Senator Christopher “Bong” Go sent aid to the displaced boat and port workers in Guimaras whose operations of wooden-hulled boats servicing the Iloilo City – Guimaras route were put on hold due to safety concerns.
“Kung may maitutulong pa kami, sabihan niyo lang ako at tutulungan namin kayo. Basta magbayanihan po tayo at suportahan natin ang isa’t isa upang malampasan natin ang pandemyang ito at iba pang mga pagsubok,” Go said in a video call.
An outreach team carried out distribution activities at the ports of Buenavista and Jordan on Thursday, January 14. They provided meals, food packs, vitamins, masks, and face shields to a total of 1,314 beneficiaries, including boatmen, porters, and administrative workers, in strict compliance with health and safety protocols.
Selected beneficiaries also received bicycles, an alternative and convenient mode of transportation amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Others with children studying at home under the blended learning set-up were given tablets to help them participate better in their classes.
“Mga estudyante, mag-aral kayo nang mabuti. Alam niyo ba na ang mga magulang ninyo ay nagpapakamatay para lang mapag-aral kayo? Magsitapos kayo upang mapaligaya ninyo ang mga magulang ninyo. Ang edukasyon ang tanging puhunan niyo sa mundong ito,” he reminded the youth.
The Senator stressed the challenges confronting Filipinos especially in making ends meet and uplifting their livelihoods. As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he vowed that the poor and vulnerable sectors would be prioritized once a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 is made available.
“Uunahin po natin ang mga mahihirap at mga nasa vulnerable sectors na kailangan talagang lumabas para mabuhay — ito po yung mga isang kahig, isang tuka, at ang mga frontliners natin, upang unti-unti na po tayong makabalik sa normal na pamumuhay,” Go said.
Furthermore, he pledged to assist the beneficiaries or their loved ones who need medical attention. Go informed them that they may also conveniently avail of medical assistance through the Malasakit Centers at the Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital in Guimaras or in Western Visayas Medical Center in nearby Iloilo City.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which brings together the national agencies offering medical assistance programs, namely the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
As part of the intervention measures by the national government for those in distress, the DSWD provided each beneficiary with financial assistance. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority committed to extend other necessary forms of aid upon completing their assessments for their existing livelihood and training programs.
Meanwhile, Go took the opportunity to recognize and thank Lone District Representative Lucille L. Nava, Governor Samuel T. Gumarin, Buenavista Mayor Eugenio G. Reyes and Vice Mayor Cecile C. Gumarin, Jordan Mayor Ruben B. Corpuz and Vice Mayor Ma. Sheila G. Gange, DSWD representative Joselito Estember, and DTI representative Dinda Tamayo for their untiring service to their constituents.
“Kumapit lang tayo. Alam namin mahirap ngayon ang panahon dahil sa nangyayari sa bansa kaya tuloy-tuloy ang serbisyo mula sa gobyerno. Hindi kayo pababayaan ng administrasyong ito na palaging nagmamalasakit sa inyo. Tandaan niyo na mahal po namin kayo ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte,” said Go.