Bong Go aids typhoon victims in Balasan, Iloilo; urges local officials to ensure gov’t assistance reach those most in need

Bong Go aids typhoon victims in Balasan, Iloilo; urges local officials to ensure gov’t assistance reach those most in need

- in Philippines
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@MindaNation

During his visit to Typhoon Ursula victims in Balasan, Iloilo, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged local officials to ensure that all aid and assistance coming from the national government reach the victims.

“Ako po ay nakikiusap, ito ay panahon ng pagtutulungan, makonsensya na lang po tayo. Kung anuman po na tulong na ipinadala dito para po yan sa ating mga kababayan,” Go said.

“Pinili po kayo ng mga tao bilang leaders, malaki din po ang tiwala ko sa kanila kaya naman sana ay ibigay nila sa mga tao ang mga dumarating na tulong,” he added.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that in Western Visayas, around 5,700 families, or 21,900 individuals, were affected by Typhoon Ursula.

Fatalities were also reported in the region with 13 deaths—9 from Iloilo and 4 in Capiz.

During the visit at the Balasan Gym, Go distributed relief and financial assistance to 213 affected families who are still reeling from the disaster. The senator also said he will provide uniforms and other school supplies to students who lost theirs during the storm. 

“Mayroon po akong dalang mga pagkain, grocery pack. Ang programa ng gobyerno, nandito din sila para makatulong po sa inyo,” he said.

Different government agencies were also present during the visit to provide the victims with appropriate assistance. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will provide cash assistance to victims based on the validated list prepared by local leaders.

“May programa tayo sa gobyerno. Nandito ang iba’t ibang mga ahensya para magbigay ng assistance. Iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno, tulung-tulong tayo para makaahon kaagad sila,” he said, adding that those who need to rebuild their homes may seek help from the NHA.

“Ang NHA, merong programa na magbibigay sila ng housing materials sa lahat ng mga totally damaged. Bibigyan lahat sila para makapagpatayo kaagad ng bahay,” Go said.

“‘Yung Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) naman may livelihood program. Iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno magbibigay rin po ng tulong,” he added.

As for victims with medical conditions that require a specialist, Go said he is willing to bring them to medical specialists in Manila to have them checked.

“Sa mga nais magpa-opera dahil walang espesyalista dito sa kanilang lugar, ako na po ang sasalo para makapagpa-opera sila sa Manila,” Go said.

To promote preparedness and mitigate risks caused by natural disasters, Go also said that he has filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 205 or the “Department of Disaster Resilience Act of 2019” which proposes for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience, “an empowered, highly specialized department with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.”

“Layunin po ng batas na ito na magkaroon ng hiwalay na departamento na tututok sa pag-manage natin ng mga sakuna. Tapos na kami sa committee hearing at ipu-push ko ito na mapabilis,” said Go.

Back in November 11, the senator emphasized during a Joint Committee Hearing of the National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation; Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation; Ways and Means; and Finance Committees the country’s need to be more proactive in its approach in dealing with natural disasters.

“Equally important na proactive tayo bago ang sakuna. Dapat may magtuturo sa mga LGUs kung ano ang dapat gawin sakaling may darating na sakuna. Handa tayo dapat bago pa ito dumating,” said Go. 

“Kapag may isang departamento na, alam na ng ating mga kababayan kung sino ang kanilang lalapitan. Alam na din kung sino ang makikipag-coordinate sa iba’t ibang ahensya. Huwag na nating hintayin na magkaroon pa ng bagyo, sunog, lindol,” he added.

After his visit to Balasan, the senator proceeded to Pontevedra town to extend similar assistance to typhoon victims in the province of Capiz.

“Kahit saang sulok po ng Pilipinas, pupuntahan ko po kayo hanggang sa makakaya ko para magbigay ng tulong at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go told the victims, explaining that he regularly visits victims of calamities to listen to their concerns and provide solutions to their daily struggles. 

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