Bong Go cares for Maasin City, Leyte
JAVIER JOE ISMAEL
The Manila Times
IN keeping with his unwavering support for the transport sector, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday, August 11, visited Maasin City, Southern Leyte where he provided aid to hundreds of tricycle operators and drivers association (TODA) members. Acknowledging the struggles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Go, in his speech, gave recognition to the TODA members for continuing to work hard and providing for their families while making available public transport during these challenging times. Together with his team and Sen. Robinhood Padilla, Go led the relief operation at Barangay Combado Covered Court and provided relief items, such as grocery packs, vitamins, masks, meals and shirts to the 500 beneficiaries composed of transport workers. Furthermore, select recipients were provided with phablets, shoes, watches, and other forms of aid from the senator. As part of his advocacy to encourage more Filipinos to engage in sports, Go, who was recently reelected as chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, gave bicycles and balls for volleyball and basketball to select individuals. Apart from the senator’s aid, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development granted each beneficiary financial assistance while the Department of Trade and Industry conducted its assessment for qualified recipients who may be provided with livelihood support. Lastly, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority then evaluated potential TODA members who may qualify for its scholarship programs. Meanwhile, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go also reached out to those with health concerns and encouraged them to visit the Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital in the city where a Malasakit Center has been established to provide indigent patients with medical assistance from government agencies. The Malasakit Centers program was initiated by Go in 2018 after he witnessed the struggles of financially incapacitated Filipinos to get medical assistance from the government. The program was later institutionalized under Republic Act (RA) 11463 in 2019. RA 11463 mandates the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all Department of Health-run hospitals, and the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, to provide poor and indigent patients convenient access to medical assistance programs by partnered agencies. “Mayroon po kayong Malasakit Center dito sa Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital. Walang pinipili ang Malasakit Center. At kung sakali na kailangan ninyong magpaopera sa Maynila, sa mga specialty hospitals, halimbawa, Heart Center, o (Philippine) Children’s (Medical Center), o sa Kidney (Institute), lapitan ninyo lang po kami at kami na ho ang tutulong na magpaopera sa inyo sa Maynila (You have a Malasakit Center here at the Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital. In case you need to be operated in Manila, at the specialty hospitals, such as the Heart Center, or (Philippine) Children’s (Medical Center), or at the Kidney (Institute), just approach us and we will help you with the needed operation in Manila),” Go offered. After the event, Go also joined residents in celebrating the 22nd Cityhood Anniversary of Maasin City at the city’s gymnasium where he commended the local government for always prioritizing the welfare and interests of its constituents, especially at this time of crisis. Meanwhile, Padilla then expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome they have received from the people of Maasin City, saying, “Taos-pusong pasasalamat po ang aming ipinapaabot ni Senador Bong Go sa buong probinsya ng Southern Leyte sa inyong pagsuporta sa akin, lalo na po dito sa Lungsod ng Maasin. Maraming salamat po, Maasinhons! (I and Senator Bong Go wholeheartedly thank the whole province of Southern Leyte for supporting me, especially here in the City of Maasin. Thank you so much, Maasinhons!).” Committed to assisting in the faster development of the city, Go supported several road rehabilitation, construction of a slaughterhouse, acquisition of a dump truck, installation of street lights, and the improvement of Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital. Furthermore, he also committed to helping in the construction of a Super Health Center in the town of San Ricardo. “Nandirito lang po ako sa Senado na patuloy na magseserbisyo po sa inyo sa abot po ng aking makakaya. Mga kababayan ko, minsan lang tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na puwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa tao, gawin na po natin ngayon. Dahil hindi na po tayo babalik sa mundong ito. Maraming salamat po (I am here at the Senate to serve you to the best of my ability. My countrymen, we only live once in this world. If there is anything good or help that we can do for our fellow men, let’s do it now because we are not coming back to this world. Thank you very much),” Go added.