AS the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to affect the lives of many Filipinos and their livelihoods, most especially the poor and the vulnerable, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go personally visited and distributed aid to golf caddies in Pasay City.
“Naintindihan ko po na hirap ang hanapbuhay ninyo na maraming bawal, may social distancing at sa daming protocols na dapat natin sundin,” Go said.
Golf caddies primarily rely on the income they generate from assisting golfers in golf clubs. Yet when the quarantine and health protocols were imposed in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, caddies were left with no basic income over the past months.
Go and his team provided meals, food packs, masks, face shields and vitamins to 550 golf caddies during the distribution activity held at the Clubhouse Veranda in Villamor Club House. The senator and his team made sure that necessary health and safety protocols were strictly observed to avoid further spread of the coronavirus disease.
“Lahat po kayo ay makakatanggap ng grocery at may dala rin po akong vitamins. Inumin niyo po ito, pampalakas po ito ng resistensya ninyo. Kapag malakas po ang katawan ninyo, mas malakas po na lalaban po ang katawan ninyo sa COVID-19,” Go said.
The senator then provided bicycles to selected recipients for their commute to work as public transportation remains limited amid the ongoing pandemic. Aside from bicycles, others were given tablets to help their children in their blended learning being implemented in schools.
As chair of the Senate committee on health, Go also reminded the beneficiaries to follow government protocols, such as washing of hands, social distancing and staying at home as much as possible.
The senator also shared that once a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 is available and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the government plans to prioritize the poor and the vulnerable, as well as frontliners.
“’Wag kayong mag-alala, kapag safe na po at na-declare na po ng FDA, uunahin po namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang lahat po ng mahihirap. Uunahin po namin kayo para makabalik na tayo sa normal natin na pamumuhay,” he added.
Go also offered to provide help to those who want to go home to their respective provinces. The senator mentioned that the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program, which he proposed to the executive branch and has now been institutionalized through Executive Order No. 114, can help those living in metropolitan areas to start life anew in the provinces after the pandemic.
“Sino ang gustong umuwi ng probinsya? Mayroon tayong programang Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa. Kung gusto niyo lang po na bumalik ng probinsya, tutulungan kayo ng gobyerno na makapagsimula muli,” Go said.
“Bibigyan kayo ng livelihood, pamasahe at bagong buhay sa probinsya. Kung sino lang po ang gustong bumalik. Wala pong pilitan ito. Kung nahirapan na po kayo dito sa Manila, pwede namin kayong tulungan,“ he added.
As the main proponent of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program which has temporarily suspended its subsequent roll-outs due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Go still reassured interested potential beneficiaries that they would still be assisted by government agencies that are preparing for the eventual implementation of the program. This is in line with the President’s holistic approach to provide them new hope of a better future in their new community.
Meanwhile, during the same distribution activity, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided separate financial assistance through its program that aims to help individuals in crisis situations.
The Department of Trade and Industry conducted an assessment on potential beneficiaries for their livelihood programs. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture gave away canned goods, vegetable seeds and chicken to each beneficiary.
“May pag-asa pa tayo. ‘Wag kayong mag-alala. Unti-unti po itong babalik sa normal natin na pamumuhay. ‘Wag po kayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Kami po ni Pangulong Duterte, gagawin po namin ang lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya po. Magtulungan lang po tayo,” Go said.