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Bong Go: bayanihan key to overcome COVID-19 crisis

July 27, 2020 - Monday 9:07 PM by MDM

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Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has reiterated that a people united in the spirit of bayanihan and cooperation with the government is the way for the country to overcome the current health crisis due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Nakikiusap po ako sa aking mga kababayan na patuloy tayong magtulungan at magbayanihan para malampasan natin ang krisis na kinakaharap natin ngayon dahil sa COVID-19,” Go said.

"Tulad ng sinabi ng Pangulo, panahon ito para magtulungan at hindi maglamangan sa ating kapwa. Panahon ngayon ng pagkakaisa. Let us follow health protocols imposed and help each other by preventing infection and eventually helping this nation," he added.  

On Monday, July 27, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his fifth State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa discussing, among others, the various measures being implemented by the government to address the challenges caused by the current health crisis. The President said, “Let me say that the strength of the nation rests in the hands of the people acting as one with the government.”

Duterte added that when the pandemic struck the country, “I decided to prioritize life over other considerations according to experts. Buhay muna bago lahat.”  He further mentioned that the interventions in place have prevented 1.3 to 3.5 million infections. 

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go emphasized that in order to effectively contain further spread of the outbreak, he again appealed to the public to follow all health and safety protocols.  Recently, he also appealed to the government to more strictly impose a face mask-wearing policy, noting that proper wearing of the standard mask will reduce the risk of catching the virus causing COVID-19 by as much as 85%.

"I am urging the government to enforce a stronger mask-wearing policy in the country. Let us make this a discipline among all Filipinos as we continue our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19," Go previously said.

“Kailangan nating sundin ang mga health protocols na iniimplement ng ating gobyerno. Magsuot po tayo ng tamang face mask, magsocial distancing po tayo at huwag po tayong lumabas kung hindi naman po kinakailangan,” Go said.

The President, in his SONA, highlighted the government’s continuing efforts to strengthen the country’s capabilities to test, trace and treat COVID-19 cases while appealing to the general public that their cooperation is crucial for these efforts to be successful and for resources not to be put to waste. 

The President said in his speech that the country now has more accredited laboratories nationwide. “We are aiming to conduct 1.4 million tests by end of July and ensure a quick turnaround time of test results with a maximum of 72 hours.” 

The President also recognized how the Malasakit Centers had been helpful during the health crisis.

“The Malasakit Centers have proven to be a great help to our less fortunate citizens... There are 75 centers serving Filipinos all over the country. They will be of great help in ensuring that people remain healthy and resilient during this time,” the President said.

Go, who authored the Malasakit Center Act, has been actively monitoring the operations of Malasakit Centers in many hospitals nationwide.

“Marami na ang natulungan ng Malasakit Centers natin sa iba’t ibang hospital sa bansa lalo na ngayong nagka-pandemya tayo. Hindi tayo titigil sa pagpapatayo nito para lahat ng DOH-run hospital, at iba pang hospitals ay magkaroon nito. Para po ito sa lahat ng Pilipino. Pera ninyo po ito, ibinabalik lang sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal,” Go said.

In his SONA speech, President Duterte also said that the gains achieved during the first few years of his administration have been put to test when the pandemic struck globally.

“The global scale and socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented... Yet we were able to withstand the headwinds,” President Duterte said. He added that with a strong fiscal position, prudent fiscal management and a robust banking system, “We are in a better position to weather... the pandemic.”

The Senator reechoed, saying, “If we all help each other, and practice the spirit of bayanihan, we will definitely get through this pandemic altogether. No Filipino will be left behind.”