Davao City LGU sends medical teamto help injured victims of C-130 crash

The Davao City government has offered medical assistance and condolences to victims and the families of those who died in the tragic C130H plane crash in Sulu on Sunday.

In a live interview during the Special Hour over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte said that the city is in close coordination with the local government of Zamboanga is extending the needed medical assistance for the injured survivors.

“As help nato as Dabawenyos, we sent six doctors to Zamboanga City, to assist ilang doctors didto kung unsa ilang mabuhat didto para sa mga survivors and those who are injured (As a form of our help as Dabawenyos, we sent six doctors, to assist doctors there in what they can do to help the survivors and those who are injured),” she said, adding these doctors from Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) volunteered to help, bring supplies over the area to treat the injured.

The C-130H plane crash killed 50 people, 47 military personnel, and 3 civilians and injured 53 (49 military personnel and four civilians).

The mayor said that the city is a sister city of Zamboanga, it is in constant coordination for extension of further help.

“Constant ang atoang coordination with the Zamboanga Local government unit, we are asking them if duna pa silay kinahanglan to support the retrieval recovery and treatment of the injured as well as the management of the dead (Our coordination with the Zamboanga local government is constant, we are asking them if they still have needs to support the retrieval and treatment of the injured as well as the management of the dead),” the mayor said.

In an earlier statement, the city government offered its deepest condolences to the families of those who perished from the crash. In honor of those who died in the tragedy, Davao City will fly the flag at half-mast from July 5 to July 9, 2021. CIO

Bong Go lauds PRRD for signing EO 140 to restore the country’s labor market amid the adverse economic impacts of the pandemic

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Executive Order No. 140, which officially adopted the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) as the Philippine government’s master plan for the restoration of the country’s labor market.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo at kinokomendahan si Pangulong Duterte sa pagpirma niya ng EO 140 na layuning maglatag ng recovery strategy para sa labor market ng bansa na lubos na apektado ng kasalukuyang pandemya,” said Go.

“Layunin po nito na buuin ang NERS Task Force na siyang bubuo ng mga polisiya upang makapaglikha pa tayo ng mas maraming trabaho sa bansa at magkaroon ng access ang ating mga kababayan sa mga ito. Bubuo rin sila ng mga polisiya para sa livelihood trainings, pagpapalakas ng productivity ng ating mga manggagawa, pagsusulong ng kanilang karapatan, at marami pang iba,” he added.

On Monday, June 29, Duterte signed the EO. It institutionalizes the NERS Task Force, which consists of 20 agencies, and is directed to implement the NERS from 2021 to 2022 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse effects.

Members are the Departments of Transportation, Tourism, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Interior and Local Government, Information and Communications Technology, Environment and Natural Resources, Education, Finance, and Budget and Management, among other agencies.

The passage of laws to support economic and employment recovery, the implementation of youth employability initiatives, process upgrades, and loan assistance to businesses are among those on the recovery agenda. Also included are the promotion of retooling and upskilling of workers, social protection to vulnerable groups, deferment of fees, and continuous support and monitoring of programs with high impact on employment.

As the country jumpstarts the economy while government rolls out its vaccination program, Go continues to push for the passage of key legislative measures that can ease the burden of the pandemic on ordinary Filipinos and ensure continued public service delivery during these challenging times.

For one, Go supported the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE bill to help small businesses cope with the adverse impact of the crisis. According to Go, the tax reform measure also aims to achieve faster and equitable regional development and provide economic opportunities in the provinces by encouraging businesses to invest in the countryside.

Moreover, Go filed the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery or GUIDE bill.

“Ang mga ito ay naglalayong magkaroon ng dagdag na mekanismong pinansyal para matulungan ang mga negosyo na magkaroon ng puhunan,” Go explained.

“Kung matutulungan natin ang mga negosyo na bumangon at lumago, matutulungan rin ng pribadong sektor ang ating mga kababayan at magkakaroon rin ng mas maraming economic opportunities sa buong bansa,” he added.

The Public Services Bill and the Foreign Investment Bill are also being prioritized by the government and are currently undergoing plenary deliberations. Meanwhile, the Retail Trade Liberalization bill already passed the Senate’s third and final reading.

To ensure that government can better adapt to the new normal, Go is also pushing for a measure that will spur the shift of government processes and transactions towards e-governance. He filed in July last year Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1738, or the “E-Governance Act of 2020,” which mandates the government to establish an integrated, interconnected, and inter-operable information and resource-sharing and communications network.

Go said e-governance “will reduce red tape, eliminate corruption, enhance transparency, provide safe and convenient delivery of services to the people and encourage citizen feedback and participation.”

