“Gusto kong mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati.”
This was Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s statement when he rushed to Quiricada St., Sta. Cruz, Manila on Thursday, October 24, right after his fire visit in Laguna to distribute assistance to 264 families affected in a fire incident in the area.
The fire that affected more than a hundred buildings and structures on October 22 left an 800,000-peso worth of damage and individuals homeless.
Responding to their needs, Go distributed food packs, groceries and financial assistance to the fire victims.
“Alam ko na ang sinapit niyo ay hindi madali ngunit dapat lamang na agad tumulong kaming nasa posisyon para maibsan ang inyong hirap ngayon,” Go said.
“May dala po akong pagkain, groceries at cash assistance muna para makatulong sa inyong pang araw-araw ngayon,” Go added.
Go also told students affected by the disaster that he will help replace their uniforms and school supplies so they could immediately go back to school despite their recent mishap.
“Sa mga estudyante, ako na po ang bahala sa inyong uniporme at school supplies. Ayokong maistorbo ang inyong pag-aaral dahil sa sinapit ninyo,” the senator said.
To help those who want to go home to their respective provinces, the senator also offered to pay for their fare. Go also encouraged the victims, particularly a 23-year-old John Rodrigo Tapa who sustained a laceration on his left index finger, to go to the nearest Malasakit Center and avail of the free services offered by the program.
“Gusto ko rin na pumunta kayo sa pinakamalapit na Malasakit Center para magamit niyo ang mga serbisyo doon. Sa pamamagitan ng Malasakit Center, isang form na lang para sa lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno tulad ng DOH, DSWD, PCSO at PhilHealth, na maaaring magbigay sa inyo ng financial medical assistance,” the senator explained.
Joining Go in his visit are representatives from concerned government agencies and organizations, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Housing Authority (NHA), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) which also extended assistance to the fire victims. Representatives from the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce were also at the site and distributed food and donations.
In an ambush interview, Go stressed that his fire visits are simply meant to aid the victims and bring joy to them. He also clarified that the personalities who accompany him during these visits are volunteers who just want to help their fellow Filipinos.
“Ako po, dinadala ko mga artista dito [dahil] gusto ko pong pasayahin ang ating mga kababayan, gusto ko pong mag iwan ng kaunting ngiti sa kanilang mukha sa panahon ng kanilang pagdadalamhati,” Go emphasized.
“Naaawa po ako sa kanila, umiiyak po ako nakikita sila humihingi ng tulong, nagmamakaawa sa tulong mula sa gobyerno. Itong mga artistang ito boluntaryo po itong nagseserbisyo ng walang bayad,” the senator said, adding that the personalities are not paid for their service to the people.
Go added that he is grateful for what he has already achieved and as a senator, he is committed to simply continue serving the Filipinos.
“Senador na po ako, wala na po akong hihingin pa sa Panginoong Diyos. Ibinigay na po niya ang lahat at ibabalik ko po sa tao ang serbisyong inaasam,” Go answered.
The senator also said that these visits are just one of the ways for him to share his blessings and give back for the support he received from his fellow Filipinos.
“I-share ko lang po kung ano ‘yung blessing na dumating sa akin. Ibinabalik ko lang po sa tao,” he said.
Go added that he is just fulfilling his promise to the people when he ran for senator last elections that he will keep going to communities to listen to their concerns and act as a bridge to the President to provide solutions to the people’s everyday struggles.
“After proclamation ko pa lang, nangako ako sa taumbayan na iikutin ko kayo kahit saang sulok kayo ng Pilipinas. Tapos na po ang eleksyon, Senador na po ako, kailangan ng tao ang tulong, ipagkakait ba natin sa kanila?” he said.
Go stressed that his goal in going around the country is to serve those in need and not for any political gain. He added that apart from legislation, his mandate as a senator is to be their representative so that their voices will be heard and their concerns be given solutions by the government.
“Basta committed ako. Ang trabaho ko lang isang Senador — legislation, constituency at representation. Di ko po matiis nakaupo lang diyan sa Senado tapos mga kababayan natin dito nag-aantay ng tulong nagmamakaawa. Nandito po ako para bigyan kaagad ng solusyon,” he said.
Go added that he is working hard to make sure that the positive change felt by many Filipinos is continued beyond the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Makikita niyo naman po. Sang-ayon ang taumbayan dahil walang ibang interes ang ating Pangulo, wala kaming ibang interes dito kung hindi ipagpatuloy ang pagbabago,” he said.
Meanwhile, the senator also addressed concerns on the reported water shortage in some parts of Metro Manila.
“Nagalit ang Pangulo, binuksan naman nila, merong tubig. Hindi ako naniniwala sa mga shortage na ‘yan,” Go said.
He also called on water suppliers not to pass the burden to the people and to resolve issues as indicated in their contracts.
“Huwag niyo pong ipasa yung burden sa taumbayan. Pumasok po kayo diyan sa negosyong ‘yan, sagutin niyo po. Huwag po kayong pumirma ng kontrata na hindi niyo kayang i-comply ‘yung pagsusupply ng tubig,” Go added.
Go added that he will ask the President to review the contracts of these water suppliers.
“Yes dapat ipareview ng Pangulo. I will suggest to the President na i-review ‘yung kontrata na hindi po pabor sa taumbayan,” said Go.
“Dapat ‘pag pumasok ka sa kontratang yan ay dapat panindigan niyo yung supply ng tubig, pati yung babayaran, penalties. Do not pass to the public the burden,” the senator added.