Bong Go aids fire victims in Koronadal City, South Cotabato

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.


Paolo Duterte, FPRRD visit loved ones’ grave during Vicente Duterte’s death anniversary

DAVAO CITY — First Congressional District Representative Paolo Duterte and his father, former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, paid their respects to the latter’s parents’ graves last week in this city.

They visited the tombs of Vicente and Soledad Duterte at the Roman Catholic Cemetery here to commemorate the former’s 111h birth anniversary. Paolo and his father were seen lighting candles and offering prayers for their departed loved ones.

It has been the tradition of the Duterte family to visit the graves of their loved ones during their respective birth and death anniversaries.

Vicente Gonzales Duterte, the former President’s father, was born on November 23, 1911 in Danao, Cebu where he had served as mayor. Vicente later became governor of the then unified province of Davao. He was the last to serve as governor of Davao when it was still a single political entity.

Former President Duterte’s mother, Soledad or Nanay Soling as she was fondly called, was a public school teacher involved in socio-civic projects in Davao.

Last November 1 and 2, the Office of Rep. Duterte in this city marked All Saints Day and All Souls Day, respectively, by distributing about 1,000 food packs to families living near the cemetery.

According to the First Congressional District Office, the distribution of the food packs focused on the “poorest of the poor” in Barangay 8A. ###

Bong Go underscores importance of strengthened fire prevention efforts as he personally aids fire victims in Malabon City

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go visited Malabon City on Friday, October 21, and personally spearheaded a relief activity for its fire victims.

In his speech, the senator reminded the public to be more vigilant and follow fire safety guidelines to reduce the risk of similar incidents.

“Ang gamit po’y nabibili, ang pera po ay kikitain. Subalit ‘yung perang kikitain ay hindi po nabibili ang buhay. A lost life is a lost life forever. Kaya mag-ingat po tayo,” Go urged.

“Pangalagaan po natin ang buhay ng bawat isa. Napapansin ninyo ‘pag nasunugan, ‘pag nasunog ang isang bahay, nadadamay po ‘yung kapitbahay. Kaya ingat po tayo. Importante po ang buhay ng bawat isa,” he underscored.

Go and his staff distributed grocery packs, canned goods, vitamins, masks, meals, shirts, and umbrellas to 139 fire-hit households at the Tonsuya Barangay Hall. They also gave away cellular phones, watches and shoes to select individuals.

In addition, the senator provided others with bicycles and balls for basketball and volleyball as part of his commitment to encourage Filipinos, especially the youth, to get into sports and stay away from illegal drugs and other vices.

“Gusto ko pong iengganyo ang mga kabataan na get into sports, stay away from drugs. Isa po ‘yan sa pamamaraan na patuloy nating labanan ang iligal na droga sa pamamaraan na pag-engganyo sa mga kabataan to get into sports, stay away from drugs. Tulungan n’yo po ang gobyerno, layuan po natin ang iligal na droga,” appealed Go.

“Kapag mayroon pong biktima ng droga sa pamilya, isa lang po, maniwala kayo na sira na po agad ang pamilya. Please lang po, ilayo po natin ang mga kabataan sa iligal na droga. Get into sports, stay away from drugs. Huwag po nating sayangin ang inumpisahan ni (dating) pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte na labanan po ang iligal na droga. Para naman po ‘yan sa kinabukasan ng inyong mga anak,” he reiterated.

To help the affected families recover faster, the Department of Social Welfare and Development likewise extended financial aid through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.

Meanwhile, as part of the senator’s advocacy to ensure communities, particularly those in far-flung areas, are more protected from fire-related incidents, Go primarily authored and co-sponsored the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2021.

The modernization program includes the acquisition of new fire equipment, hiring of more personnel, and provision of highly specialized training programs, among others.

The BFP is also mandated to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in every local government unit, especially in informal settlements, economically depressed areas and far-flung communities.

To ensure the public’s health and well-being are looked after, Senator Go, who serves as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, offered medical assistance to those with health issues.

He also encouraged the fire victims in need of medical attention to seek the services of the nearest Malasakit Centers located at Ospital ng Malabon or San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital, both in the city.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which brings together under one roof the agencies from which patients may seek medical assistance, namely, the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The centers have assisted millions of poor and indigent patients since Go launched the program in 2018. He also principally authored and sponsored Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, institutionalizing the program. There are currently 152 Malasakit Centers nationwide.

“Huwag n’yo nang tagalan, pa-checkup na kaagad kayo sa ospital at huwag n’yo na hong alalahanin ang babayaran ninyo sa ospital. Tutulungan ho namin kayo. Ang importante po masalba lang natin ang buhay ninyo,” urged Go.

Go likewise extended his support to the establishment of two Super Health Centers in the city that will be located in Barangays Longos and Tonsuya.

