In both Senate health committee hearings held last May 26 and 28, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the public to report anomalies and corruption-related acts to authorities, especially if in connection with the purchase or selling of medical supplies and equipment amid the country’s fight to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
“Hinihimok ko ang bawat Pilipino na magsumbong kung may nakikitang korapsyong ginagawa ang mga opisyal o pribadong kompanya,” Go said.
“In times of crisis, every peso counts. While government maximizes its limited resources, a lot of our fellow Filipinos have also lost jobs, livelihood and savings. We are fighting for survival — as survival is the name of the game here. We should not allow corruption and abusive business practices to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of fellow Filipinos,” he explained.
“Kung may alam po kayo na mga abusadong mga indibidwal sa gobyerno man o sa pribadong sektor, huwag po kayo matakot magsumbong sa amin ni Pangulo… Ako po mismo magbubulong ng inyong hinaing kay Pangulong Duterte at sisiguraduhin natin na mapoprotektahan po kayo basta magsabi lang kayo ng totoo,” he urged further.
Go has constantly vowed to crack down on any alleged anomaly, especially when it comes to purchases, selling or distribution of medical equipment and supplies. The Senator also underscored the need for all government agencies involved in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic to account for every single peso spent from public funds.
“Handa tayong mag-conduct ng investigation on all of these alleged overpriced medical supplies, equipment and packages, including the COVID-19 test kits,” Go said.
“Kung makikita nating may korapsyon na nangyari, dapat papanagutin natin ang mga ahensya at lalong lalo na ang mga opisyal nito. Wala tayong papalampasin, at wala tayong pipiliin. Pera ng bayan po ito. Gamitin natin sa tama at wasto lalo na’t nakakatakot ang kinakaharap natin,” Go said.
“Dapat malaman natin kung inabuso ba o sinamantala ang pagkakataon ng krisis na ito para kumita ang mga taong nasa likod ng korapsyong ito kung mayroon man,” he added.
As a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the implementation of the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, the Senator has repeatedly said that with the funds released by the government to address the health crisis, “every centavo counts.”
The Senator, however, underscored that he would also give government agencies and concerned individuals a chance to explain their side.
He also appealed to private individuals not to take advantage of the situation Filipinos are currently facing. He urged Filipinos to report any anomalous activity being committed by public officials, private individuals, or companies.
In a virtual meeting with the officials and key members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) on Wednesday, Go also appealed for support and assistance from the businesses community and asked them to help the government by also cooperating in anti-corruption initiatives.
“Hinihiling ko din po na tulungan ninyo kami ni Pangulong Duterte na labanan ang korapsyon sa gobyerno,” Go said.
Meanwhile, Go also assured the public that the government remains vigilant and careful in spending public funds appropriated to combat COVID-19.
“Indeed, we need to improve our capacity in addressing pandemics like this. We hope that the measures we have discussed will address some of our weaknesses and gaps in handling public health emergencies. Let the pandemic be a lesson to all of us and use this experience to improve our health system,” Go ended.