SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday appealed again to the national government to assist local government units also affected by Typhoon Ulysses by augmenting their calamity funds equivalent to 1% of their respective Internal Revenue Allotment.
Earlier, Go successfully appealed to the budget department to augment the same funds of LGUs hit by Super Typhoon Rolly that earlier wrought devastation in many areas in Luzon, particularly Bicol and parts of southern Luzon.
According to the Senator, most of the calamity funds of LGUs have been depleted due to the unexpected pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that continues to affect the lives of Filipinos.
“Umaapela ako ulit sa ating gobyerno, kay Pangulo at sa DBM, na tulungan ang mga pinaka-apektadong LGUs na nangangailangan ng dagdag na calamity funds para mas makaresponde sa mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga kababayan,” Go said.
“Kailangan nila ng dagdag na pondo para makabili ng pagkain, gamot at iba pang gamit para maalagaan ang mga nasalanta at matulungang makabangon muli. Kahit at least 1% lang po ay i-replenish ninyo, malaki nang tulong ito,” he appealed.
Go’s appeal came after calls for assistance from affected LGUs as their calamity funds have been exhausted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and by the recent string of typhoons that hit the country the past months.
“Malaki po ang magagawa ng pondong ito upang mapunan ang mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga komunidad, lalo na’t nabawasan na ang kanilang naunang pondo dahil sa pandemya,” he added.
Go also suggested that the executive department may explore the possibility for incremental provision of additional funds to severely affected LGUs depending on the extent of the needs of communities and on the availability of funds.
“Sunud-sunod ang mga sakuna at krisis na dumating sa ating bansa. Kaya ngayon na may hinaharap silang panibagong krisis, huwag natin silang pabayaan at bigyan natin sila ng dagdag na tulong. Sabi nga ng Pangulo, no one should be left behind,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Go also urged LGUs to monitor evacuation sites and ensure that health protocols are properly followed since COVID-19 has not yet been fully contained in the country. He added that protocols must be in place to avoid the further spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
“Sa mga LGU officials, tutukan natin ang mga evacuation sites dahil kailangan masunod ang mga health protocols. Narito pa rin ang COVID-19 at habang wala pang bakuna para dito, patuloy dapat tayong maging alerto at iwasan ang pagkakahawaan,” he added.
Sen. Go also provided assistance to more flash flood victims in the towns of San Mateo and Rodriguez in Rizal province on Friday.
“Gusto ko sana kayo makahalubilo. Alam ninyo, tuwing may nasusunugan, bagyo, baha, pagputok ng bulkan at earthquake, pumupunta talaga ako para makapagbigay agad ng solusyon o tulong, at para makapag-iwan ng kaunting ngiti sa inyo sa panahon ng pagdadalamati dahil mahal po namin kayo ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte,” the senator said in a video message.
His team distributed meals, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to 1,000 families at the San Mateo National High School and San Jose Elementary School in Rodriguez. The activities were carried out in compliance with the necessary health and safety protocols against COVID-19.
The previous day, Go had visited the two towns to personally check on the situation of the victims and provided assistance to the first batch of beneficiaries.
“Wala na kaming na datnan nung bumalik kami. Wala na kaming bahay, wala na kaming matulugan. Ngayon, tatlo kaming pamilyang nagsiksikan sa jeep pero masaya kami na nakatanggap kami ng tulong mula kay Senator Bong. Maraming salamat sa kanya dahil lahat kami na nabahaan ay nabigyan ng tulong,” said Mrs. Mildred Legaria from Brgy. San Jose, Rodriguez.
The senator vowed that he and President Duterte would not tire in working for the country, especially after the Filipino people entrusted them with the opportunity to serve.