Aspiring student-athletes encouraged to apply for NAS scholarships for SY 2022-2023

As Bong Go highlights role of sports in youth development

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports Christopher “Bong” Go encouraged aspiring student-athletes to join the second annual scholarship competition held by the National Academy of Sports.

The NAS Annual Search for Competent, Exceptional, Notable, and Talented Student-Athlete Scholars (NASCENT SAS) was created to offer scholarships to gifted young Filipino athletes.

The scholarship will cover tuition for six years of study. Successful applicants will also receive a monthly stipend, free board and lodging at the NAS Dormitory and access to specialized sports training in world-class facilities at the NAS Campus in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, that is currently being constructed and will be completed by the middle of this year.

“It is an honor to help provide these opportunities for students who wish to achieve more in their lives and help make a difference through proper education and sports development. During my first month as a senator, I dreamed of establishing an educational institution that would specialize in sports development,” said Go.

“Looking back, I am delighted that all the hard work has finally paid off and we are on the path toward sports excellence,” he continued.

To date, the NASCENT SAS has granted 64 student-athlete scholarships.

Interested applicants must be incoming Grade 7 or 8 students; natural-born Filipino citizens; have a general weighted average of at least 80%; and not be older than 14 or 15 years of age for incoming Grade 7 and 8 students, respectively, at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

NAS focus sports include aquatics, athletics, badminton, gymnastics, judo, table tennis, taekwondo and weightlifting. Qualified applicants belonging to different sectors and fields of sports are encouraged to apply.

All application forms and requirements must be submitted physically at the office of NAS or virtually through e-mail at nascentsas@deped.gov.ph by April 12, 2022.

As part of his vision to provide a dedicated academy for promising young athletes, Go authored and co-sponsored a bill in the Senate which became Republic Act No. 11470 in 2020. The law provided for the establishment of the NAS System and Main Campus.

The NAS also offers a secondary education program with an integrated special curriculum on sports which was developed in close coordination with the Department of Education and Philippine Sports Commission.

The academy is equipped with world-class sports facilities, housing and other amenities on par with international standards. Sufficient number of classrooms and other facilities have also been built at the complex to provide a conducive learning environment for all the students.

To ensure the international competitiveness of the student-athletes, the academy also provides services of licensed and internationally-certified foreign coaches, trainers and consultants, duly certified by the PSC.

“Isang dekada ang hinintay natin bago naisabatas ito kaya malaki ang pasasalamat ko kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa pag-apruba niya sa panukalang ito,” said Go.

“Sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng maayos na mga programa sa ating mga kabataan upang sila ay makapag-aral ng mabuti at magabayan sa kanilang mga talento sa sports, mas mabibigyan natin sila ng oportunidad na magtagumpay sa buhay. Layunin ko na magkaroon ang ating mga kabataan ng marangal at maayos na pamumuhay ‘di lang ngayon kundi pati sa kanilang pagtanda,” he explained.

Go believes that with massive government investment in sports development especially in the grassroots, young Filipinos will be given the opportunity to uplift their lives and bring honor to the country. A sports enthusiast himself, Go is an ardent advocate of long-term grassroots sports development. According to him, aside from honing the skills of budding Filipino sports enthusiasts, sports will help them stay away from illegal drugs and criminality at their young age.

Last 2019, the Philippines emerged as the overall champion when the country hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games, beating traditional powerhouses in the region, such as Vietnam and Thailand. Last year was also dubbed as the most successful Olympic campaign of the Philippines since joining the quadrennial event when weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz gave the country its first gold medal at the Tokyo Games. Boxer Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam each won a silver medal while another boxer, Eumir Marcial, grabbed a bronze medal.

Go highlighted the Duterte Administration’s enormous support, rekindling hopes that the Philippines will soon reclaim its position as a sports powerhouse in the region.

NPA Cadaver, war materiel recovered

Maco, Davao De Oro – A still unidentified dead NPA was recovered by the operating troops under 1001st Infantry Brigade at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, January 28, 2022, Friday.

While the troops were conducting follow-up operations following an armed engagement with the Communist Terrorist Group last January 23, a concerned citizen reported of a foul smell in the vicinity of Purok 6, Barangay Panoraon, Maco, Davao de Oro. The troops immediately searched the area and discovered a decomposing NPA cadaver along with an M16 rifle, bandolier, backpack with CPP/NPA documents and personal belongings.

“It is quite ironic that the NPAs left one of their fatally wounded comrade behind. If only he called for help and surrendered, maybe he could still be alive. Just like what happened to Daniel Dellosa aka Axel wherein he was wounded, called the soldiers for help, and was saved by the responding troops. Aka Axel is now recuperating in the hospital,” Brigadier General Jesus Durante III said in a statement. “Once again, we renew our call to the remaining NPAs to surrender and avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), don’t wait to suffer the same fate of your dead comrades, after all, they’ll leave you once you become a liability.” Durante added.

