Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go distributed financial and relief assistance on Thursday, November 14, to victims of a fire that razed sixteen houses on Gonzales Street, Barangay 69, Caloocan City, in the afternoon of November 7.
The 48 affected families, comprising 148 individuals, gathered at the evacuation center of the barangay to meet Go, who was also accompanied by representatives of concerned government agencies to give additional assistance to the victims.
“Kahit saang sulok po ng Pilipinas, pupuntahan ko po kayo hanggang sa makakaya ko para magbigay ng tulong at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go told the victims, explaining that he regularly visits victims of calamities to listen to their concerns and provide solutions to their daily struggles.
The government agencies present include the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Housing Authority (NHA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“Narito po tayo para makapagbigay ng kaunting tulong at solusyon sa mga suliranin nila. Pinakiusapan ko rin ang iba’t ibang ahensiya na magbigay rin ng tulong at ipamahagi ang kanilang mga programa dito sa mga nasunugan,” Go said in the interview adding “patuloy po akong magiging tulay ninyo sa Pangulo at sa inyong gobyerno.”
Go also pledged to provide uniforms and school supplies for the affected children and offered to pay for the fare of the victims who want to relocate in the provinces.
The Senator encouraged the residents to continue supporting the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. “Meron po tayong mga rehabilitation center kung saan ninyo puwedeng dalhin ang inyong mga kapamilyang nalulong sa droga,” he said, emphasizing that rehabilitation centers are operational nationwide for those who wish to reform themselves.
“Huwag niyo na rin pong subukan dahil kapag nakatikim kayo niyan, maging sunod-sunuran kayo, maaadik kayo,” he advised the youth.
To strengthen the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Go filed during the start of the 18th Congress a legislative measure that seeks to establish a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center in every province nationwide.
“Ang mga rehab centers na ito ang tutulong sa mga drug dependents upang magamot ang kanilang adiksyon at matulungan silang mamuhay ng normal muli,” Go said in past statements, adding that the main objective of the centers is to provide care and attention for the recovery of drug dependents.
Under Senate Bill No. 399, otherwise known as an “Act Providing for the Establishment and Support of a Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Every Province Throughout the Philippines and Appropriating Funds Therefor”, one drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center shall be established in every province under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH). If passed into law, the center will be tasked to provide care, treatment, and accommodation to persons found to be drug dependents.
“Habang walang humpay ang kampanya natin kontra sa mga kriminal na sangkot sa mga drug-related na krimen at sa mga sindikatong involved sa illegal drug trade, kailangan din nating tulungan at sagipin ang mga drug dependents na naging biktima ng kanilang adiksyon sa bawal na gamot,” Go said in past statements.
In an interview after the visit, Go told reporters that the Senate is working hard to pass the 2020 budget soon.
“We will push for the passage nitong budget before the year ends. Kailangan natin ipasa ang budget para huwag na po maulit ang nakaraang taon na reenacted ang budget,” he said.
Due to disagreements between the executive and the Lower House, lawmakers failed to pass the 2019 budget on time, forcing the government to reenact the budget provided under the 2018 budget.
“Kapag reenacted budget tayo, kawalan po ng pera ng gobyerno, ng taong bayan, dahil araw-araw losses po ang ating aabutin. Ito po ang isa sa dahilan na nagkaroon tayo ng inflation sa taong ito,” Go explained.
“Wala tayong (maayos na) government spending. Maraming maapektuhang basic services sa ating mga kababayan kapag hindi pumasa ang budget,” he added.
Go, one of the vice chairs of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that he would give due attention to the matter in the Senate. “Now the ball is in our hands sa Senado. Hopefully, magkaroon po tayo ng bicameral conference committee sa Disyembre, at, hopefully, before the year ends, magkakaroon na ng signing with the President.”