Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) and aspiring senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go assured overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that he will work to provide them with better and faster services.
“Makakaasa po kayo na mabibigyan ng agarang aksyon ang inyong mga hinaing,” Go said on Sunday while visiting OFWs and other overseas-based Filipinos in Hong Kong’s Deep Water Bay Public Beach and Central District.
Go was welcomed by some 2,500 attendees, comprised of OFWs, Philippine officials in Hong Kong, and other Filipinos residing in the area.
Go readily took selfies with event attendees, interacted with them and listened to their pressing concerns. He greatly appreciated the hospitality shown by his fellow Filipinos.
“Mahal namin ang aming kapwa Pilipino, mga OFWs, alam niyo ‘yun. Kaya po kami naririto, minsan po, nakikipaghalubilo sa inyo, (ay para) marinig po ang inyong mga hinaing at mapasaya kayo kahit sandali,” Go said.
“Alam ko, ito ‘yung mga araw na nagtitipon kayo, Linggo. Maraming salamat po sa Hong Kong OFW (community), sa mainit ninyong pagtanggap sa akin,” he added.
Bong Go mentioned that one of the ways to fast-track transactions of OFWs is by helping the Philippine government create a Department of OFWs, focused solely on attending to OFW needs and concerns.
“Alam niyo po, mahal na mahal namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga kapatid nating OFWs. Unang-una, isusulong ko po ‘yung Department of OFWs para po may (ahensya ng gobyerno na) nakatutok sa kanila,” Go told audience members.
Currently, OFWs process different transactions at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), and Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) under the Office of the President (OP), to name a few.
Integrating multiple services in one agency will help OFWs save time and resources as the agency will cut across department boundaries and lessens red tape.
“Halimbawa, kung noon po’y sa iba-ibang ahensya kayo lalapit (tulad ng) POEA, OWWA, DoLE, DFA, at saka Embahada ng Pilipinas, ngayon po, kung meron na tayong Deparment of OFWs, ‘yun na po ang makikipag-coordinate sa DoLE, DFA, OWWA, POEA, at saka sa Embahada ng Pilipinas, lalong-lalo na (kung tungkol) sa mga concerns ninyo,” Go explained.
Bong Go also spoke about his intention of helping returning OFWs who plan to work in the Philippines for good.
“Napaka-importante sa amin ang OFWs. Alam niyo, di po nababayaran ang lungkot na mahiwalay sa pamilya. Mas nanaisin po nilang manirahan at magtrabaho sa ating bansa. Kaya’t pagbubutihin natin ang mga reintegration programs para sa mga ayaw nang magtrabaho sa labas ng bansa,” Go stated.
Go took time to share his legislative agenda for family members that OFWs left in the Philippines. He plans to help build more Malasakit Centers as well as provide senior citizens with better benefits.
“Sa Malasakit Center, pinag-isa na natin ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na nagbibigay ng tulong medikal,” Go said.