1001st Brigade figured in armed skirmishes with the CTGs three (3) times already this year, on January 5, 20 and 23, which resulted to the neutralization of Menandro Villanueva, the third highest ranked CPP leader and the commander of the National Operations Command of the NPA, and the recovery of high-powered firearms and several war materiel.

Bong Go hails gov’t efforts to modernize BFP

As he witnesses turnover of 62 fire trucks to LGUs

The Bureau of Fire Protection on Tuesday, January 25, conducted a ceremony to mark the turnover of 62 new units of fire trucks as Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the government’s efforts to strengthen fire protection and suppression services nationwide.

The event which Go virtually attended was held at the BFP national headquarters in Quezon City. The 1,000-gallon capacity fire trucks are part of a set of purchases made in 2020 which are expected to be fully delivered and distributed to select cities and municipalities nationwide within the year.

In a speech, the lawmaker hailed the Duterte Administration’s commitment to transform the BFP into a leading institution on par with international standards for fire management and mitigation. He pledged to serve as an advocate lawmaker by supporting the agency’s strategic goals and ensuring sufficient resources are provided.

“Modernizing the country’s Bureau of Fire Protection has always been one of our main advocacies with President Rodrigo Duterte. Just like you, it is our vision to see a better and modern fire response service that is capable of ensuring that this country will be fire-safe,” said Go.

“Full support po kami … sa mga bumbero sa ating Bureau of Fire Protection. Sa katunayan, ang mga bumbero ay kasama rin po sa ipinangako ni Pangulong Duterte na naging doble po ang sahod sa mga entry positions noong 2018,” he continued.

To implement the President’s vision, Go had primarily authored and spearheaded the effort to pass Republic Act No. 11589 which provides for the implementation of a ten-year modernization program.

Signed last September 10, the law broadens the BFP’s mandate to include natural and man-made disasters and rescue and emergency medical services in cooperation with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and local government units.

It establishes the BFP Modernization Trust Fund and provides several other sources of funds for acquiring new fire prevention and suppression, fire investigation, and emergency medical and rescue services facilities and equipment.

The Act also includes the development of highly specialized fire protection services, such as high-rise building fires, chemical fires and disaster rescue services, to enhance the capabilities of BFP personnel. It likewise provides for the establishment of a Search and Rescue Force, Hazardous Material or HAZMAT units, Fire and Arson Investigation Unit, and Security and Protection Unit in every region and city, as well as an Emergency Medical Service in every municipality and city.

“Manatili po tayong matatag dahil kailangan tayo ng ating mga kababayan. Tulad ng sabi ko, isa kayo sa mga itinuturing kong mga bagong bayani ng bayan. Kaya sana ay ipagpatuloy ninyo ang paglilingkod sa ating bayan at pagiging kaakibat sa mga hangarin ng gobyerno na mabigyan ng mas maayos na serbisyo ang mga Pilipino,” appealed the senator.

In return, Go encouraged the firefighters in attendance to continue serving to the best of their abilities while showing communities the same compassion and dedication espoused by him and President Duterte.

“Kahit hindi pa ako senador, pinupuntahan ko po ang mga nasunugan, kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas, para makapagbigay ng tulong at ngiti sa panahon ng kanilang pagdadalamhati. Hanggang sa ngayon, patuloy pa rin akong nagseserbisyo sa kanila sa abot ng aking makakaya. Pinapaalala ko sa kanila na nandito ang gobyerno para magsilbi at hindi sila pinapabayaan,” shared Go.

“Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, nandito lang kami at handa kaming magserbisyo … Patuloy din namin na ipaglalaban ang inyong mga pangangailangan sa abot ng aking makakaya,” he vowed.

In fulfillment of his campaign promise, President Duterte also signed Congress Joint Resolution No. 1 in January 1, 2018, which doubled the base pay of a Fire Officer 1 in the BFP and other equivalent ranks in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast Guard, and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

“Give to HCWs what is due them” says Bong Go

As he lauds approval of additional funds for their special risk allowance

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go welcomed the recent approval of additional budget to cover the payment of the COVID-19 Special Risk Allowance to healthcare workers (HCWs) who are yet to receive the benefit.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of PhP1.185 billion charged against the 2021 Contingent Fund to cover the SRA of eligible private HCWs and non-Department of Health plantilla personnel who are directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients.

“Nararapat lamang na mabigyan sila ng dagdag na kompensasyon bilang pagkilala sa kanilang sakripisyo. Kailanman ay hindi sila pababayaan ng gobyerno,” the senator said.

