Bunawan residents thankful for the assistance from Senator Bong Go

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 4 – The residents of different barangays in the municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur are thankful as they received the assistance from Senator Christopher “Bong” Go during his recent visit to residents affected by Tropical Depression Vicky, right before welcoming the new year 2021.
On Tuesday, December 29, Go and his team initiated a distribution activity held at the Zotico Moday Sports Complex and Cultural Center of said municipality. There, a total of 500 typhoon victims were provided with meals/food, medicine packs, vitamins, masks and face shields while strictly complying with health and safety protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

“Ang hindi ko makakalimutan na sikreto ni Presidente [Rodrigo] Duterte na kanyang itinuro sa akin ay ang unahin at mahalin mo ang kapwa Pilipino mo — dito, hinding-hindi ka magkakamali (One thing that I could never forget President Rodrigo Duterte told me is to love and prioritize our co-Filipino – and one will never regret it),” Go began in his speech.
“Kung mamatay man ako papauwi, masaya ako dahil nakapunta ako ng Bunawan at nakapagserbisyo ako sa mga kapwa ko (Should I die as I go home, I’d be happy that I was able to visit Bunawan and was able to give the services to you),” he continued.
During Go’s visit, selected indigents have received shoes from the senator.  Others were provided with bicycles for their commute to work given limited public transportation options. Another set of beneficiaries were given tablets so their children can participate better in the blended learning set-up being implemented in schools.
The Senator, also the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, acknowledged that the pandemic had overburdened many people with their medical and healthcare needs. Given this, he offered to assist those in need of medical assistance.
“Lapitan nyo lang kami. Tutulong kami sa pampagamot ninyo. Kung anumang karamdaman ninyo, susuporta kami. Dahil para sa amin, importante ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino (Just approach us. We will help you in your medical needs. Whatever illness or sickness you have, we are here to give support. Because for us, life of each Filipino is important),” he said.
He also advised them that they may conveniently seek further aid from government through the Malasakit Center at the Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City or neighboring Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital in Nabunturan, Davao de Oro. He promised that a Malasakit Center would also be opened in Agusan del Sur soon. 
“Batas na po ang Malasakit Center. Para po ito sa bawat Pilipino. At sisiguraduhin namin na magkakaroon rin ng ganito dito sa probinsya ninyo para matulungan ang mga taga rito na nangangailangan ng tulong pangkalusugan (The Malasakit Center is already a law. This is for all the Filipino people. And we assure you that the province of Agusan del Sur will also have this soon to address your health needs),” he said.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where Filipino patients can conveniently avail medical assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
The Senator also reminded everyone to cooperate with the government, remain vigilant, and follow health protocols to put a stop to the spread of COVID-19 especially as the New Year is fast approaching.
“Pakiusap, ‘wag muna mag-party sa New Year dahil delikado pa ang panahon. Sumunod tayo sa gobyerno. Ginagawa naman ito para sa inyong kapakanan. We need your cooperation (I am appealing to everyone to avoid having parties as we celebrate the New Year since it is still not safe during this time of the pandemic. Obey the government. We are doing this for your safety. We need your cooperation),” he appealed.
“Kapag mayroon na pong safe na vaccine, uunahin namin ni Presidente ang mga mahihirap, vulnerable at lahat ng mga frontliners para makabalik na kayo sa normal ninyong pamumuhay (Once we have the vaccine, the President will see to it that those who are poor, vulnerable and all the frontliners will get it first ans with hope that we could all have a normal living),” he added.
Aside from the aid that Go’s office provided, national agencies also extended assistance as part of the holistic approach of government to help affected communities recover and build back better.
Representatives of the DSWD provided each beneficiary with separate financial assistance to cover their immediate needs.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) supplied the local farmers’ cooperative with a recirculating-type grain dryer, assorted vegetable seeds and rice seeds. It also offered financial grants to help farmers purchase other equipment and supplies.
The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) extended further support by distributing checks to qualified farmers. Meanwhile, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) provided aid to local coconut farmers in the form of financial assistance, fertilizers, rice, chickens and eggs while indigenous farmers received separate financial support. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in turn, provided fisherfolk with fiber glass paddle boats and tilapia fingerlings.
In addition to the above, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Housing Authority (NHA), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), all committed to extend aid upon completing their assessments.
During his speech, the Senator expressed his appreciation for all the local officials for their untiring service throughout a tremendously challenging year. He recognized Governor Santiago Cane Jr.; Vice Governor Samuel Tortor; 2nd District Board Member Edwin Elorde; Mayor Sylvia Elorde; Vice Mayor Gilbert Elorde; Councilors Elmer Desales, June Barrios, Ruth Amador, Cipriano Dique, Ednard Gil Elorde, George Villanueva, Ronald Cesar Bustillo, Rolito Peñaloga; and ABC President Rudy Ayala, among others.
He also thanked Bunawan Brook Punong Barangay Emelio Saberdo, Poblacion Punong Barangay Antonio Barrios, Nueva Era Punong Barangay Joel Largo, San Andres Punong Barangay Candelario Salas, Consuelo Punong Barangay Gregorio Maloloy-on, Libertad Punong Barangay Fernando Luna, Mambalili Punong Barangay Jammy Vab Montes, San Teodoro Punong Barangay Charlito Rensulat, Imelda Punong Barangay Ronald Anteg, and SK President Kinny Caballes.    
Similar activities were carried out by the Senator’s outreach teams for 1,000 typhoon victims in the towns of Prosperidad and Rosario on December 28 and 29, respectively. (Office of SBG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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