Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go vowed to craft and push for legislative measures that would ease the hardships of everyday facing most Filipinos and raise the quality of life to be expected in the country, should he win his bid for a Senate seat in next year’s midterm elections.
Go made the promise while visiting victims of a recent fire in Barangay 485, Zone 45 in Sampaloc, Manila. While there, Go, now a private citizen since resigning from his position as SAP, distributed relief goods and donations for the victims. The provisions of school and work uniforms, clothes, food and cash assistance were donations from private sector supporters of Go and from Go himself.
“Mayroon po akong mga kaibigan na talagang willing tumulong imbes na igastos po nila sa mga ibang bagay. Sabi ko dito n’yo nalang itulong sa mga mahihirap. Malaking bagay, kaunting pambili ng mga groceries, mga damit,” said Go.
Go regularly visits victims of fires and other disasters as part of his advocacy of raising the quality of life for Pinoys.
“Bisyo ko na magserbisyo,” Go said, in reference to his habit of visiting and providing aid to poor families, especially those located in far-flung, hard-to-reach areas.
“Ngayon nasa pribado na ako, I am considered resigned at kung saan man po ako dalhin ng tadhana ay pangako ko ‘yan sa ating mga kapatid na Pilipino. Papasukin ko kahit saang sulok, maski anong eskinita ng lugar ninyo papasukin ko. Hindi po ako natatakot kahit na pinakasulok o pinaka eskenita pa po ‘yan, mo-motorin ko po ‘yan,” he said.
The fire in Barangay 485 affected around 60 families.
Speaking to the victims, he encouraged those who need medical assistance to avail of the services provided by Malasakit Centers. The centers, a program of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, cater to poverty-burdened Filipinos and provide medical care for those who often cannot afford it. Consultation, treatment, and medicine are comprehensively provided by the centers thanks to partnerships with government agencies such as PCSO, PAGCOR, DOH, and DSWD. They act as one-stop shops where patients can avail of social services and be provided with the lowest cost, and even free, quality healthcare and medicine.
When still with the government, Go spearheaded the Malasakit Center project. President Duterte had said that Go was “instrumental in arriving at the right decision through proper consultation”, when discussing his push for putting up Malasakit Centers nationwide.
Go recently also followed up with victims of another fire, this one in Pandacan also in Manila. He distributed more relief goods, clothes, and uniforms to the victims.
“I’ve been doing this when I was still in the government. It is a normal thing. Ngayon lang nabibigyan ng kulay,” he said.
Among the laws Go plans to focus on if elected to the Senate would be those which improve the preventive and rehabilitative sides of disaster management. Often on the ground and interacting directly with victims of incidents of fire, flooding, or other calamities, Go sees what is lacking in the current system of recovery.
“Paiigtingin po natin ang mga batas ukol sa Fire Safety Measures, kasali na diyaan ‘yung pag support sa Bureau of Fire Protection upang makabili ng mga bagongequipment, at ang pagpapatayo ng maayos na evacuation centers,” he said.