WITH barely two weeks to go before the May 13 national elections, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go consolidated his bailiwick on Monday with a four-city motorcade in the Davao region.
For the first half of his motorcade, Go started from the city of Tagum in Davao del Norte and proceeded later to Mati City in Davao Oriental. He also went to Digos City in Davao del Sur and to Malita City in Davao Occidental, receiving a rousing welcome from the residents in all these areas.
“Sobrang init ng panahon ngayon pero sobrang init din po ang pagtanggap ng tao. Salamat nang marami sa init ng pagtangap ninyo, nakakawala ng pagod. Hindi lang naman itong pangangampanya sa akin gusto ko rin pong makahalubilo ang ating mga kababayan at makapag-iwan man lang ng ngiti sa kanila,” Go said in an ambush interview after his Tagum and Mati motorcade.
Noting that it is physically impossible to go around the entire Philippines within the campaign period, he said he decided to take time to see his fellow Mindanaoans particularly in Region 11, in the Davao region.
“Hindi ko po nalilimutan ang sarili kong kapit-bahay dito sa Region 11, dito sa Davao region. Importante din po sila sa akin na kahit papano po makita man lang nila ako bago po darating ang araw ng eleksyon,” Go said.
Noting the coming celebration of the Labor Day, Go also said he would help President Duterte realize his campaign promise to end contractualization.
“Meron na pong pinirmahan si Pangulong Duterte na EO (Executive Order) tungkol sa contractualization. Subalit hindi pa po sapat ito. Dapat pang silipin ang Labor Code at lalong-lalo na po yung security of tenure ng ating mga empleyado,” Go said.
“Ako naman po nagmamalasakit din po ako sa ating mga manggagawa. Pero dapat po nating balansehin ang manggagawa at negosyante po kasi yung mga negosyante, sila ang nagbibigay ng trabaho sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.
In addition, Go said it is time the area of Mindanao, particularly the Davao region, should get a fair share in the infrastructure projects to spur economic development, create jobs and uplift the lives of the people.
“Marami pong mga nasimulan na at mga plano para sa karagdagang mga infrastructure projects si Pangulong Duterte lalong-lalo na sa Mindanao. Asahan po ninyo ang suporta ko sa mga ito,” Go said.
In Tagum, for instance, Go noted that the P3.2-billion, 1.62-km. flyover project that stretches along Pan-Philippine Highway, will not only provide easier and faster travel time but also prevent heavy traffic in the future. It is expected to be completed by December this year.
He likewise cited the Mindanao Rail Project (Phase 1), a P35.2-billion, 102-km. single track rail running through Digos, Davao, and Tagum cities in Region 11 that will allow more comfortable and reliable transportation along its service areas. It is expected to be operational in 2022.
As for Davao Oriental, Go said the province will greatly benefit from the Mati Airport Development projects, which will cut the long three-hour land travel from Davao city as direct flights would soon operate in the region. It is seen to boost tourism in the province and spur economic development. The new passenger terminal of the airport is expected to be opened this year.
Go said an estimated 10,000 jobs and other business opportunities would soon open up for residents of Davao Oriental with the establishment of an industrial park in the province. The $27-billion industrial park by Pionaire Finance Ltd. will be located in Banay-Banay town, Davao Oriental.
The economic zone will contain a 2,700-MW liquefied natural gas power plant, petrochemical refinery, fertilizer factory, cement factory, manufacturing facility, agri-business park, textile park, among others. The groundbreaking for the project was held on March 21, 2018.
In addition, Go noted that several areas in Mati are considered for assessment on potentials for geothermal energy. The project will undergo three phases: geological, geophysical, and geochemical survey. If successful the project would provide an alternative source of energy and power.
Go also pointed to various infrastructure projects, including farm-to-market roads, that would benefit farmers and the agricultural sector in the province.