Just like his mentor, President Rodrigo Duterte, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go said Monday he also sees rural development through quality healthcare and better infrastructure, as the key to the country’s long term socio-economic growth.
“Nais ni Tatay Digong na mapaunlad ang lahat ng bahagi ng Pilipinas at hindi lang ang Metro Manila, kaya nais niyang magkaroon ng mabilis na daloy ng komersyo mula at patungo sa malalayong lugar. At sa ilalim ng Build, Build, Build program, isa sa priority projects ang Iloilo-Guimaras Bridge (Tatay Digong wants to improve all parts of the Philippines, not just Metro Manila. That’s why he wants to ensure the fast movement of commerce from and to the far-flung areas. Under the ‘Build Build Build,’ one of the priority projects is the Iloilo-Guimaras Bridge),” Go said in his speech at the ground breaking ceremony of the ferry terminal in the buenavista wharf in Guimaras.
In his latest visit to the provinces of Guimaras and Palawan, Go said among the projects is the plan to construct a bridge connecting Iloilo and Guimaras which is expected to be finished during President Duterte’s term.
“Mayroong plano ang ating gobyerno na magkaroon ng Iloilo – Guimaras bridge. Pino-process na ito ngayon at umaasa tayo na maitatayo ito bago matapos ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte. Para talaga ito makatulong sa transportation dito sa Guimaras [at Iloilo] (Our government has a plan to build the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge. This is being processed and we’re hoping that this will be finished before President Duterte’s term ends. This is really to help the transportation here in Guimaras),” he said.
While in Guimaras, Go also pledged to help in pushing for a Malasakit Center to open in the island before the year ends.
During his time as SAP, he was President Duterte’s lead official in setting up the centers all over the country.
“Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pagpapatayo ng mga Malasakit Center. Sa center na ito, isahang proseso na lang ang paghingi ng financial assistance sa DOH, DWSD, Philhealth at PCSO. Mahigit sampu na po ang naipapatayo natin sa mga pampublikong ospital, at layunin po nating magkaroon ng mahigit tatlumpong Malasakit Center sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa (I will continue putting up Malasakit Centers. In this center, there will be a single process in asking for financial assistance at the DOH, PhilHealth and PCSO. We have built some 10 in public hospitals, and we plan to build more than 30 Malasakit Centers all over the country),” Go said.
Meanwhile, in line with his push for more government programs in areas outside of Metro Manila, Go, during his visit to Palawan, said he will assist the local government in sourcing ambulances so that the residents of Palawan will have easier access to quality healthcare.
“Maglalagay tayo rito ng ambulansya mula sa mga gusto magdonate. Ito ‘yung susundo sa mga pasyente mula sa malalayong lugar rito sa Isla ng Palawan. Libre ito, at tatawag lang sila para hindi po sila mahirapan na humiram ng ambulansya o sasakyan at para safe ‘yung pasyente na i-tatransport sa hospital po na may Malasakit center (We will put an ambulance for those who want to donate. This will fetch our patients from far-flung areas in Palawan. This is free, and they will just call so they won’t be burdened in borrowing an ambulance, and so the patients will be brought to the hosital safely),” he said.
In his last visit to Palawan, Go launched a Malasakit Center in the vicinity of Ospital ng Palawan, Puerto Princesa city.
He noted, however, that given the size and terrain of the province, there is a need to provide ambulances to transport patients coming from far municipalities.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop program of President Duterte to hasten the delivery of medical services and give poor patients access to free medicine.
A fast lane prioritizing the senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) is also available. Currently, there are 15 established Malasakit Centers nationwide.