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Davao City, Philippines

Bong Go assists over one thousand more typhoon victims in Northern Samar; renews push for establishing mandatory evacuation centers nationwide

May 03, 2021 - Monday 8:05 PM by MDM

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Following the severe storm surge and resulting flood damage caused by Typhoon Bising two weeks earlier, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s outreach team was on the ground in Laoang, Northern Samar to support the ongoing relief efforts and help affected residents build back better. 

“Nangako ako sa inyo pagka-proklamasyon ko na kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas kayo, pupuntahan ko kayo hangga’t kaya ng aking katawan. Nakikiusap po ako, magkaisa at magmalasakit tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Malalampasan din natin ito. Hindi namin kayo pababayaan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Nandidito ang inyong gobyerno, handang tumulong sa inyo,” Go promised in a video message. 

The team provided meals, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 1,193 residents at the Laoang Integrated Enterprises Terminal Complex and Hobayan Pastoral Center on Thursday, April 29. Each activity was carried out in small batches while strictly observing government’s health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Selected beneficiaries were also given new shoes or bicycles so they can travel easily amid the limited public transportation options. Others were provided computer tablets for their children to use in the remote classes conducted by schools under the blended learning approach. 

The same aid was extended to over one thousand typhoon victims in the nearby towns of Catubig, Catarman and Pambujan from April 27 to 28.

The Senator, who serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, further offered to provide assistance to any beneficiary who requires but cannot access the necessary medical treatment in their area. He urged them to visit the Malasakit Center located in the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman. 

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where patients may conveniently avail medical assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. 

The Malasakit Centers program was enacted into law through a measure that Go authored and sponsored in 2019. 

“Pinaparating ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang pangangamusta niya sa inyong lahat. Gagawin namin ang lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya para makapagbigay kami ng solusyon at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa panahon ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” reassured Go. 

“Magsabi lang kayo sa amin kung ano pa ang puwede naming maitulong. Patuloy kami na magseserbisyo sa kapwa nating Pilipino,” he continued.  

The Senator went on to recognize the efforts of the public officials to reach out and help the victims of Typhoon Bising. Among those present during the activities were Governor Edwin Ongchuan, Vice Governor Gary Lavin, 2nd District Representative Jose Ong Jr., Mayor Harris Ongchuan and Vice Mayor Miguel Sarmiento. 

Go further assured that he will continue to promote the welfare and protection of victims of natural and human-induced disasters, especially the less fortunate and those who are considered among the most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly and disabled.

In 2019, he filed Senate Bill No. 1228 which provides for the establishment of an evacuation center in every city, municipality and province throughout the country in order to ensure the safety and well-being of Filipinos during times of natural calamities and other disasters.

The proposed measure sets the minimum requirements for every evacuation center, such as the location, amenities and accessibility, and operation and management, among others.

“Isa pa pong pinu-push ko itong mandatory evacuation center para mayroon na tayong permanenteng evacuation center tuwing may nasusunugan, baha, lindol, o bagyo. Obligasyon ng gobyerno na palaging maging handa na tumulong sa oras ng sakuna,” said Go. 

The bill is currently pending in the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation.