings to be constructed in different barangays, as well as the drainage system in Brgy. Calios, to serve diverse community needs.

In Laguna, he supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Cavinti, Liliw, Lumban, Majayjay, Pagsanjan, Pila, and Sta. Cruz and Sta. Maria; concreting of roads in Luisiana; construction of slaughterhouses in Mabitac, Nagcarlan, and Pagsanjan; acquisition of a multi-purpose vehicle for Luisiana; and public markets in Liliw, Nagcarlan, Pagsanjan, and Rizal.

Other projects he supported are the construction of a farm-to-market road and covered court in Paete, the construction of a drainage canal in Cabuyao City, the repair of the primary highway inside Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa City, and installation of street lights in Lumban and Magdalena.

After his visit to Laguna, Go then proceeded to Quezon City, where he joined the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) 77th Founding Anniversary and 75th PRC QC Chapter Anniversary. He also provided additional assistance to recovering crisis victims in the city to help them rebuild.

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