Press Release
December 21, 2021

Bong Go calls for the immediate restoration of essential services in typhoon-hit areas; appeals for cooperation among affected communities to ensure immediate recovery from the crisis

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go called for the immediate restoration of critical services, including electricity and telecommunications, that were affected by Typhoon Odette as quickly as possible, emphasizing the need for restoring normalcy in the lives of the victims.

"Ako po'y nananawagan sa national government, kahapon kausap ko si Sec. Cusi, tulungan po kaagad na mabalik 'yung kuryente. At sa mga nagho-hoarding po ng gasolina, huwag kayong magsamantala lalo na sa panahong ito. Naghihirap po ang Pilipino, tulungan po natin sila," said Go during an ambush interview right after he distributed assistance to residents of Barangay Panacan in Davao City on Monday, December 20.

According to Go, the government must provide sufficient support to affected communities especially in restoring essential services in order to maintain order and avoid others from exploiting the situation.

"Kaya nga po nananawagan kami na tulungan kaagad ng gobyerno ang mga kababayan natin para walang mag-hoarding, walang magte-take advantage sa situation. Naghihirap po ang ating mga kababayan, kita mo pumipila po para makabili lang ng gasolina, pumipila para makabili ng pagkain at tubig," said Go.

"Tulungan po natin sila. Huwag kayong mag-take advantage sa sitwasyon ngayon. Dapat tulungan natin ang ating kapwa Pilipino. Ito po 'yung panahon na magtulungan po tayo," he added.

On the same day, President Duterte and Go met with local leaders of Negros Occidental as well as neighboring Negros Oriental, and some Cabinet members in Kabankalan City for a situation briefing on the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. Negros Occidental is one of the provinces in the Western Visayas Region that has been severely affected by the typhoon, with at least 30 fatalities thus far.

Earlier, Go and the President also conducted aerial inspections of typhoon-hit areas in Visayas and Mindanao on December 18 and 19. The two passed over Siargao Island before landing in Surigao City on Saturday. After surveying the damage at the airport, they conducted an aerial inspection of the Dinagat Islands before proceeding to Maasin City in Southern Leyte and turning over relief goods upon their return in Surigao City. The following day, they conducted similar aerial and site inspections of affected areas in Cebu and Bohol and attended a situation briefing as well.

During these visits, Duterte and Go extended aid and assured community leaders of continuous recovery efforts and unhampered public service delivery.

President Duterte reiterated his order to concerned agencies to coordinate with key players from the private sector, particularly energy and telecommunication companies, as well as other stakeholders, to facilitate the immediate restoration of essential services that had been disrupted by the typhoon.

He also ordered the National Housing Authority to exert all efforts possible to rebuild communities by providing housing materials and other aid needed to repair damaged homes or build new ones.

Go shared that Duterte also pledged to release an additional PhP2 billion in calamity funds to the affected local government units and government agencies involved in relief and rehabilitation, instructing concerned officials to ensure funding availability.

"At naglaan po ng pondo si Pangulong Duterte sa calamity fund ng gobyerno at nagdagdag pa siya para tulungan kaagad, i-download kaagad sa mga LGUs. Sila po ang nakakaalam, ang mga LGUs sa mga nangangailangan ng tulong, sa nangangailangan ng pagkain, tubig," shared Go during the interview.

Meanwhile, the senator advised candidates in the 2022 elections to use this opportunity to help those in need.

"Sa mga presidential aspirants naman po, walang pulitika dito. Dapat tulung-tulong tayo para makabangon muli dahil nasa krisis pa tayo sa COVID-19. Ito na naman panibagong krisis dahil sa bagyo. Tulungan po natin ang ating kapwa Pilipino," said Go.

Given that Go has withdrawn his candidacy for President, he urged his supporters to dedicate their efforts to helping those affected by the typhoon. He called on those who produced tarpaulins and billboards to instead donate these to affected communities as it may be used to provide shelter for the homeless.

The senator then expressed his confidence that the country will overcome these challenges with the Filipino people's cooperation, ensuring that no one is left behind on the road to recovery and a better future.

"I'm appealing to my fellow Filipinos, magtulungan po tayo. Kawawa po, lalung-lalo na po ''yung mahihirap. Maraming nananawagan halos hindi ko na po masagot sa dami po ng nananawagan po, tulungan po natin sila," the senator urged.

"Kami po ni Pangulong Duterte ay tuluy-tuloy po ang aming pag-iikot at pagtutulung kaagad. Ma-address kaagad ang ganitong problema at makabalik po kaagad tayo. Return to normalcy kaagad ang gustong mangyari ni Pangulong Duterte," he ended.

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