Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go gave assistance on Tuesday afternoon, July 16, to around 350 families whose houses were destroyed in three separate fire incidents in Lapu-Lapu City. Go met the victims at the Lapu-Lapu City Fire District Station 1 in Barangay Gun-ob, where some of them are temporarily staying.
About 200 of the families lost their homes to the fire at nearby Purok Ube on late Saturday night, July 13. The other victims came from Sitio Bato, Barangay Maribago, where some 80 houses were hit by a fire on Sunday night, July 14. Some were victims of the fire in Sitio Ibabao, Barangay Pusok, on June 20.
Go brought lunch for the families and distributed cash assistance and grocery packs to them. Also with him were representatives from government agencies to address the various needs of the victims. Go said in an interview that he coordinated with the agencies to make sure that the victims would be able to return to their normal lives.
“Ambag-ambag (ang mga ahensiya) para makabalik (ang mga biktima) sa kanilang normal na pamumuhay. Nandito po ang gobyerno ninyo na nagmamalasakit at handang tumulong sa inyo,” Go said.
He explained that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would provide livelihood assistance to the victims, and the National Housing Authority (NHA) would assess their housing needs.
The other representatives were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Department of Health (DOH). Personnel from the Bureau of Frie Protection (BFP) also assisted at the event.
Go also shared in the interview that he had filed 19 bills and 1 resolution in his first two weeks in the Senate. As part of his legislative agenda aimed at helping the Duterte administration achieve positive genuine change felt by all Filipinos, he pointed out that most of these measures would benefit the urban poor and victims of fire incidents that he regularly visits.
“Inuna ko po ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipinong pinaka-nangangailangan ng atensyon mula sa gobyerno. Ang mga ito ay para sa mga may sakit, mga ordinaryong manggagawa, mga biktima ng kalamidad, mga pamilyang nangangailangan ng suporta at mga kabataan na pagasa ng ating bayan. Ito ang serbisyong ipinangako ko sa inyo, serbisyo at pagmamalasakit na dapat ramdam kahit saang dako ng bansa,” he said.
Senate Bill No. 204, or “Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2019,” aims to enable the Bureau of Fire Protection to hire more personnel, acquire modern fire equipment and provide more trainings to firefighters, among others.
Senate Bill No. 205, or “Disaster Resilience Act of 2019,” seeks to create “an empowered, highly-specialized and responsive Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) with clear unity of command,” replacing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDDRMC).
Senate Bill No. 203, or “National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act of 2019,” aims to provide solutions to the housing crisis in the country, including the housing needs of informal settlers, where fire incidents frequently occur, and of other fire victims.
The other bills that Go mentioned seek to create a Department of Overseas Filipinos, postpone the 2020 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, impose the death penalty on heinous crimes involving illegal drugs and plunder, increase the benefits for solo parents, and institutionalize the Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop for patients seeking financial assistance.
Asked for a message to fire victims, Go said he would continue to visit the different parts of the country to listen to the grievances of the people and provide solutions to their problems. “Kahit saang sulok kayo ng Pilipinas, pangako ko sa inyo papasukin ko para marinig ko ang inyong hinaing at mabigyang solusyon ang inyong mga problema.”
Before heading to Lapu-Lapu, Go went to Tagbilaran City, Bohol, to provide assistance to to the victims of a fire Cogon Public Market that razed 80 stalls on July 10. He traveled from his hometown in Davao despite the threat brought by typhoon Falcon.
The senator said that the people should not lose hope because they can always count on the government. “Huwag mawalan ng pag-asa. Andito ang gobyerno para sa inyo.”###
Habang ginagawaran ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ng housing units ang ilang rebeldeng nagbalik-loob sa gobyerno, napansin ni Senator Bong Go na naka-tsinelas lang ang isa sa kanila, kaya binigyan niya ito ng sapatos. Natuwa ang dating rebelde sa simple at mula sa pusong regalo ni Kuya Bong. Ginanap ang paggawad ng 34 na housing units at demilitarization ng mga isinukong armas ngayong araw, July 16, sa Barangay Cuambogan, Tagum City. Sa pamamagitan ng pabahay at iba pang assistance, tuluy-tuloy na ang pagbabagong buhay ng mga dating rebelde sa Davao region.