“Ginagawan na natin ng paraan na magiging mas malinis at madali ang pakikipag-transaksyon sa gobyerno. Kung kaya’t bukod sa maayos na pag-implementa ng Ease of Doing Business Act, isinusulong ko rin ang aking E-Governance Bill upang mas makapag-adapt ang bansa sa ‘new normal’,” said Go.

“Gamit ang makabagong teknolohiya, gagawin nating mas mabilis, maginhawa, at angkop sa pangkasalukuyang sitwasyon ang mga proseso ng gobyerno para mas makabenepisyo sa pangkaraniwang mga Pilipino,” he added.

Go is also the main proponent of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program. BP2 is a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and whole-of-government initiative which seeks to decongest Metro Manila and enhance regional development by incentivizing residents and businesses to settle and invest in areas outside Metropolitan areas.

It places emphasis on four key result areas, namely: (1) the empowerment of local industries; (2) food security and agricultural productivity; (3) housing, social welfare, health, employment and human resource development; and (4) infrastructure development. Beneficiaries who are returning to their provinces can expect to receive assistance on transportation, housing and livelihood, among others, subject to assessment.

BP2 roll-outs are presently temporarily suspended due to the pandemic and shall resume once conditions are deemed safe. However, preparations by local government units and partner agencies are underway.

“Magtulungan at magbayanihan po tayo para malampasan ang krisis na ito. Pasiglahin natin muli ang ating mga kabuhayan, at bigyan natin ng bagong pag-asa ang ating mga kababayan ng mas ligtas at komportableng buhay — anumang pagsubok ang dumating,” Go said.

Bong Go reiterates: “Count me out of 2022 election talks”; says PRRD determined to fight corruption

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go repeated his previous appeal to be counted out for a higher position in the upcoming national elections in 2022, but thanked all those who have expressed their support for him.

“Nagbigay na po ako ng statement ukol dito, I have reiterated many times, sabi ko, please count me out, please count me out muna. Kung maaari, ako na lang po ‘yung pinakahuli sa listahan ninyo,” said Go during his visit to fire victims in Quezon City on Tuesday, June 29.

The Senator said that he is currently focusing on helping the country cope and beat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Gusto ko munang unahin itong krisis na ito na malampasan natin… let me repeat. I am not interested. ‘Yan rin po ang sinabi ko kanila Sec. Cusi at sa mga kasamahan ko sa partido. Ayaw ko munang pag-usapan ang pulitika,” Go stressed.

“Ang focus natin is paano po malampasan itong pandemyang ito. Bakuna muna bago ang pulitika. Baka wala na tayong pulitikang pag-uusapan kung hindi natin malampasan itong krisis na ito. Darating rin tayo diyan pagdating ng Oktubre.

“Sa ngayon po ang focus ko muna, nakatutok po ako sa pagseserbisyo sa ating mga kapwa Pilipino na naghihirap po sa ngayon. Priority ko po ang pagseserbisyo sa ating kapwa Pilipino. ‘Yun lang po ang focus ko ngayon, para malampasan muna natin itong pandemyang ito,” he added.

He, however, thanked everyone who has been urging him to seek a higher position. Go said that while he understands the challenges that go with the job, the Senator remained firm that he is not interested.

“Salamat po sa lahat ng tiwala, let me repeat. I am not interested. Alam ko po gaano kahirap ang trabaho ng isang Pangulo. Nasa tabi po ako ni Pangulo halos araw-araw noon. Napakahirap po ng trabaho ng isang Pangulo. Lalung-lalo na po ngayon nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya,” Go explained.

“Pagod na pagod na po ako, pagod na pagod na po kami ni Pangulong Duterte. Ngunit kayo po ang nagbibigay lakas sa amin para makapagserbisyo pa po at malampasan muna natin itong krisis na ito,” he added.

Meanwhile, after claims of fellow Senator Manny Pacquiao that corruption exacerbated under the Duterte Administration, Go said that the President will continue to go after corrupt officials and is determined to stamp corruption out of the government.

“Nakapagsalita naman po ang Pangulo at alam n’yo, kung (gaanong) galit po si Pangulong Duterte sa mga corrupt na opisyal. Ang gusto lang po mangyari ni Pangulong Duterte… ginagawa po ni Pangulong Duterte ang lahat ng kanyang makakaya para sugpuin po ang korapsyon,” said Go.

“Though hindi talaga totally pa rin po na-eliminate ‘yung corruption, pero sinisikap po ng ating mahal na Pangulo na mawala ang corruption,” he added.

