MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has expressed his support and commended the efforts of the Department of Health (DOH), including the health workers, in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) despite the danger it poses.
“I commend our health officials for doing their job,” Go said, noting the work of health workers on the ground is difficult as they of contracting the disease.
In an interview after his fire visit in Butuan City on Saturday, Go urged the public to support the health officials and workers, especially with the surge in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country.
“Ito ang mga panahon na dapat natin suportahan at ‘wag natin batikusin (This is the time too support and not criticize them),” said Go, who is Senate chair of the Committee on Health and Demography.
He also urged the public to refrain from spreading fake news about the global pandemic which only worsens the situation.
The senator said the government is doing its best in providing the needed assistance for those who may be affected during the 30-day community quarantine in Metro Manila.
Go said with regards to food supply, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is ready to help in the situation.
“Handa sila sa mga food packs. Mga pagkain ay handa po sila mag-distribute po, lalong-lalo na po dun sa mga nangangailangan at apektadong residente (They are ready with the food packs. They are ready to distribute them especially those who are affected residents),” he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance has also secured funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to support the DOH in fighting Covid-19.
“The DOF has sourced PHP2.5 billion and PHP450 million from PAGCOR and PCSO respectively, to fund the DOH to combat the Covid-19 contagion, which includes acquisition of test kits,” DOF officials said.
Go admitted that the test kits have been scarce and international donations must be approved first by the Food and Drug Administration.
He, however, said the shortage is a worldwide problem because the virus is novel, with no test kit, vaccine, or cure immediately or readily available.
Go also highlighted that the government has already acted on incidents of overpricing of goods in Metro Manila as the start of the 30-day community quarantine nears.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte will issue an executive order addressing this issue and that the Department of Trade and Industry is also actively monitoring establishments to deter hoarding and overpricing.
“Sa mga nag-o-overprice, nagho-hoarding, nagsasamantala, pwede kayong hulihin, ikulong, kaya huwag niyo pagsamantalahan ang panahon na ito (Those who overprice and hoard and profiteers, you could be arrested and jailed so don’t take adavantage of others during these times),” he added.
He also appealed to the public to be patient and wait for further recommendations and guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force that will be released regularly and in the coming days.
The recommendations and guidelines will also be reviewed by President Duterte, who will meet with the different members of the IATF on Monday, March 16, Go told reporters.
Go told the members of the press that both he and President Duterte have been found negative on their COVID-19 tests.
He noted that he is observing social distancing, especially in Metro Manila but also insisted that as a public servant, he will continue to help Filipinos in need of government attention.
“I am ready to serve and I am ready to die serving the people,” Go said.
He expressed hopes that he will continue to be healthy so he can always serve the Filipinos.
“Ako? Negative ako. Hopefully gusto ko po sana maging healthy at fit kami ni Pangulo para po makapagserbisyo kaming tuloy-tuloy sa kapwa Pilipino (Me? I was tested negative. Hopefully, I and the President would be fit and healthy so that we could continuously serve our fellow Flipinos). ” (PR)