Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go met Tuesday with more than 90 families whose houses were destroyed in two separate fires and assisted them with their needs. In these visits, Go commented that amid the high satisfaction rating of the President based on the latest SWS Survey, work goes on in government as the administration is committed to deliver continued service for the betterment of all Filipinos.
“Sabi nga ni Pangulo, trabaho lang siya. Sa mga nakontento po sa kanyang trabaho, maraming salamat po sa inyong suporta kay Pangulong Duterte at sa kanyang administrasyon. Sa amin po, tuloy lang ang pagtulong at ang serbisyo para sa bawat Pilipino,” he said.
Go said the president is taking criticisms in stride. “Sa mga hindi naman po kontento at hindi satisfied sa kanyang pamamalakad, sabi ni Pangulong Duterte magtatrabaho pa po siya nang maigi para sa ating bayan.”
The senator first visited at noontime the 12 families or so who were affected by a fire incident on Saturday on the 8th to 7th Streets at the Villamor area of Barangay 183 in Pasay City. He then checked the condition of the 80 families or so whose houses were hit by a fire on Sunday at the Alley F Telecom Compound, Quezon Boulevard, Barangay 310, Zone 31, District III, Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Go provided food packs and financial assistance to the victims at the covered court of their respective barangays. Also with him were representatives of various government agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Housing Authority, to provide immediate assistance to the victims and to assess their long-term needs.
In the interview, Go said that he filed in the Senate last week a bill that seeks to improve the capabilities of the Bureau of Fire Protection and its firefighters to respond to fire incidents. The bill also seeks to increase people’s awareness on fire prevention.
“Meron po akong finile na Fire Protection Modernization Bill para i-modernize ang Bureau of Fire Protection (at tulungan) ang ating mga bumbero,” Go said. “Magkakaroon din tayo ng education campaign para maiwasan ang mga sunog.”
Asked about informal settlements, where fires often occur, Go said he is seeking to solve the problem by filing a bill which, if approved, would become the National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act.
He said that the bill lays out a long-term plan to eliminate informal settlements and to provide Filipinos houses of their own. “It’s a long-term plan, (at dahil dito) sana po ay mabawasan ang squatter sa sariling bayan. Tayo ay Pilipino. Sana po ay magkaroon tayo ng sariling lupa at pamamahay na atin na talaga.“
Go also said that he wants the project to continue even after the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. “Pakikiusapan natin si Pangulong Duterte na maaprubahan po ito at even beyond his term po magkaroon ng pondo.”
He added that the proposed law would benefit not only informal settlers but also fire victims, members of the military and the Philippine National Police and even rebel returnees.
In the same interview, Go was asked what transpired in Malacañang since he was present when some members of the House of Representatives consulted President Duterte on the selection of the new speaker.
“Nagsalita na po ang ating pangulo,” Go shared. “Medyo nahirapan po ang Kongreso sa pagpili ng kanilang mamumuno, so bumalik sila kay Pangulong Duterte and they sought his advice.”
The Senator said that he is glad that the interested parties came into an agreement and can now focus on their responsibilities for the betterment of the country.
“Ang importante po dito ay makapagtrabaho na po sila dahil submission na po ng budget, so may timeline po yun at kailangan na pong mapag-usapan ito ng Kongreso. Malapit na po ang State of the Nation Address. Usually po ay pumipili na po sila ng kanilang mga committee chairmanships, lalong lalo na po itong sa Appropriations at yun po ang titingin ng ating mga budget.”
He added that President Duterte advised the representatives who are seeking for the speakership to work together. “Ang advice ni Pangulong Duterte sa tatlo ay magtrabaho na po at tama na po ang politika. Magkaisa na po tayo para sa ating mga kababayan.”
In the same interview, the senator was asked when his proposed Department of Overseas Filipino Workers would be created. He replied that he had filed a bill creating the department, and the department would address the needs not only of workers but of migrants as well.
“Ang importante sa mga Overseas Filipinos ay meron po silang departamentong malalapitan, hihingan ng tulong, hihingan ng legal advice,” Go said. “Gusto nilang umuwi, gusto nilang pumunta roon, may nagkasakit po doon na kamag-anak nila, may namatay na kamag-anak nila dito at gusto nilang umuwi, dito po sila lalapit at handa ang gobyerno na tumulong.”
He said he wants to end situations where OFWs and their family members do not know which office to seek help from and sometimes go to radio stations instead.
Go was also asked about FIBA’s decision not to allow Cleveland Cavaliers’ Filipino-American guard Jordan Clarkson to play for the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup. Go expressed his regrets over the decision and added that he is willing to help the Philippine team send the best team to the tournament.
“Sayang,” Go said. “Si Jordan Clarkson ay may dugong Pilipino. I think ang kanyang nanay ay talagang purong Pilipino. Sayang ang talento.”
Under FIBA rules, only one naturalized player can play for a national team. Gilas Pilipinas has enlisted Andray Blatche and is no longer allowed to add Clarkson.
“Kung sakaling ibibigay sa akin ang committee of sports (chairmanship sa Senate), handa po akong mamagitan para makapadala tayo ng best talent available po,” Go said.
He added that to further develop sports in the country, he is filing a bill creating a national sports academy, where young Filipino athletes can be trained. “Magkakaroon tayo ng isang eskwelahan na nakatuon lang po sa mga may potensyal na atleta natin.”
He praised Filipino athletes for their good qualities. “Ang mga Pilipino naman kahit maliliit tayo ay magagaling, may talento, maliliksi at mabibilis tayo. At unang-una matatalino ang mga Pilipino.”###