President Duterte challenged Pacquiao in his most recent Talk to the People address to name corrupt government institutions and personnel that the latter was pertaining to. This is to verify the senator’s assertion that corruption is worsening despite the President’s efforts to remove unscrupulous public officials and employees.

“Kaya nagsalita lang po ang ating mahal na Pangulo na pangalanan po, in fairness, sa kanyang official family, sa kanyang administrasyon na hindi lang po maakusahan. Ang hinihingi lang naman po ni Pangulong Duterte ay katotohanan nga lang po. Magsabi kayo ng totoo, bukas naman po ang opisina ni Pangulong Duterte, alam n’yo naman po sinisibak n’ya talaga ang lahat ng corrupt sa gobyerno,” explained Go.

“Kahit na kasamahan niya noon pa, kahit na tumulong sa kanya noong kampanya, basta pumasok ka sa corruption, sibak ka talaga,” he added.

Go, then, mentioned that he knows Duterte very well and that he will never tolerate corruption under his watch.

“Kilala ko po si Pangulong Duterte at seryoso po ‘yung kanyang kampanya. Wala po siyang sinasanto. Kung may nakakalusot, tulungan n’yo po siya,” said Go.

“Kaya nga po pangalanan n’yo po kung sinuman po ‘yong totoong mga magnanakaw sa gobyerno dahil galit po si Pangulong Duterte sa mga corrupt,” he ended.

Bong Go thanks PRRD for enactment of 13 bills seeking to enhance health facilities and improve delivery of health services in various provinces

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, joined President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday, June 24, as the latter signed 13 measures that will improve the capacity of various hospitals to provide quality care and services especially amid an ongoing global health crisis.

As committee chair, Go sponsored the bills in the Senate the previous month. During his sponsorship in the plenary, he stated, “hindi ako titigil na ipaglaban kung ano ang makakabuti sa ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating mga kapatid. Kahit na anong hirap ang pagdaanan ko, basta kapakanan nila, ipaglalaban ko ito”.

The signed laws include measures that will establish new medical facilities, increase the bed capacities and upgrade the capabilities of select hospitals in various provinces throughout the country. They are:

  1. Republic Act (RA) No. 11559, otherwise known as An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Naguilian District Hospital in the Municipality of Naguilan, Province of La Union;
  2. R.A. No. 11562 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Rosario District Hospital in the Municipality of Rosario, Province of La Union;
  3. R.A. No. 11560 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Sinait District Hospital in Sinait, Ilocos Sur;
  4. R.A. No. 11564 or An Act Establishing a General Hospital in the City of Bacolod, Province of Negros Occidental to be known as the Bacolod City General Hospital;
  5. R.A. No. 11563 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in the Province of Misamis Occidental;
  6. R.A. No. 11565 or An Act Converting the Medina Extension Hospital in the Municipality of Medina, Province of Misamis Oriental into a General Hospital to be known as the First Misamis Oriental General Hospital;
  7. R.A. No. 11566 or An Act Converting the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital in Palo, Leyte into a General Hospital to be known as the Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez General Hospital and Schistosomiasis Center;
  8. R.A. No. 11567 or An Act Renaming the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in the City of Tacloban, Province of Leyte into the Eastern Visayas Medical Center;
  9. R.A. No. 11568 or An Act Establishing a General Hospital in Barangay Lacaron, in the Municipality of Malita, Province of Davao Occidental to be known as the Davao Occidental General Hospital;
  10. R.A. No. 11558 or An Act Establishing a General Hospital in the Municipality of Rosales, Province of Pangasinan to be known as the Conrado F. Estrella Regional Medical and Trauma Center;
  11. R.A. No. 11561 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the East Avenue Medical Center in Brgy. Diliman, Quezon City;
  12. R.A. No. 11557 or An Act Establishing a 300-bed Capacity Tertiary Training and General Hospital in Barangay Mauway, City of Mandaluyong to be known as the Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales General Hospital; and
  13. R.A. No. 11556 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the lying-in clinic in the Municipality of Rizal, Province of Palawan.

In a speech delivered during the signing ceremony, President Duterte congratulated both Houses of Congress for the passage of the measures. He assured the medical community that his administration would continue to work with legislators and other stakeholders to address their concerns and equip them with their needs to fulfill their duty.

“Thirteen of these laws are health-related and are very crucial in strengthening the capacity of our health care system as we continue to overcome the current pandemic,” said Duterte.

“Indeed, the establishment of new (hospitals) would make quality medical services more accessible to our people, especially those in far-flung areas. Increasing the bed capacities of our existing public hospitals will likewise augment our inventory of hospital beds that we badly need as we deal with the pandemic,” the President continued.

