PRRD at the Donning of Rank to Newly Promoted Brigadier General PSG Commander Randolph Cabangbang

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte flashes his signature pose with newly-promoted Brigadier General, Presidential Security Group Commander Randolph Gonzalez Cabangbang accompanied by his family after the donning of rank at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on February 11, 2022. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

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.

PRRD, Go visit typhoon victims in Cebu and Palawan

As they both expressed their commitment to help communities recover and build back better

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte and other government officials in Palawan and Cebu on Thursday, December 23 to express solidarity and bring aid to communities hit by Typhoon Odette.

They assured typhoon victims that the government is determined to maximize all its assets to expedite relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

“Sa gitna ng mga kalamidad na ating nararanasan, nanawagan ako sa mga kapwa ko Pilipino na magkaisa para tulungan ang mga nasalanta ng Bagyong Odette,” Go appealed.

“Mahirap maramdaman ang saya ng Kapaskuhan kung alam nating may mga kababayan tayong naghihirap. Kaya wala kaming pahinga ni Pangulong Duterte at ng buong administrasyong ito sa pagsigurong makakarating ang tulong sa mga nangangailangan,” he added.

Together with Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and other key officials, the President and Go met with leaders of Palawan for a situation briefing. Among those present were Governor Jose Alvarez, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, Taytay Mayor Christian Rodriguez, Roxas Mayor Dennis Sabando and Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Director Fernando De Villa Jr.

The President also led the ceremonial turnover of relief goods and essential supplies at the old Puerto Princesa City Airport.

Soon after, they flew to Cebu City where President Duterte met local officials and led the distribution of food packs and the ceremonial turnover of financial assistance to typhoon victims at the Labangon Elementary School gymnasium.

“Para siguraduhin ang maayos na koordinasyon ng relief at rebuilding efforts, personal po nating tinututukan nitong mga nakaraang araw ang mga pinsalang naidulot ng Bagyong Odette. Sa mga pagbisitang ito, nakipagpulong din si Pangulong Duterte sa mga lokal na opisyal upang direktang marinig mula sa kanila ang kanilang mga pangangailangan at agarang matugunan ang mga ito,” Go narrated.

“Kasalukuyang ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat upang maibalik sa lalong madaling panahon ang supply ng kuryente, komunikasyon at tubig at maipagkaloob ang mga ayuda sa mga apektadong residente. Ngunit kailangan ang whole-of-nation approach para masiguro ang mabilis at tuluy-tuloy na pagbangon ng ating mga kababayan,” he explained further.

President Duterte and Senator Go assured the local communities that the whole government is mobilizing all its assets to help them recover and build back better. The President has also directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard and other concerned uniformed personnel and frontliners to provide needed support to the affected communities.

“Ibinilin ng Pangulo na gamitin lahat ng assets ng gobyerno upang maibangon muli ang mga komunidad na apektado. Inaasahan niya na lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno ay nakatutok sa recovery and rehabilitation efforts at walang oras o pondo na masasayang,” Go said.

To fast track all rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts, the President issued on Tuesday, December 21, Proclamation No. 1267 which placed MIMAROPA, Regions VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), VIII (Eastern Visayas), X, (Northern Mindanao) and XIII (Caraga) under a state of calamity. The declaration will remain in effect for a year until it is modified or rescinded.

In addition to hastening the delivery of government and humanitarian assistance, the proclamation also directs all concerned agencies to coordinate with, provide or augment the basic services and facilities of the affected areas. It likewise orders the law enforcement agencies, along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to undertake the necessary measures to ensure peace and order.

“Ipinaalala rin ng Pangulo na dapat mai-release na agad ang karagdagang pondo para sa mga LGUs upang makaresponde sila sa mga pangangailangan ng kanilang nasasakupan,” Go emphasized.

Two days after Typhoon Odette made landfall, Go and the President conducted aerial inspections of typhoon-ravaged areas in Visayas and Mindanao since Saturday and delivered aid to the affected families there. The two were on hand to personally give comfort and support residents of affected communities in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol and Negros Island from December 18 to 20.

