SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go distributed financial and relief assistance to more than 600 residents of Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental who lost their homes in a fire on February 12.
Government agencies also provided assistance to the victims who were living in Purok Gumamela at Barangay Calindagan and are temporarily housed at the gymnasium of Dumaguete City High School at the same barangay.
They received additional financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), livelihood assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and housing materials assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Go also told the victims that he will provide uniforms and school supplies to affected students and assist those who need medical services outside the city.
“Kapag meron kayong pasyente dito sa Dumaguete na hindi kayang gamutin o operahan dito, sabihan niyo lang ang mga opisyal dito at ako na ang sasalo sa Manila. Ako na ang magpapa-opera at maghahanap ng tirahan doon,” Go said.
He also encouraged the crowd to avail themselves of the services of the Malasakit Center at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital which he visited to check on the status of its operations before going to the location of the fire victims.
Opened in September 2018, the Malasakit Center in Dumaguete City streamlines the financial and medical assistance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Department of Health (DOH), DSWD and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“Noon, ubos na ang inyong pamasahe, ubos pa ang inyong oras kakahingi ng tulong gayong pera naman ninyo ang hinihingi ninyo. Ngayon, sa loob ng ospital, nandiyan na ang Malasakit Center. Nandiyan na ang apat na ahensiya ng gobyerno,” explained the senator, who suggested to President Rodrigo Duterte to open Malasakit Centers when he was still the Special Assistant to the President.
“Mag-aambag-ambag sila, at kung may balanse sa bill ninyo, may pondong galing kay Pangulong Duterte dahil zero balance ang target ng Malasakit Center,” Go added.
Meanwhile, in an interview after the event, Go said that the process is ongoing for the construction of a new building that will replace the old building at Dumaguete City High School that was razed by a fire in June 2019.
“Malapit na ‘yun. Lagi ko ‘yang pina-follow up. Matagal talaga ang gobyerno sa proseso. Minsan nakakapanghina ng loob sa tagal. Ang daming kailangan daanan. Kaya nagagalit minsan si Pangulong Duterte sa tagal ng proseso, sa paglagay ng pondo, pag-bidding. Matapos na lang ang isang school year,” the senator said.
“Pero pangako namin ‘yan noon na mabigyan ng pondo ang paaralan ninyo rito at mapalitan ang classroom na nasunog, para mabigyan natin ng magandang building ang ating mga estudyante,” he emphasized.
Before visiting the fire victims in Dumaguete City, Go went to Marinduque earlier to witness the turnover of calamity assistance from the national government to the province and six of its towns that were hit by Typhoon Tisoy in December.
In his message to the fire victims, Go emphasized that it is not only his duty to be a legislator. As a public servant, he said that it is also his duty to visit Filipinos, most especially those who live far from Metro Manila, in their times of need in order to listen to their concerns and provide solutions to their daily struggles.
“Trabaho namin sa Senado ang legislation, constituency at representation. Hindi naman lahat ng mga Pilipino ang makakapunta ng opisina namin para humingi ng tulong. Kaya kami na ang bababa sa inyo at pakinggan ang inyong mga hinaing at makapagbigay ng solusyon sa inyong mga problema,” he said.