During the ceremony, the President also signed other measures that Go supported, namely bills that seek to convert the Basilan State College into the Basilan State University, reapportion Bataan province into three legislative districts, and renew the franchise of the Baycomms Broadcasting Corporation which Go also co-sponsored.

Bong Go assures LGUs that national government will help them acquire sufficient vaccines

For their constituents to ensure more protection against COVID-19 in critical areas

As local government units exert efforts to acquire vaccines against COVID-19 for their constituents, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go assured them that the national government will provide the support necessary so that critical areas can be provided vaccines despite the limited global supply for COVID-19 doses.

“Marami na pong gustong mag-order ng bakuna na mga LGUs. Kaya lang ang problema po—supply. Ang may prayoridad po sa ngayon ay ‘yung mga… ay ‘yung national government. Eh kasi ang national government po ang pumipirma po doon sa Indemnification Agreement,” explained Go.

“So, sila po ‘yung nabibigyan ng priority dahil unang-una, halimbawa ‘yung sa COVAX Facility, mula po ‘yon sa WHO (World Health Organization) ay inuuna po ‘yung mga national government natin para ma-prioritize kaagad ‘yung mga nasa priority list – frontliners, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, itong mga economic frontliners. So tuluy-tuloy po ‘yan,” he added.

Earlier this year, Go expressed his support for a Senate resolution allowing local government units to buy their own COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents. With the guidance of the national government, Go said that this should expedite the process of procuring sufficient supply of safe and effective vaccines for all Filipinos.

While the supplies of LGUs which procured their own doses are yet to arrive, Go urged them to utilize those provided by the national government and ensure that they are distributed efficiently in their respective localities.

“So, sa ngayon, nakikiusap po ako sa LGUs habang hindi pa po dumarating ang inyong supply, ay unahin n’yo po ang supply ng national at iturok kaagad… Pagdating turok kaagad, ayusin n’yo po ‘yung deployment,” said Go, urging these LGUs to strictly follow the priority list of the national vaccination program.

“Magtulungan po tayo. Hindi po kayang gawin ng national government lang ito. Nasa kamay po ng LGUs ‘yung pagdeploy ng bakuna, ‘yung priority list dapat masunod pa rin. Kung maaari po, suyurin n’yo po, puntahan n’yo ‘yung mga bahay ng mga kababayan natin, ‘yung mga senior citizens na takot pong lumabas. Puntahan n’yo po ang mga bahay doon n’yo po i-encourage na magpabakuna,” he said.

Go also urged the public, particularly individuals belonging to the priority groups, not to fear the vaccine and get inoculated.

“Sa mga senior citizens naman, nasa priority list naman kayo, magpabakuna na po kayo para makalabas po kayo. Habang hindi kayo bakunado, mas mahihirapan kayo, nakakulong kayo diyan sa inyong mga bahay. Kaya sa mga senior citizens na nasa priority list, please avail of the vaccines,” said Go.

“Huwag n’yo na pong ipagpaliban ang inyong karapatan na magpabakuna. Nasa inyo na po ang bola ngayon na dapat na ho kayong magpabakuna,” he added.

Go also said that President Rodrigo Duterte has already instructed the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to immediately deploy vaccines to high risk areas amid reports of rising COVID-19 cases in some localities.

“Pinabigyan na po ng priority ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga probinsya. So, ibig sabihin nito, lahat po lalung-lalo na ‘yung medyo nasa critical stage, yung mga tumataas po ‘yung kaso… ay pinapa-priority ni Pangulo,” said Go.

Go also shared some updates regarding the national vaccination program. According to him, more than 8.4 million doses have been administered so far while the country has already received 14.2 million COVID-19 doses from various sources. An additional 11 million vaccines are expected to arrive in July.

“Ulitin ko, mga kababayan ko, magtiwala ho kayo sa bakuna. Huwag ho kayong matakot sa bakuna. Ang bakuna po ang solusyon o susi para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa normal na pamumuhay at makamtan natin, maabot natin ang herd immunity,” said Go.

“Ang target po natin na herd immunity ngayong taon na ito. ‘Yun po ang importante, herd immunity – ibig sabihin hindi na po sana kumalat ‘yung sakit dahil nakamtan na natin ‘yung herd immunity. ‘Yun po ang pinakaimportante, around 70 million Filipinos must be inoculated o mabakunahan po para po ma-achieve natin ‘yung herd immunity para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa normal nating pamumuhay,” he added.