Senator Bong Go headed to Brgy. Metro Gabu, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte recently to visit and provide relief assistance to individuals and families affected by Tropical Storm Ineng.
Go reaffirmed his commitment to always be there for Filipinos in need wherever they are and whenever he can to extend help and hear their concerns firsthand.
“Kahit saang sulok ng bansa, pupuntahan ko hanggang sa makakaya ng aking oras at katawan. Basta may nangangailangan ng ating tulong, handa po ako para na rin personal kong marinig ang kanilang mga hinaing. Parte po ito ng trabaho ko bilang public servant,” the legislator said.
“I will not limit myself to being a legislator only.”
“This is a public office and what I am doing is public service. I will not limit myself to being a legislator only. Umiikot po ako sa bansa at bumababa sa mga komunidad para maramdaman ng tao ang serbisyong Tatak Duterte,” the lawmaker added.
During the visit, the senator joined the Bangon Ilocos: Relief Operations and Seed Distribution at the Capitol Auditorium in the city.
Accompanying the senator were officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other government agencies, also providing assistance to the victims, alongside the aid given by his office and supporters who share the same advocacy of helping victims of calamities.
Fellow Senator Imee Marcos and Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc also accompanied the national government officials to provide help to those affected.
“Dito po sa barangay, may dala po akong kaunting tulong. Iba naman po ‘yung dala ng gobyerno, dala po ni Pangulong Duterte, DA, DOH, DPWH, DSWD, National Food Authority (NFA), National Housing Authority (NHA) at iba’t ibang ahensya pa po ng gobyerno para po matugunan kaagad lahat ng pangangailangan nila,” Go said.
“May dala rin pong seedlings ang DA, pautang rin po na zero interest. Ang DOH naman po, may dalang medical kits, samantalang ang DSWD, may dalang pagkain, grocery packs at iba pa. Ang iba’t ibang ahensya, tulung tulong para may pantawid sa araw-araw ang mga biktima. Ako naman gaya ng sinabi ko noon, handa po ako maging tulay ninyo kay Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
“I am pushing for the establishment of a separate executive department focused on disaster resilience.”
Given the frequency of calamities and natural disasters that often occur in the country, Go said that he is pushing for the establishment of a separate executive department focused on disaster resilience to serve as the lead agency for disaster response of the government.
“Nandito po ako ngayon, kasama ang iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno. Kaya isinusulong ko na magkaroon tayo ng Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) para iisang ahensiya na lang ang tutugon sa mga pangangailangan ng mga biktima. Mas magiging mabilis at epektibo po ang pagresponde natin kapag streamlined ang proseso at holistic ang approach ng gobyerno,” he said.
Go filed Senate Bill 205, known as “Disaster Resilience Act of 2019”, which seeks to establish “an empowered, highly-specialized, and responsive Department of Disaster Resilience with clear unity of command.”
The department aims to provide faster government response to natural disasters and calamities, such as typhoons and earthquakes, by merging all related agencies under a single department. The proposed measure also mandates local government units to build permanent evacuation centers that are comfortable and complete with all necessary supplies needed by evacuees.
Meanwhile, asked when Ilocos Norte will get its own Malasakit Center, Go said the office will be established in a provincial hospital soon.
“Most likely, kung saan ang provincial hospital ninyo, kung saan kumpleto ang mga pasilidad, doon po ang magiging lokasyon ng center,” Go said adding that government plans to establish one in Ilocos Norte within the next six months.
“One-stop shop po itong Malasakit Center para po ito sa mga taga-Ilocos Norte, para po hindi na sila kailangang lumabas pa ng hospital at dumayo pa sa iba’t ibang ahensiya para lang humingi ng tulong medikal. Naroon po sa loob ng ospital ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno para bigyan sila ng medical assistance,” he explained.