“Ang ating mga medical frontliners ay ang mga sundalo sa gyerang ito. Sila ang tinuturing nating bayani sa laban kontra COVID-19. Bilang Chair ng Senate Committee on Health, ipaglalaban ko ang karapatan at kapakanan nila palagi,” he added.

The Department of Budget and Management has previously released PhP8.189 billion for SRA benefits which covered 497,043 HCWs.

Earlier, Go urged concerned authorities to exercise flexibility in implementing the terms of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, which serves as the legal basis for the SRA.

“Bigyan natin ng sapat na suporta ang medical frontliners. Bawat araw ay nasa panganib ang kanilang buhay. Siguraduhin nating mabibigyan ang lahat ng qualified healthcare workers ng Special Risk Allowance at iba pang insentibo o benepisyo na naaayon sa batas,” appealed Go.

“Kaya ako umaapela na maging flexible tayo sa pag-iimplementa ng nakasaad sa batas at kung kakayanin ng pondo ay bigyan na ang lahat ng qualified ng fixed na amount ng SRA kaysa bilangin pa natin ang kanilang pag-duty bawat araw,” he added.

To guarantee that their contributions are adequately recognized, Go also expressed his support for extending the SRA to all HCWs working in hospitals. Given the significant number of COVID-19 cases admitted in the country’s healthcare institutions, he pointed out that practically all HCWs are entitled to the benefit.

“Lahat naman ng health workers na naka-duty ay maituturing na exposed sa banta ng COVID-19. Hindi nakikita ang kalaban na ito kung kaya’t mahirap paghiwalayin pa kung sino ang exposed at sino ang hindi,” noted Go.

“Pagdating mo sa ospital, ‘di mo naman masasabi. Once nasa loob ka na, prone at maituturing na exposed ka na rin. Hindi mo masabi na walang virus sa dinaanan mong floor dahil dito lang ang virus kasi hindi nga natin nakikita ang kalaban,” he explained in an earlier interview.

Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 2421 which will provide health workers with a fixed monthly COVID-19 Risk Allowance for the duration of the current State of Emergency in lieu of the special risk allowance and other financial compensation granted under the Bayanihan 2. Under the measure, those eligible for the benefits will include all healthcare workers and other necessary personnel assigned in health facilities.

Go also successfully pushed for the allocation of PhP51 billion in the 2022 budget for the compensation of COVID-19 HCWs. He went on to stress that the government should do everything possible to help HCWs, considering their critical role in fighting the pandemic and preserving lives.

“As much as possible, kung kakayanin naman ng pondo, ibigay na natin lahat ng suportang pwede nating ibigay sa medical frontliners dahil sila naman ang maituturing na mga bayani sa laban na ito,” Go stressed.

In 2019, Go was also instrumental in the enactment of the Salary Standardization Law 5, as its author and co-sponsor. The law gives civilian government employees, including nurses, their fifth round of salary increases broken down in tranches.

In the same year, he also ensured that sufficient funding was allotted for the implementation of a Supreme Court decision upholding Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, some 18 years after the law was enacted. The law increases the minimum salary grade of the Nurse I position to SG-15. The ruling was implemented the following year.

Matina fire victims receive immediate aid from 1st Congressional District Office

DAVAO CITY – The office of the First Congressional District Representative Paolo “Pulong’ Duterte immediately extends much-needed assistance to fire victims at Bolton Bridge, SIR Matina, Davao City on Saturday, January 15.

The First Congressional District Office dispatched their staff to the evacuation area to supply relief aid such as food packs (rice and canned goods), toiletries, tents, and portable toilets for some 39 families affected by the incident.

While everyone is trying to recuperate from the incident, Rep. Duterte said they would also provide hot meals for the victims’ breakfast and dinner for five consecutive days starting on Sunday as they assess the situation.

“[For the relocation of the victims] mag-agad ta sa desisyon sa lokal nga kagamhanan ug asa sila patukuron ug mga bagong panimalay. Andam mutabang ang congressional district office pinaagi sa Pulong-pulong ni Pulong,” Rep. Duterte said.

Duterte said affected individuals with health concerns could also seek medical support from the office. The First Congressional District Office has provided relief assistance to anyone in need of timely aid, especially during this pandemic.

Initial investigation of the Davao firefighters revealed more or less 50 houses were either gutted down or damaged by fire on Saturday at around 9 a.m. at Bolton Bridge 1 and 2 – connecting to Quimpo Boulevard. The victims evacuated to a nearby area.

The firefighters were able to control the fire around 10:49 a.m. But authorities refrain the vehicles from passing the bridge pending the approval of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The responders reported cracks on the bridge due to the incident.