Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)

MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged communities in crisis to continue working with each other to prepare, respond and recover from unforeseen disasters amid these trying times.

His office provided aid to the families affected by a fire that hit Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last April 27.

Kami ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte, mga Bisaya rin kami. Idol namin si Lapu-Lapu bilang siya ang unang bayani ng bayang ito. Kaya pumunta ako diyan noong nakaraang araw para makipag-celebrate at mayroon ring ibinigay na Presidential Award si Presidente na ipinangalan niya na Lapu-Lapu Award. Ganyan ang bilib at respeto namin sa kanya (President Rodrigo Duterte and I, we are also Bisaya. We recognize Lapu-Lapu as the first hero in the country. That’s why I went there the other day to celebrate and the President also gave a Presidential Award named Lapu-Lapu Award. That’s how we respect him),” Go began in a video message

Pwede tayo maging gaya ni Lapu-Lapu kung magtutulungan, magmamalasakit at magbabayanihan tayo. Sama-sama natin labanan itong mga krisis ating hinaharap. Kung malalagpasan natin ito, tayo ang magiging hero sa panahong 'to (We could be like Lapu-Lapu if we help each other and be compassionate. Let us unite to fight crises we are facing. If we beat these, we will be the heroes of this time),” he added.

The Senator’s team provided meals, financial assistance, food packs, vitamins, masks, and face shields to a total of 18 families in Barangay Pajac on Saturday, May 1. The beneficiaries were divided into small batches which ensured that the necessary health and safety protocols were observed throughout the activity.

Selected recipients were given new pairs of shoes while others received bicycles so they can travel with ease while transportation remains limited. The team also gave away computer tablets to help students cope with the blended learning setup implemented by schools.

Personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development handed out separate financial assistance as part of a holistic set of interventions by the national government for communities in crisis.

The National Housing Authority also conducted an assessment of beneficiaries for their assistance program. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority committed to providing further aid to qualified beneficiaries.

Go also encouraged local leaders to talk to their constituents about fire safety and how to help keep their families safe during such emergencies.

He reiterated his commitment to push for the passage of Senate Bill No. 204 which directs the Bureau of Fire Protection to implement a modernization program that will include the acquisition of modern fire equipment, hiring of more personnel, and the provision of specialized training programs.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he offered to help those who need immediate medical treatment. Go also advised them to seek government assistance through the Malasakit Center at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital.

The center is a one-stop-shop that provides convenient access to the medical assistance programs of the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Malasakit Centers have likewise been established at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and St. Anthony Mother & Child Hospital in Cebu City, Eversley Childs Sanitarium, and General Hospital in Mandaue City, Cebu Provincial Hospital in Carcar City, and Talisay City District Hospital.

“During my visits to Cebu, I always emphasized my high respect to the Visayan people. Like President Duterte, I am proud of my Visayan heritage and I will do everything I can to serve them as a public servant and representative in the Senate. I frequently visit Cebu to personally see to the needs of our fellow Cebuanos and find ways on how to better help and serve them,” Go assured Cebuanos.

“My efforts to support and protect the welfare of Cebuanos will always be a priority as I work with their local leaders in improving the lives of fellow Bisaya communities. Among these are our ongoing efforts to improve various health facilities on the island such as the Lapu Lapu City Hospital. We are also working on providing access to needed health services in far-flung areas such as in the community of Sta. Rosa in Olango Island, so that patients will not need to be transported to the city anymore just to get immediate medical attention,” he added.

Go said he is thankful for the service and support that the Visayan people have extended to this administration and the rest of the country.

“We laud them for augmenting our medical front-liners in NCR (National Capital Region) during this present pandemic. I salute the courage, selfless compassion, and bayanihan spirit of my fellow Bisaya and I vow to do my best to give them the best service they deserve,” he said.

The Senator lauded the local officials of Lapu-Lapu City, headed by Mayor Junard Ahong Chan, for their untiring service and support to their constituents, most especially the fire victims who have lost their homes.

He personally attended the quincentennial anniversary commemorations of the Victory of Mactan at the Mactan Shrine last April 27. (PR)