On December 22, they returned to Siargao Island and the Dinagat Islands just as promised to personally oversee relief and rehabilitation efforts.

“Mas nanaisin ko pang mag-Pasko kapiling ang mga biktima ng bagyo dahil ito naman ang tunay na diwa ng okasyong ito — ang pagtulong, pagdadalamhati at pakikipagkapwa-tao,” Go stressed.


Amid the crisis caused by Typhoon Odette, Bong Go renews push for passage of disaster resiliency measures

Amid the massive devastation left behind by Typhoon Odette, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go renewed his call for the legislature to pass a series of bills intended to improve the country’s resilience and capabilities to mitigate, respond to, and recover from natural disasters.

Go pointed out that the Philippines, which is hit by an average of 20 typhoons per year, consistently ranks among the most climate-vulnerable countries. It recently ranked fourth in the list of countries most affected by extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019 in the Global Climate Risk Index (2021) developed by Bonn-based think tank Germanwatch.

To mitigate the loss of life and property due to natural disasters, the senator specifically pushed for the passage of a long overdue measure that would institutionalize a clear chain of command, responsive mechanisms, and holistic and proactive approach to handling crisis situations.

Introduced in 2019, Go’s Senate Bill No. 205 consolidates all disaster-related agencies into the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR). Doing so would allow for a more concerted approach toward disaster risk reduction and the quicker and more efficient delivery of services during times of crises.

“Kung gaano kabilis at kadalas ang pagdating ng krisis sa ating bansa, dapat lamang na maging mas mabilis, maayos, at maaasahan ang serbisyo ng gobyerno upang maprotektahan ang kapakanan at buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” said the lawmaker.

“Isang aspeto na dapat natin maisaayos ay ang inter-agency coordination. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit matagal ko nang inirerekomenda at paulit-ulit ko nang sinasabi na dapat magkaroon ng isang departamento para mayroong timon na tagapamahala ng preparedness, response, and resilience mechanisms pagdating sa mga sakuna,” he added.

Go further noted that all disaster-related agencies, such as the Office of Civil Defense and Philippine Institute of Volcanology, are currently dispersed across different departments. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is relegated to serving as a coordinating body between the various agencies.

If enacted, the proposed department will be primarily responsible for ensuring communities are disaster-resilient, adaptive and safe in the long run. It will focus on three key result areas, namely: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.

Aside from the DDR bill, Go likewise called for the passage of SBN 1228 which provides for the establishment of a permanent evacuation center in every province, city and municipality. The bill, which he filed in the same year and has since passed first reading, proposes a minimum set of requirements for every evacuation center, such as its location, accessibility, operation and amenities.

Each center will be directed to maintain a stockpile of essential supplies, such as food, water, clothing, medicine and hygiene packages. It will also have fully-equipped facilities to further ensure the well-being of every Filipino as they weather typhoons and other calamities.

To fast-track the affected families’ recovery, Go also appealed for the enactment of SBN 2393, otherwise called the Rental Housing Subsidy Act, to provide families displaced by natural and man-made disasters the necessary housing subsidies so they can relocate during the interim process of construction and have better access to the formal housing market.

“Tutulungan ng batas na ito na mabigyan ang mga mahihirap at informal settler-families natin ng disenteng buhay. Hangad ko ang suporta ng mga mambabatas dahil ang lahat ng ‘to ay para sa kabutihan ng Pilipino,” continued the senator.

“Asahan niyo na gagawin ko ang parte ko sa Senado upang isulong ang lahat ng mga nais nating makamit sa pamamagitan ng pagpasa ng mga makabuluhan at epektibong batas gaya nito,” he vowed.

Two days after Typhoon Odette made landfall, Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte to assess the situation in affected areas, give aid and comfort to victims, and help fast-track recovery efforts. They conducted inspections and situation briefings from December 18 to 20, particularly in most-hit communities such as Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.