During his visit to fire victims in Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go assured the public on Monday, December 2, that the government is preparing for Typhoon Tisoy, mentioning that President Rodrigo Duterte has called a meeting with Cabinet secretaries to discuss the preparations.
“Ngayon po ay magpupulong si Pangulong Duterte along with Cabinet secretaries para sa preparasyon. Ang gobyerno ay maghahanda,” said Go, also urging the public to also prepare for the looming typhoon.
“Tayo rin po ay maghanda. Maghanda tayo ng pagkain at iba pang kailangan. Punta tayo sa lugar na safe. Bantayan natin ang ating mga anak,” Go advised the public.
“Importante ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” Go emphasized.
Packing strong winds and heavy rain, the typhoon is expected to make a landfall Monday evening in the Bicol region.
Meanwhile, during his interaction with the fire victims, Go urged them to prepare for the looming typhoon. The senator added that his visit aims to put a smile on their faces on top of providing them assistance.
“Nandito ako para magbigay ng konting ngiti sa panahon ng kanilang pagdadalamhati. Merong financial assistance lahat ng biktima. Meron din grocery at pagkain para sa inyo,” Go said.
Go distributed relief and financial assistance to 1,006 families or 4,115 individuals affected by the fire incident. The senator also said he and the local government unit will provide uniforms and other school supplies to students who lost theirs in the fire.
Different government agencies were also present during the visit to provide additional government assistance to the residents. Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) assessed the situation of the victims to identify their needs and provide them with appropriate assistance.
“Pinakiusapan ko din ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na tumulong. Tulung tulong lang po para makabangon sila sa kanilang dinanas,” Go explained.
In assuring those who were injured or in need of medical help, the senator added that he is willing to assist them, saying “Wala bang nasaktan sa inyo? ‘Yun ang important sa akin. Alam ko masakit na mawalan ng gamit pero nabibili naman po iyon. Magtulungan po tayo para mapalitan iyon.”
“Kung sino yung mga may sakit at gustong magpagamot, sabihin niyo lang po, kami po ay handang tumulong para makapagpagamot kayo. Kung kailangan niyo po ng espesyalista, halimbawa sakit sa kidney, sabihin niyo lang po. Kami na ang bahala,” Go said as he was accompanied by local officials of Mandaluyong City who expressed their commitment to also help their constituents in need of medical attention.
The senator also shared with the residents the Malasakit Center which would allow the victims to request government medical financial assistance from concerned agencies through a more efficient and streamlined process.
“Meron po tayong Malasakit Centers sa Novaliches District Hospital, Heart Center, Lung Center, at Philippine Children’s Medical Center. Plano rin natin magkaroon dito sa Mandaluyong,” Go said.
He added, “Ano ba ito? Noon, meron kayong bill sa hospital, pipila kayo sa iba’t ibang ahensya, ubos na ang panahon ninyo, ubos pa pera ninyo. Ngayon, may Malasakit Center na tayo, naroon na ang lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno. Magbibigay sila ng medical assistance. Ang target nito ay zero-balance para mabawasan ang bayarin ng kailangan magpagamot.”
Go also emphasized that all Filipino citizens are entitled to the assistance provided by the centers, saying, “Basta Pilipino ka at kailangan mo ng tulong, qualified ka humingi ng tulong sa Malasakit Center. Inyo po iyan.”
The Malasakit Center Act that seeks to establish these centers in all DOH-run hospitals is scheduled to be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte soon.
Asked on what motivates him to continue to go around the country to assist victims of fire and other calamities, Go said, “Kagaya ng sinabi ko noon pangako ko ‘yan at tinutupad ko lang po ang pangako ko noon, kahit saan eskinita kayo ng Pilipinas basta kaya ng aking panahon ay pupuntahan ko po kayo.”
As for his reaction on the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games opening on a high note, Go congratulated Filipinos athletes, saying that they have already surpassed the country’s medal count in the previous edition of the games.
“Congratulations sa lahat! Nakaka-proud po bilang Pilipino. Congratulations sa lahat ng atleta dahil na surpass na po natin ‘yung ating previous medal count na nakuha natin sa Malaysia,” he said. “Nasa pangalawang araw na po at ‘yung target natin (at least) mag-top three tayo ngayong SEA Games.”
Go also said that he suggested to President Duterte the awarding of a presidential award to athletes to further encourage them to excel in sports.
“Sabi ko nga nag-suggest rin po ako kay Pangulong Duterte na magbigay siya ng presidential award para po mas maengganyo ang ating atleta,” he said.
“Magbibigay rin po si Pangulo ng separate incentives aside from mandated by law para mas lalong maengganyo ang mga atleta. Go for gold tayo. We win as one,” he added.