In demonstration of his commitment to the welfare of indigenous peoples, representatives from the Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go joined in the ceremonial turnover of checks and groundbreaking of the Balai Maganahay organized by the National Housing Authority in Mati City, Davao Oriental on Tuesday, May 18.
The Balai Maganahay is a housing project under the Housing Assistance Program for Indigenous Peoples of the NHA.
“Sa mga kababayan ko na Dabawenyo, ipagpatuloy natin ang serbisyo para sa ikagiginhawa ng ating mamamayan, lalong-lalo na sa mga kababayan natin na bahagi ng indigenous communities. Sa mga makakatanggap ng bahay pagkatapos ng proyektong ito, sana ay maging inspirasyon ito upang makamit ninyo ang isang masagana at maunlad na kinabukasan,” Go began in a video message.
“At sa lahat ng makakatanggap ng cheke, sana naman po’y gamitin ninyo ang perang ito upang pagbutihin ang inyong pamumuhay at abutin ang inyong mga pangarap,” he continued.
Following the ceremony, Go’s representatives handed out meals, vitamins, masks, and face shields to a total of 100 indigenous beneficiaries at the Barangay Dawan Covered Court. The distribution was carried out in batches and health and safety protocols were likewise strictly observed throughout the activity.
Meanwhile, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided financial assistance as part of the national government’s interventions for communities in distress. The Department of Trade and Industry also conducted an assessment of beneficiaries seeking alternative livelihood options.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go renewed his call to open the vaccine rollout to the A4 and A5 priority groups, so the government can prioritize the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to poor and vulnerable sectors outside the initial categories.
Being the principal author and sponsor of the ‘Malasakit Centers Act of 2019’, Senator Go offered to help any beneficiary and their family in need of medical care and advised indigent patients to visit the Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop located at the Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center in Mati City.
The center streamlines the process of requesting assistance from the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The Senator, in his message, went on to thank the local officials for their untiring service amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those present during the activity were Governor Nelson Dayanghirang; Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat; Vice Mayor Glenda Rabat-Gayta; Councilors Cheeno Almario, Stephen Uy, Rogelio Pabio, Avelino Capiña, Jr., Anthony John Rabat, Xander Acantara, Delfin Miones, Arman Valera, Pedrito Peña, Jr., and Edwin Barrera; and Tribal Chieftain and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative Arnold Baligia, Jr.
He likewise recognized the members of the Indigenous People’s Council, namely Ivan Guias, Yolanda Tribunalo, Satorino Langoban, Prudencio Melocotones, Romeo Catog, Ermelino Clemente, Fulgencio Baligia, Roger Macal, and Hermogenes Tiana Sr.
To help facilitate the development of Mati City, Go has supported the funding for the rehabilitation of the Buso Hot Spring Park in Mati City, the building of the Davao Oriental Sports Complex in Brgy. Don Martin and Marundan, and the construction of the Dahican – Lawigan – Bonbon – Dahican Circumferential Road.
“Ang proyekto at programang ito ay patunay sa malasakit at pagkalinga ng ating gobyerno para sa mga Pilipino, lalo na sa mga mahihirap na walang kalaban-laban sa panahon ngayon. Sisikapin namin ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte na walang Pilipino ang maiiwan sa ating pagbangon mula sa pagsubok na dala ng pandemya at mga kalamidad,” ended Go.
The Senator also virtually participated in the ceremonial Memorandum of Agreement signing, turnover of checks, and groundbreaking of the Masandag Tribal Village in Tagum City, Davao del Norte the day after, May 19. His team distributed aid to hundreds of indigenous housing beneficiaries following the activity.