Senator Christopher “Bong” Go continues to help communities in distress and promote better fire prevention and response measures as he sent his team to assist fire victims in Koronadal City, South Cotabato on Friday, February 10.
In his video message, Go cited that the government continues to strengthen its fire prevention efforts through the Bureau of Fire Protection’s modernization program.
The senator principally authored and co-sponsored Republic Act No. 11589 or the BFP Modernization Act which mandates acquiring modern fire equipment, hiring more fire personnel, and provisioning of training programs, among others.
It also directs the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in every local government unit, particularly in informal settlements and economically depressed areas.
“Sa pag-iikot ko ng bansa, marami na po kaming napuntahan na mga nasunugan. Kaya naman alam natin kung gaano kahalaga para sa ating BFP na palakasin ang kanilang kapasidad sa pagpugsa ng sunog sa mga komunidad,” underscored Go.
“Napakalaki ng tiwala ko na palalakasin pa lalo ng BFP ang ating fire protection efforts. Karagdagang kagamitan, firefighters at education campaigns para turuan ang ating mga kababayan na mag-ingat, ‘yan po ang BFP Modernization Act. Dahil bawat bahay na nasusunog, nadadamay ang kapitbahay. Kaya dapat doble ingat tayo,” he said.
To give support and hope to the 13 fire victims whose houses were damaged by the fire incident, Go’s team gave them grocery packs, shirts, vitamins, masks, snacks, and a ball for basketball. The activity was held at Purok Callejo, Brgy. General Paulino Santos Hall.
Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development also provided cash assistance as part of the government interventions to uplift the lives of Filipinos in crisis situations.
Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also offered to help those in need of medical care to ensure the victims’ well-being. He encouraged them to visit the Malasakit Centers located at South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in the city and Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital in General Santos City.
Under the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which was principally authored and sponsored by Go, all hospitals that are administered and managed by the Department of Health plus the Philippine General Hospital in Manila City are mandated to have their own Malasakit Center that shall provide convenient access to medical programs offered by concerned agencies, such as the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
To date, there are 154 Malasakit Centers that have already assisted more than seven million Filipinos nationwide according to the DOH. The program celebrated its fifth year anniversary on February this year.
Go noted how the country’s healthcare system struggled due to the global health crisis. He then underscored the need to improve access to public healthcare services to ensure that more disadvantaged Filipinos will receive the medical attention they need.
In this regard, the senator supported the establishment of Super Health Centers in the province, including in the towns of Lake Sebu and Tampakan in 2022. Another center will be established in Tampakan in 2023.
Super Health Centers are medium versions of polyclinics and are bigger than rural health units, which offer basic services such as out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit.
Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation center and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Through Go’s initiative, some 307 SHCs were funded in 2022. The senator likewise earlier successfully pushed for sufficient funds for the centers in this year’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the DOH.
To help create more opportunities for the province amid difficult situations, Go, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, has supported the construction of roads in Banga, Lake Sebu, Norala, Tantangan and Surallah; acquisition of a dump truck for the local government of Norala; construction of riverbank protection in Koronadal City and T’boli; installation of street lights in Koronadal City, Norala and Tupi; and the construction of a slaughterhouse in T’boli.
“Basta, ‘wag kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa amin. Huwag din kayong magpasalamat sa amin dahil trabaho naman namin ito sa gobyerno. Kami ang nagpapasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan niyo kami ng pagkakataon para makapagserbisyo sa taumbayan. Ibabalik namin sa inyo ang serbisyong dapat sa inyo sa abot ng aming makakaya,” pledged Go.