“Ito pong tinatawag na Super Health Center mas malaki lang po siya sa Rural Health Unit, mas maliit sa hospital. Halimbawa emergency cases, dental, panganganak, magagamot po kaagad. Maglalagay po ng dalawang Super Health Center dito sa Malabon, dito po sa Longos at tsaka sa Tonsuya Super Health Center po dito sa inyong lugar. Magkakaroon kayo ng bagong Super Health Center po,” he explained.

Advocated by Go, 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, among others. There will be 307 Super Health Centers to be established by the DOH in various parts of the country this year.

Ending his message, the senator lauded all local officials for their quick response to the incident and support they provided to the affected residents.

“Nandirito po ako para tumulong, makapagbigay ng solusyon sa inyong problema, at makaiwan po ng kaunting ngiti sa panahon ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” said Go.

“Nakakawala ng pagod kapag nakikita ko po kayo na tumatawa rin po. Kahit nasunugan tayo ang importante po buhay tayo. Mga taga-Malabon, mga minamahal kong kababayan, mahal ko po kayong lahat. Salamat po,” he concluded.

Operation Smile launches Women in Medicine in Asia

Operation Smile’s all-female team of volunteer cleft care professionals from 12 countries celebrate the close of the six-day educational and medical mission they mounted in Cebu City recently to launch “Women in Medicine” in Asia.

The multinational team conducted a one-day forum on women empowerment in the health profession followed by five days of free surgeries on 59 children with cleft lip and cleft palate at the Cebu City Medical Center.

Operation Smile co-founder and president, Kathleen Magee, flew in from the U.S. to lead the launch.
Women in Medicine is a new global initiative that seeks to encourage women to join the health care profession, and empower them to take leadership roles in their respective fields. It is also being piloted in Africa and in South America.

The program was created in response to the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) for women to drive the transformational change in global health care.

Women comprise 70% of health professionals but occupy only 25% of leadership positions. WHO had said the world needs 18 million more health professionals to achieve universal health coverage. In the Philippines, the gap in health professionals is 290,000. (PR)

Fisherfolks, other marginalized workers benefit from Rep. Paolo Duterte’s 1st 3 months in 19th Congress

DAVAO CITY – Over 30,000 fishermen, public utility drivers, and other marginalized workers were the key beneficiaries of the various projects and programs initiated or coordinated with the national government by Davao City First Congressional District Representative Paolo Z. Duterte during his first three months in the House of Congress.

Rep. Duterte has also filed 60 bills so far from July to September 2022, the most recent of which seek to either raise the incomes of, or provide economic relief to, public school teachers, small farmers, freelance workers and calamity victims, to name a few.

These include House Bill (HB) 4809, which aims to provide free and streamlined freight services in the transportation of relief goods to disaster-stricken areas; HB 4697, which seeks to institutionalize the grant of scholarships to public school teachers and educational assistance to their children pursuing college studies; and HB 3382, which mandates the national and local governments to purchase the produce of local farmers and other food producers for relief operations and school feeding programs.

Rep. Duterte’s recent legislative measures also aim to improve the dispensation of justice by proposing the creation of three additional municipal trial courts in Davao City (HB 3272); secure the country’s energy needs by promoting the development of the Philippine natural gas industry (HB 4097); and protect the rights and welfare of freelance workers (HB 3738).

From July to September of this year, a total of 8,160 fisherfolk and 5,799 drivers of public utility vehicles in Davao City who were thoroughly screened and assisted by the First Congressional District Office were able to avail of the emergency employment under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Worker (TUPAD) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Rep. Duterte’s office also closely coordinated with DOLE in granting TUPAD benefits to 923 street vendors.

“We had carefully profiled the TUPAD applicants to ensure that only those who deserve them are granted the benefits of the program. We are continuing to screen thousands of other applicants, especially those severely affected by the economic shock from the pandemic, to assist the DOLE in effectively implementing TUPAD in Davao City,” Rep. Duterte said.

TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, the underemployed, and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the
nature of work to be performed.

Rep. Duterte’s office provided scholarships and educational assistance to 802 students, while another 207 individuals have been granted free training programs from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) from July to September of this year.

In partnership with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, Rep. Duterte turned over five patient transport vehicles to improve the delivery of medical care to Davao City’s first district residents.

In his first three months, Rep. Duterte also initiated the construction of nine buildings to serve the needs of Davao City residents. These include evacuation centers, multi-facilities buildings, and Lamayan Bayan buildings for the use of Davaoeños who cannot afford funeral services for their departed loved ones. Rep. Duterte’s office helped shoulder the funeral bills of 1,737 deceased residents.

Rep. Duterte’s office also facilitated the hospitalization and medical assistance at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City to 4,532 individuals, including Davao’s needy indigent senior citizens. A total of 8,929 beneficiaries seeking treatment in private hospitals were provided medical assistance f m June to September 2022.

From June to August of this year, Rep. Duterte extended aid to 204 families that were victims of flash floods and 710 individuals who lost their property to fire.

Rep. Duterte and his staff distributed 102 wheelchairs and 1,514 food packs to 28 orphanages and homes for the aged from July to September.