Assists over a thousand typhoon victims to help them recover and build back better
Four weeks after Typhoon Auring, an outreach team of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go delivered much-needed additional aid to Bayabas and Cortes in Surigao del Sur after many residents were still struggling with access to food, water, power or shelter, following the devastation of the storm.
Activities were held at the Solomon Lozada National High School in Bayabas and Cortes municipal gym on Wednesday, March 17, during which the team handed out meals, food and medicine packs, medical-grade masks, and face shields to a total of 1,517 typhoon victims.
Selected beneficiaries were given bicycles for their daily commute while others received new pairs of shoes. Some recipients were provided computer tablets so their children can study more effectively from home while schools remain closed.
“Mga kababayan ko, huwag kayong mag-alala dahil nandirito kami ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte upang magbigay ng tulong sa inyo. Huwag kayong mahiyang lumapit sa amin dahil trabaho namin ang magserbisyo sa inyo,” Go said in a video call.
The previous day, March 16, his team gave the same aid to over 2,000 victims in Cagwait.
To ensure their full recovery, government agencies tasked with the responsibility of delivering emergency relief and recovery assistance to families and communities in crisis situations also took part in the said activities.
Personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed cash assistance while the Department of Agriculture gave away rodenticide and supplies of vegetable seeds to encourage home gardening.
The Departments of Labor and Employment, and Trade and Industry, in turn, conducted assessments of displaced workers in need of emergency employment and livelihood assistance, respectively. In addition, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority offered scholarship grants to workers who wish to develop new skills.
“Huwag kayo mag-alala dahil ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para balansehin ang inyong mga pangangailangan habang pinapangalagaan ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” said Go.
“Pagkatapos ng mga frontliners, prayoridad namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga mahihirap at ‘yung mga nasa vulnerable sectors. Ito ‘yung mga taong kailangang lumabas para magtrabaho. ‘Yung mga ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’,” he explained.
In addition to the above aid, the Senator also offered the assistance of his office to those in urgent need of medical care. He advised them to also seek government aid through the Malasakit Center at the Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which simplifies access to the medical assistance programs offered by the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
In his message, the Senator also recognized and thanked the local officials for their dedicated service to the affected communities. Among those present during the activities were Bayabas Mayor Maria Clarita Limbaro and Vice Mayor Apolonio Lozada , and Cortes Mayor Jose Bonifacio and Vice Mayor Dennis Yu.
“Hindi ko sasayangin ang aking oras na nakaupo lang sa opisina. Magseserbisyo ako sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya dahil mahal ko ang mga kapatid kong Pilipino,” said Go.
“Nalulungkot ako dahil alam kong hirap na hirap na kayo. Hirap na din kami ni Pangulong Duterte pero kayo po ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa amin para paigtingin pa namin ang aming pagseserbisyo sa ating bayan,” he added.