Senator Christopher “Bong” Go consoled the victims of a fire that swept through Barangays Alima and Sineguelasan in Bacoor City, Cavite last November 1. A total of 755 families, composed of 2,928 individuals, were given emergency assistance, consisting of meals, financial aid, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields, during the activity which was carried out at the Strike Gymnasium on Tuesday, November 3 under strict compliance with necessary health and safety protocols.
“Nalulungkot ako dahil nag-evacuate kayo dahil sa bagyo. Naiwan ang mga bahay ninyo at imbes na wala pong disgrasyang nangyari, nasunog pa tuloy ang mga pamamahay ninyo. Sabi ko, pupuntahan ko kayo at sa abot ng makakaya namin ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ay tutulong kami sa inyong lahat dito,” Go said to the victims.
Select beneficiaries were given tablets so their children could participate in the blended learning being implemented in schools. Others were provided bicycles that they could use to commute to work given the limited public transportation options. A ride-hailing service donated backriding barriers as well.
Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development were present to distribute separate additional cash assistance and food packs from the government. Similarly, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office gave away basic medicines and food packs.
Additionally, the National Housing Authority gave its commitment to help the beneficiaries rebuild their homes. Relocation sites were made available by the NHA for those who wish to start anew. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also committed to extend aid through relevant livelihood and skills training programs.
The Senator also reminded everyone to cooperate with authorities and follow protocols to protect themselves and their communities such as mandatory wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and washing their hands.
Meanwhile, Go also vowed that poor and vulnerable sectors would be prioritized once a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.
“Huwag po kayo mawalan ng pag-asa. Patuloy lang po tayong magbayanihan at magmalasakit sa kapwa. Kapag mayroon nang safe at effective na v accine laban sa COVID-19, kayo po ang uunahin namin — ang mga mahihirap, vulnerable, at pinaka-nangangailangan,” Go reiterated.
Furthermore, Go offered to pay for the treatment of beneficiaries with medical conditions. He encouraged them to seek medical and financial assistance by availing of the services from the nearest Malasakit Center located at the General Emilio Aguinaldo Medical Hospital in Trece Martires City.
“Nandyan po ang Malasakit Center para magserbisyo sa inyo. Batas na po iyan. Pera nyo po iyan, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal para sa bawat Pilipino,” Go said.
After aiding the fire victims, Go urged the Bureau of Fire Protection to investigate the fire incident. He reiterated his call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 204 or the Fire Protection Modernization Bill of 2019 which shall establish a Fire Protection Modernization Program. Under the bill, the BFP will be provided adequate funding to hire more personnel, acquire modern fire equipment and provide training for their firefighters, among others.
He also reiterated his commitment to push for SBN 205 or the Disaster Resilience Act of 2019 in an interview after the event. Go’s proposed department will improve the delivery of assistance to disaster victims by establishing a chain of command devoted to response operations.
“Layunin ng bill na ito na magkaroon ng isang departamento na Cabinet-level na handang tumugon kaagad po. ‘Yung preparedness natin bago dumating ‘yung bagyo at pag-improve ng coordination sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno... at dahil Cabinet-level, may Secretary level na rin na timon at pwede niya po ipatawag at paki-usapan ‘yung mga ka-level niyang Gabinete,” Go explained.
“Mayroon ring regional offices or even down to provincial offices na pwede pong tumugon at mayroong malalapitan kaagad ang ating mga kababayan na apektado ng mga krisis na dulot ng kalamidad at iba pang sakuna,” he explained.
During the distribution activity, Go thanked Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., Mayor Lani Mercado and Congressman Strike Revilla, among others, for making the activity possible. He also acknowledged the efforts of the local government units to respond to the needs of their constituents.
Go, who recently visited the typhoon victims in Albay, reassured that President Duterte and this administration are committed to serve the interests and protect the welfare of all Filipinos, especially during times of crisis.
“Nagtra-trabaho ang ating Pangulo. Minsan nga po madaling araw nakakausap ko at very much concerned po siya ano na ang nangyari at kung handa na ba ang lahat. Ako naman po, I also commend the local government units and their officials sa kanilang ginawang paghahanda at pagresponde sa bagyo. Malaking bagay po yung mga maagang evacuation para maiwasan ang disgrasya,” Go said.
“Palagi po nating uunahin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino lalo na tuwing mayroong disaster at sa panahon ngayon na mayroon pang pandemya. Huwag po kayo mag-alala. Nandirito po ang gobyerno ninyo na palaging handang magsilbi sa bawat Pilipino,” vowed Go. (OSBG)
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