June 19, 2024

The Insider News

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Bong Go combines public service with celebratory spirit at ‘Sinulog sa Lalawigan 2024’ in Cebu City

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go demonstrated his commitment to public service and healthcare during his visit to the ‘Sinulog sa Lalawigan 2024’ in Cebu City on January 14. Before joining the festivities managed by the Cebu provincial government, he first assisted fire victims in Barangay Carreta, highlighting the importance of prioritizing the impoverished in need of assistance.

Go, a Visayan native from Mindanao, expressed in his speech his gratitude for the support received during former President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration and reiterated his dedication to serving the Filipino people.

He stressed, “Gusto ko na malaman ninyo na isa rin akong Bisaya kagaya ninyo na taga-Mindanao. At ‘wag kayong magpasalamat… palagi ko kasing naririnig na palagi kayong nagpapasalamat sa amin sa panahon ni (dating) president Duterte. ‘Salamat, Senador. Salamat, Presidente Duterte sa mga tulong.’ Huwag kayong magpasalamat sa amin.”

“Kami na taga-Mindanao ang dapat na magpasalamat sa inyo sa ibinigay ninyo na pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo. Maraming salamat sa inyo. Basta ako ang inyong Senador Kuya Bong Go na handang tumulong sa inyo. Hindi ako pulitiko na mangangako, magtatrabaho lang ako para sa Pilipino at tutulong sa abot ng aking makakaya,” added Go.

Before attending the festival, Go visited Brgy. Carreta to give hope and support to victims of a recent fire. He highlighted the challenges faced by those in poverty and the importance of providing aid to the less fortunate: “Nandito ako ngayong araw, bago ako pumunta dito, dumaan muna ako sa Brgy. Carreta dahil may mga nasunugan doon.”

“Matulungan man lang sila, makatulong sa mga proyekto na makakapagpaunlad ng komunidad, makatulong sa mga pasyente, at makapag-iwan ng kasiyahan sa panahon ng kanilang pagdadalamhati. Napakahirap ang masunugan, napakahirap ang maging mahirap kaya tulungan natin ang ating mga kapos na kababayan. Huwag natin silang pabayaan,” he added.

As the chairperson of the Committee on Health and Demography and Sports in the Senate, Go outlined his key priorities. The first is the continuing operations of the Malasakit Centers program, with 159 centers across the Philippines.

In Cebu City, Malasakit Centers are located at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital, and Cebu City Medical Center. Meanwhile, other Malasakit Centers exist at Cebu Provincial Hospital in Carcar City, Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital, Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City, and Talisay District Hospital in Talisay City.

Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463, or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. The DOH reports that the Malasakit Center program has already provided aid to around ten million Filipinos.

“Sa mga pasyente, lapitan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center dahil para ‘to sa inyo. Kung may hospital bill kayo, nandiyan ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong para mabayaran ito,” said Go.

Go also offered assistance to those who need medical aid, saying, “Kung mayroon kayong pasyente na kailangang dalahin sa Manila, ako na ang sasalo doon… Tutulungan ko kayo sa inyong pagpapa-ospital pati pamasahe hanggang makauwi dito.”

His other priority is the establishment of more Super Health Centers, which will serve as medium-sized polyclinics to help decongest hospitals. He said that Super Health Centers are designed to focus on primary care, consultation, and early disease detection, further strengthening the healthcare sector in the country, especially in grassroots communities.

Through the collective efforts of the DOH, local government units (LGUs), and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated under the DOH for the construction of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022, 322 in 2023, and 132 in 2024. As the lead implementing agency, DOH identifies the strategic areas where these Super Health Centers will be established. In Cebu, 21 Super Health Centers will be established throughout the province.

Finally, Go also principally sponsored and is one of the authors of the RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which was signed into law by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on August 24.

The law mandates the establishment of regional specialty centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. It stands as a testament to the commitment of the government to uplift the nation’s health infrastructure.

Meanwhile, in his role as the committee chairperson on Sports, Go also emphasized the importance of sports in steering youth away from illegal drugs, a legacy of former president Duterte’s campaign against criminality and drug abuse. He pledged support for sports programs in Cebu to promote healthy and drug-free lifestyles among the youth.

In his speech, Go also extended his heartfelt appreciation to a host of local leaders and officials for their significant contributions to the region. He began by acknowledging the exemplary leadership of Governor Gwen Garcia and other local leaders.

“Gusto kong unang pasalamatan ang ating pinakamamahal na gobernador na isa sa best governors sa buong Pilipinas, ang ating Governor Gwen Garcia. Ma’am, maraming salamat talaga. Saludo talaga ako sa’yo, ma’am, sa iyong pagserbisyo noon sa panahon ng pandemya,” he said.

“Kita ang iyong political will kaya malaki na ang narating ng Cebu ngayon dahil sa iyong liderato. Palakpakan natin, Governor Gwen Garcia,” he added.

Go also expressed gratitude towards Secretary Christina Frasco of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for enhancing the country’s tourism sector. Furthermore, he took the opportunity to individually thank the district representatives and officials of various municipalities for their roles in the region’s development.

Concluding his speech, Go reminded the audience of the transient nature of life and the importance of doing good.

“Tandaan natin, minsan lang tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa ay gawin na natin ngayon dahil hindi na tayo babalik sa mundong ito,” reminded Go.

“Ako ang inyong Senator Kuya Bong Go, patuloy na magseserbisyo sa inyong lahat. Dahil ako ay naniniwala na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo yan sa Diyos. Mga minamahal kong kababayan, mahal na mahal na mahal ko po kayong lahat. Maraming salamat po,” he ended.