STAYING true to his commitment to personally listen to the plight of disaster-stricken Filipinos wherever they are, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go visited and assisted victims of a fire in Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manocmanoc, Boracay Island, in Aklan on Tuesday, October 29, where he distributed financial and food assistance to them.
“Pumupunta ako sa mga nasunugan kasi nais kong mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati. Gusto ko marinig ang kanilang hinaing at mabigyan ng solusyon ang pang-araw araw nilang problema,” Go said.
Concerned government agencies joined the senator during the visit to provide additional assistance to the victims. Go said that he has coordinated with the National Housing Authority (NHA) regarding possible relocation sites for those who lost their homes. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will provide livelihood assistance to eligible victims.
“Nakipag-ugnayan na po ako sa National Housing Authority para sa relocation sites ng mga nasunugan. Magbibigay din po ng livelihood assistance ang Department of Trade and Industry para sa inyong hanapbuhay,” said Go.
As for students who lost their uniforms and school supplies in the fire which damaged 284 houses and affected 863 families, Go said that he will help the victims so they can go back to school immediately.
The senator also encouraged victims who were injured or those who needed medical attention to avail of the services from the Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop office hosting concerned government agencies which provide medical assistance to those in need.
“Sa mga nasaktan o may malalang karamdaman, pumunta lamang po kayo sa malapit na Malasakit Center sa inyo. Pera po ninyo iyon. Ibinabalik lamang po sa inyo,” Go said, adding that a Malasakit Center will soon be established in Aklan.
Malasakit Center will soon be opened at the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo, Aklan. Another is set to be launched in nearby province of Capiz at the Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital in Roxas City. Iloilo City hosts one of the earliest Malasakit Centers in the country, located at the Western Visayas Medical Center. It was opened last June 20, 2018.
“Handa na po ang Malasakit Center sa Aklan. May inaayos na lamang po. Babalik po ako rito para sa launching,” he said.
Meanwhile, during an ambush interview, Go gave updates on his proposed Magna Carta for Barangays.
“Sa ngayon, nasa committee level pa po ito, pinag-uusapan pa namin. Pondo talaga ang kailangan. Most likely sa 2021 ang effectivity nito kung maipasa. In the meantime, nag-recommend ako kay Pangulong Duterte na bigyan muna ng incentives ang mga barangay officials sa darating na Pasko,” Go said, adding that he understands the amount of work that barangay officials undertake to serve their communities.
“Naiintindihan ko po ang trabaho ninyo. Makakaaasa kayong isusulong ko ang kapakanan ninyo para mas makapagserbisyo kayo ng husto sa inyong mga komunidad,” Go added.
Senate Bill (SB) No. 391, or the Magna Carta for Barangays Act of 2019, aims to “further strengthen the barangays, recognizing their critical role as the country’s basic political unit and frontliner in the delivery of government services.”
During a Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting on October 17, the proposed SB 391 was transformed into the Barangay Services Compensation Act which will provide for additional compensation to benefit barangay officials.
While the proposal is being deliberated in the Senate, Go suggested to President Rodrigo Duterte the provision of cash incentives to barangay officials in December. If funds are available, cash incentives will also be granted to them next year.