Senator Bong Go handed over government financial assistance to some 169 displaced families or more than 600 residents of an informal settlement in Barangay San Antonio, San Pedro City, Laguna that was hit by a recent fire.

In a media interview, Go brushed aside the moniker “hero of fire victims” as he is always present to offer assistance in the aftermath of a fire.

“Please regard me as like your neighbor.”

“Public servant lang po ako. Do not consider me a hero. Ituring lang po ninyo ako na parang kapitbahay lang ninyo ako. Serbisyo lang po (I am just a public servant. Do not consider me a hero. Please see me as your neighbor. This is a matter of service),” the legislator said.

Go said that as a senator, he should be ready to attend to his countrymen who are in dire need of assistance especially fire victims.

“Uunahin ko talaga ang mga nasunugan, at para magsilbing tulay sa national government para mabigyan kaagad ng tulong tulad ng kuryente, kailangan sa bahay, at mabigyan natin ng solution (I give these fire victims priority and will serve as their bridge to the national government so they could be attended to expeditiously like their electricity, household needs, so we could provide the solution),” the lawmaker said.

“We offer them joy amid their time of suffering.”

“Magbigay tayo ng konting ngiti sa kanila sa panahon sa kanilang pagdadalamhati (We also offer them a bit of joy in their time of suffering),” he added.

Go also assured fire victims and transients who may wish to return to their hometowns of fare assistance as well as school uniforms and supplies for the affected school children including government scholarship assistance for vocational and tertiary students who survived the fire.

Apart from the senator’s financial assistance, aid was also given to fire victims by the San Pedro City government and by national government agencies such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, National Housing Authority (NHA) and other non-government organizations and civil society organizations.

San Pedro City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) chief Ma. Fatima C. Autor said the fire victims are now temporarily being housed at the San Antonio evacuation center. Fire victims were also given P15,000 as initial financial assistance by the city government and another P20,000 from the NHA so they could rebuild their homes.

“Most of the affected residents are informal settlers and family members are factory workers, tricycle drivers, utility and construction workers, and even city hall employees,” Autor said.

She said the victims are provided with food and utensils for their meals and are attended to by around 50 daycare workers who took turns during duty shifts.

“Parang isang community na sila dahil matagal na silang naninirahan dyan so hindi problem and peace and order (They are like a community because they have been living there for a long time so peace and order is not be a problem). They know each other. Alam po nila ang sukat ng bahay nila (They know each other),” Autor said.

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