On Monday, November 30, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go spent the morning visiting flood victims at the Samonte Park in Cavite City to check on their welfare and lead the distribution of emergency assistance. He committed that the government is pursuing a holistic approach to help affected communities fully recover and build back better.
“Nandito lang kami ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte na palaging handang magserbisyo sa inyong lahat dito sa Cavite City sa abot ng aming makakaya. Wala pong tulog ang serbisyo, lalo na sa panahong pinaka-nangangailangan ang mga Pilipino,” he assured the residents.
“Huwag kayong magpasalamat sa amin dahil trabaho namin ang magserbisyo sa inyo. Kami ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan ninyo kami ng pagkakataon na magserbisyo sa ating bayan,” he added.
Heavy rains from Typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses had triggered floods displacing thousands of Filipinos in early November. Hence, Go’s team continues to respond to calls for help and distribute aid to various affected towns and cities in Cavite and in other provinces, such as Rizal, Cagayan, Isabela, and in Metro Manila as well as in Bicol Region.
During Go’s personal visit to Cavite City, his team provided meals, food packs, vitamins, masks, face shields and other forms of assistance to 500 flood victims while strictly observing the necessary health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
Selected beneficiaries were also provided with bicycles, an alternative mode of transportation given limited options amid the pandemic. Others received tablets so their children can participate in the online classroom activities that are being carried out under the blended learning approach implemented in schools.
“Pakiusap ko sa mga bata, mag-aral kayong mabuti bilang konsuwelo sa inyong mga magulang. ‘Yan lang ang maigaganti ninyo sa kanila na nagpapakamatay para lang makapagtapos kayo ng pag-aaral,” reminded the Senator.
As part of the Duterte Administration’s commitment to implement a whole-of-government approach towards recovery of affected communities, various agencies were also present during the activity to aid the residents.
Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided each household with financial assistance. The Department of Trade and Industry and National Housing Authority both committed to extend aid upon completing their assessment of the beneficiaries’ immediate needs for livelihood and housing, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture granted financial assistance to qualified farmers and fisherfolk under the Enhanced KADIWA ni Ani at Kita Inclusive Food Supply Chain Program. They also distributed perishable and non-perishable food items to the neediest households.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go reaffirmed that the poor and vulnerable sectors of society would be prioritized once an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine is available.
“Ang pangunahing interes ko ay ang availability, accessibility, and affordability ng mga bakuna kontra COVID-19. Dapat rin na kayanin nating mabigyan ng libre ang mga mahihirap at vulnerable sectors para makabalik na sila sa normal na pamumuhay,” Go said.
“Dapat rin siguraduhin na safe at effective ang vaccine na gagamitin natin. We should not take chances. Buhay ng mga Pilipino ang nakataya dito,” he added.
Speaking to the beneficiaries, Go offered to assist those who require but do not have the resources to access urgent medical care.
“Kung sino pong kailangan sa inyong magpa-opera sa Maynila, transplant o kahit anong operasyon, sabihin niyo lang at ang aking opisina ang sasagot sa operasyon at pamasahe ninyo,” he said.
He informed families with medical concerns that they may conveniently avail of medical assistance from government through the nearest Malasakit Center at General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital in Trece Martires City. The center is a one-stop shop which brings together the offices of the Department of Health, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
At the end of the activity, the Senator also recognized the efforts of local officials for their dedication to serve their constituents. Among those present during the activity were Vice Governor Ramon Revilla III, Board Member Romel R. Enriquez, Mayor Bernardo S. Paredes, Association of Barangay Captains President Apple P. Paredes and National Youth Commission Chair Ryan R. Enriquez.
“Sa mga taga-Cavite, andito ang gobyerno, andito si Pangulong Duterte. Sa abot ng aming makakaya, tutulong kami sa inyo. Magtulungan lang tayo. Sino ba naman ang magtutulungan kundi tayong mga kapwa Pilipino,” Go appealed.
“Konting tiis lang. Importante buhay tayo at importante mayroon tayong makain. Tuloy-tuloy po ang ating buhay. Malalagpasan din po natin ang krisis na ito,” he vowed.