Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged the government officials to ensure that public funds are spent properly after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the 2022 General Appropriations Act last week.

In a recent radio interview, Go said not even one peso should be wasted as the country continues to battle the Covid-19 and to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“Kaya hinihimok ko po ang mga kasamahan ko sa gobyerno na gamitin nang tama ang pondong inilaan upang agarang maihatid ang serbisyo at tulong sa mga nararapat nating mga kababayan, sa ating mga mamamayan (So, I urge my colleagues in the government to properly use the allocated funds to immediately deliver services and assistance to our deserving countrymen),” he said.

Go said the PHP5 trillion 2022 national budget is crucial for the success of the government’s pandemic response and recovery efforts for the areas devastated by Typhoon Odette.

He said the funds should be utilized for the country’s economic recovery and growth.

“Not only sa Covid response dahil ito pong mga biktima po ng Typhoon Odette, inaasahan natin dahil kulang talaga ‘yung pondo nung 2021 -- ‘yung disaster fund, ‘yung calamity fund po ng national government kulang na po, PHP2 bilyon na lang natitira [sa 2021] (Not only in Covid-19 response but Typhoon Odette victims, because of the disaster calamity funds of national government are not enough, there only PHP2 billion remaining),” Go said.

He said different government agencies can now use the Quick Response Fund for infrastructures and to help the local government units heavily affected by “Odette.”

Go said he successfully advocated budgetary support for the Department of Health for the implementation of prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration strategy (PDITRS), calling for the hiring of Covid-19 human resource for health.

The Senate Committee on Finance adopted Go’s recommendations, among others, to allocate funds for programs and activities that are crucial to the country’s pandemic response, such as the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, compensation and other benefits of Covid-19 workers, Covid-19 Laboratory Network Commodities, and the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.

Meanwhile, Go pointed out that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 remains a pressing concern as the positivity rate in the National Capital Regions soared to 14 percent.

He reiterated his appeal for Filipinos to maintain discipline and continue cooperating with the government to stave off another spike in cases.

Napakaimportante po nito dahil gumaganda na po ang takbo ng ating Covid response, pero nabanggit po kanina ni Pangulong Duterte na nababahala po siya dahil dito sa naiuulat na Omicron variant. Dahil bagama’t mayroon tayong bagong budget, ay kung bagong variant na naman at biglaan na naman itong spike o pagtaas ng kaso ay delikado naman po tayo (This is very important because our Covid-19 response is getting better, but President Duterte expressed concern over the Omicron variant. Because though we have new budget, if there is new variant and the cases soar, we are still in danger),” Go said.

“Kaya kailangan po natin ang kooperasyon, koordinasyon at disiplina po ng bawat Pilipino. Hindi po kaya ng gobyerno itong mag-isa, itong trabahong ito. Kailangan po tulungan po tayo, magmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa (So we need cooperation, coordination, discipline of every Filipino. The government cannot do it alone. Let’s work together, show compassion to our neighbors),” he said. (PR)