Press Release
June 13, 2021

Keeping the spirit of bayanihan and nationalism alive -- Bong Go joins PRRD in commemorating PH Independence Day, honors modern-day heroes for their courage, compassion and love for country

As the country celebrated its 123rd declaration of its independence, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go reminded all Filipinos to keep the spirit of bayanihan and nationalism burning as the country continues to be embattled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Patuloy tayong magkaisa bilang isang sambayanang Pilipino upang malampasan natin ang mga pagsubok sa panahong ito. Paigtingin natin ang diwa ng bayanihan upang makamit natin ang ligtas at mapayapang Pilipinas," Go said.

Go also highlighted the virtues of courage, compassion, and love for country shown by the country's heroes from past generations which are now being emulated by modern-day heroes who are fighting to protect the welfare, well-being, and ways of life of every Filipino today.

"Nawa'y sa araw na ito, hindi lang natin gunitain ang naging dakilang sakripisyo at pag-aalay ng buhay ng ating mga ninuno na nakipaglaban para sa kalayaan ng ating bayan mahigit isandaang taon na ang nakalipas," said Go in a statement.

"Sana ay ipagpatuloy rin nating isadiwa maging sa ngayon ang ating pagbabayanihan, pagmamahal sa bayan at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino," he added.

On June 12, Go joined President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the 123rd Independence Day celebrations held in Malolos City, Bulacan, themed "Kalayaan 2021: Diwa ng Kalayaan sa Pagkakaisa at Paghilom ng Bayan."

"As we commemorate this year's Independence Day, let us honor our modern-day heroes - our healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, and other frontliners who have been instrumental in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," the President said in his speech in Malolos City, Bulacan.

"In the past year, they have risked their own lives and sacrificed their own comfort and security to ensure that our society will continue to function despite this crisis. Maraming pong salamat sa inyong pagmalasakit at serbisyo," the President added.

During the event, President Duterte also honored Marcelo H. del Pilar and Gregorio del Pilar, who were both from Bulacan, with the Order of Lapu-Lapu Award. "The two patriots made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our young republic," Duterte said in his speech.

"I, therefore, consider it a great honor to bestow upon them through their kin, who are with us today, the Order of Lapu-Lapu in recognition of their extraordinary acts and heroism. Marami pong salamat sa inyong dalawa," the President added.

Faced with the modern challenges imposed by the pandemic, Go said that bayanihan and nationalism will help the nation take its freedom back from the invisible enemy.

"Ito ay upang makamit din natin ang ating kalayaan sa gitna ng pandemya---ang kalayaan mula sa sakit at banta sa ating buhay at kalusugan, kalayaan mula sa kahirapan at iba't ibang dagok sa buhay, at kalayaan mula sa mga pekeng balita at maling impormasyon," he stated.

"Ang lahat ng ito ay ating makakamit kung ipagpapatuloy natin ang ating pakikiisa at pagsunod sa mga hakbang na itinakda ng gobyernong tunay na may malasakit sa lahat upang wakasan ang pandemya," he added.

Aside from honoring past heroes, Go also recognized medical frontliners as modern-day heroes as they remain committed to serving the Filipino nation amid the ongoing pandemic.

"At bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Health, nais kong magbigay ng natatanging pagkilala sa lahat ng mga frontliners na nag-alay ng kanilang buhay, at ngayon ay patuloy pa ring nakikipaglaban upang masiguro lang ang kaligtasan ng kanilang kapwa Pilipino. Daghang salamat sa inyong sakripisyo!" said Go.

Go has been relentless in pursuing the interests and protecting the welfare of medical frontliners during the pandemic. At the onset of the outbreak, the Senator has successfully appealed for the provision of free COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment, hazard pay, and special risk allowances for health workers who are exposed to the virus due to the nature of their work.

Go also co-authored Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which aims to empower further the government to address the public health emergency. The measure also allows for needed flexibility in the budget of concerned agencies so they can prioritize the provision of immediate healthcare needs, as well as food and cash assistance to affected Filipinos, particularly those belonging to vulnerable sectors.

He also supported RA No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act which seeks to facilitate the country's recovery from the pandemic and its economic effects by financing various government programs and interventions, including the improvement of the healthcare system, procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, and delivery of aid to industries affected by the pandemic, among others.

In 2019, Go pushed for and ensured that enough funding is allocated for the implementation of a Supreme Court decision upholding Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 which increases the minimum salary grade of the Nurse I position to SG-15 eighteen years after a law providing such increase was enacted.

Subsequently, he also supported the proposal of the Department of Health to raise the salary grade of government nurses in the Nurse II positions to SG-16 following the earlier adjustment made to upgrade the pay of entry-level nurses (Nurse I) to SG-15 from SG-11.

Meanwhile, citing the need to elevate the status of the country as a producer of leaders, experts, and authorities in the field of medicine, particularly nursing, the Senator also filed Senate Bill No. 395, also known as the "Advanced Nursing Education Act of 2019", which amends the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

It seeks to protect and improve the nursing profession by instituting measures that will result in relevant nursing education, humane working conditions, better career prospects and a dignified existence for our nurses.

"Kilalanin din natin ang kagitingan ng bawat ordinaryong Pilipino na nakikipaglaban para sa kalayaan---kalayaan mula sa sakit, kalayaan mula sa krimen, at kalayaan mula sa gutom at kahirapan. Mula noon hanggang ngayon, ang ating bayanihan, pagmamalasakit at pakikiisa ang kailangan upang maibangon muli ang kabuhayan ng bawat Pilipino," Go emphasized.

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