Senator-elect Bong Go laid down his priority bills for the Filipino people once he is seated in the Senate, with the increase of public school teachers’ salaries on top.
Go bared his plan to increase the salary of public-school teachers after the implementation of the fourth and final tranche of their compensation adjustment in 2019 pursuant to EO 21 s. 2016 as amended by EO 76 s. 2019.
Aside from public school teachers, the former presidential aide is also looking at increasing the pay of all civilian personnel of government in consonance with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value and to attract and retain competent and committed civil servants.
“No one should be left behind. Dapat holistic approach, kasama rin ang iba pang manggagawa sa gobyerno. Alagaan natin ang mga ordinaryong kawani ng bayan,” he said.
Apart from the increase of salary for teachers, Go will also push for measures to address problems of informal settlers and provide affordable houses for all, especially the poor.
“Kailangan din nating mas lalong pagbutihin ang ating mga programa para sa mga nangangailangan ng mura at disenteng bahay. We need a long-term affordable housing program,” he said.
“We need a long-term affordable housing program.”
Go stressed that forms of housing intervention nationwide should be pursued so that each Filipino family will have their own homes.
“Isa ito sa gusto kong pagaralan at isulong upang matugunan natin ang 6.5-milyong kakulangan sa pabahay. Wala na dapat squatter sa sarili nating bayan,” he said.
Go also supports the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience to scale-up the country’s resiliency and preparedness when it comes to natural calamities and man-made disasters.
“I support the creation of Department of Disaster Resilience.”
“Dahil sa patuloy at tumitinding pananalasa ng iba’t ibang mga kalamidad at sakuna, kinakailangang magkaroon ng sariling departamento na tututok sa disaster risk reduction management. Ilagay natin sa isang departamento lang ang lahat ng mga may kaugnayang ahensya, katulad ng Office of Civil Defense, PAGASA, PHILVOCS, etc.,” he stated.
Go is also pushing for a law that would enable the establishment of a Malasakit Center in more provinces and strategic urban centers in the country and allow as well for the continuation of the program even after President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term of office.
Based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center is a continuing program of the administration seeking to make it easier and faster for indigent patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and PhilHealth.
Likewise, the creation of the Department of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) is also Go’s priority. The proposed department will serve as a one-stop-shop in providing legal assistance for OFWs in distress; to arrange a full migration cycle approach in promoting migrant’s rights from pre-employment as well as onsite and reintegration services; and to launch a shared database system that contains important information of all OFWs to aid in tracking their status and fast track delivery of assistance specially to distressed workers.
He is also planning to extend the term of current barangay officials whose terms were cut short due to the postponement of the last barangay elections. For Go, two years is not enough to complete their programs and projects that will benefit their constituents.
“Kapag nagbukas ang kongreso, ‘yan ang isa sa mga una nating isusulong dahil kulang ang two years nila para gawin ang programa sa kanilang barangay. Hindi naman nila kasalanan na maikli ang termino nila. Dapat lang na ma-extend para maisulong ang mga proyekto nila,” Go said.
Other priorities under his legislative agenda include programs for agriculture, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, and improved benefits for senior citizens.
Go is looking forward to the monthly mini Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meetings to facilitate the passage of key measures that may be considered priorities by Congress and the administration. Senate President Tito Sotto is also supporting the holding of monthly mini LEDACs.
Sotto believes that if the Senate and House leaders could meet once a month and discuss their respective priority bills, then approving the proposed laws would be easier as they would be on the same page.