Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go visited fire victims in Butuan City on Thursday, January 30, to provide immediate assistance to those who lost their homes and properties due to a fire incident that happened in the area.
The senator, who just came from an event in Biliran where he witnessed the turnover of assistance to Typhoon Ursula victims, brought relief and financial assistance to families who are temporarily staying at a makeshift evacuation center.
“May dala po akong tulong sa inyong lahat. May groceries, pagkain at financial assistance sa inyo pantawid muna ngayon,” the senator addressed the 40 families who are the victims of the said incident.
The senator added that he only wants to leave smiles and happiness to the victims in times of disasters and reminded them that he will continue to visit fire victims anywhere in the country to bring help and assistance to them.
“Gusto ko lang mag-iwan ng ngiti sa panahon ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go said, adding that he already had talks with government agencies to provide additional assistance to the fire victims.
Government agencies were also present to provide different kinds of assistance to the fire victims. There were representatives from National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the site.
“Nakiusap ako sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno, tulad ng DSWD kung saan may programa sila na magbigay ng financial assistance sa inyo,” the senator elaborated.
“Ang NHA rin ay magbibigay ng pambili ng housing materials para sa inyo habang ang DTI naman ay magbibigay ng livelihood assistance. Magtutulungan kaming lahat,” the senator added.
Go also explained to the victims about the availability of a Malasakit Center in Butuan City. He also offered help to sick residents who may need more specialized medical treatment or operations. Go told the victims that he is willing to help cover their fare and other expenses going to Manila and until the patient recovers.
During the visit, the senator also reminded the youth to stay away from illegal drugs. He also asked for their full cooperation in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. The senator provided basketballs and emphasized to the youth to focus on sports and other productive activities instead.
“Laro na lang tayo ng basketball, bigyan lahat ng bata dito ng bola,” Go said adding that he will also provide school supplies and a new set of uniform for all affected students.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the press, Go told reporters that his promise has always been to serve the nation and its people.
He said, “Mas makakapunta pa ako sa ganito kaysa piyesta. Makapagbigay lang ng konting tulong at ngiti sa panahon ng kanilang pagdadalamhati. May dala akong pagkain, gamit sa mga batang nasunugan, uniporme at school supplies. Kasama ang different government agencies, may programa tayo sa gobyerno na makakatulong sa kanila pambili ng housing materials, livelihood assistance, trabaho, scholarship, iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno. Pangtulong lang, pangtawid.”
When asked about the Fire Protection Modernization Bill he filed last year, the senator explained that he continues to push for it in the Senate.
“Para sa akin, isusulong ko itong Fire Protection Modernization Act ng Bureau of Fire Protection natin para magkaroon tayo ng kumpletong kagamitan tulad nito, ‘yung mga nasunugan, mga eskinitang lugar, kailangan natin ng not only mga modernong kagamitan, but ‘ung safety measures, education campaign para iwasan ang mga illegal tapping, ‘yung mga saksakan na iniwan ng bata. Turuan ang mga tao paano maging ligtas at maiwasan ang aksidente,” Go said.
He also mentioned the Mandatory Evacuation Center which he filed on December last year. According to the senator, one of the priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte is to build evacuation centers in every local government unit in the country.
“I also filed Mandatory Evacuation Center (bill). Isa po ito sa priority ni Presidente para magkaroon na rin tayo ng maayos na evacuation center,” he said.
Go emphasized that students also are affected in times of calamities. This is because their schools are used as evacuation centers.
“Pag may sakuna, nagagamit ‘yung eskwelahan, naapektuhan yung mga pag-aaral ng bata dahil ginagamit yung mga ito as evacuation center. Dapat magkaroon tayo ng maayos na evacuation center, yung malinis, may mga higaan sila, komportable, may comfort room hanggang makauwi sila sa kanilang pamamahay,” Go added.