Bong Go sends aid to indigents in Zamboanga del Norte
JAVIER JOE ISMAEL
The Manila Times
SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reaffirmed his commitment to prioritize the wellbeing and health of Filipinos during the relief activity mounted by his team in Labason, Zamboanga del Norte on Friday, May 6. In a video message, Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also encouraged the residents with medical concerns to visit Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital in Dapitan City or Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center in Dipolog City where there are Malasakit Centers ready to assist them. Primarily authored and sponsored by Go and signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019, the Malasakit Centers Act mandates all Department of Health (DoH)-run hospitals and the Philippine General Hospital to establish their own Malasakit Centers to ensure that poor and indigent patients can conveniently access medical programs offered by the DoH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. “Ngayon po, mayroon na pong 151 Malasakit Centers sa buong Pilipinas. Nasa loob ng ospital ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong sa inyo para maging ‘zero balance’ ang inyong billing (For now, we have already 151 Malasakit Centers nationwide. The four agencies of the government that will help you make your billing ‘zero balance’ are already inside the hospital),” Go said. “Tuluy-tuloy na itong programa dahil para sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte, hindi dapat pinahihirapan ang mga pasyente. Dapat tulungan natin sila para hindi na sila pumipila sa iba’t ibang ahensya para lang makahingi ng tulong sa gobyerno (This is already a continuing program because for me and President Duterte, this should not be made difficult for the patients. We should help them so they will no longer go around the different agencies to ask for help from the government),” he explained. Go’s team distributed snacks and masks to 1,666 residents at the municipal gymnasium. They also gave bicycles, shoes and phablets to select recipients. In addition, representatives from DSWD extended financial assistance while the DoH gave additional supplies of masks. The Department of Trade and Industry also assessed potential beneficiaries for its livelihood program. Lastly, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority conducted a free National Certificate or NC2 Tesda courses training. Go then appealed to those qualified yet unvaccinated residents to take advantage of the national inoculation program as this is the country’s key to return to normalcy. “Kung mahal niyo po ang inyong mga anak, mahal niyo po ang inyong mga pamilya, pakiusap lang po sa inyo, magpabakuna na ho kayo. Magtiwala ho kayo sa bakuna, huwag ho kayong matakot sa bakuna (If you love your children and your family, please get yourselves vaccinated. Trust the vaccine. Do not be afraid of the vaccine),” he added. Go, who also serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported the concretion of roads along Sitio Matin-aw, Lawigan to Balas Proper and the farm-to-market road in Barangay Bobongan. He also helped in securing funds for the construction of the Labason Super Health Center. A similar distribution activity was also mounted in the town of Liloy for fire victims last April 27.