Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go said he would push for rural development to decongest Metro Manila, if given a Senate seat.
Go made this commitment during his visit to fire victims in Quezon City, where he cited the need for fair distribution of infrastructure projects in all areas of the country that would spur inclusive development.
“Ang pinakaimportante sa atin is magkaroon po ng fair distribution po ng projects po across the country lahat ng rehiyon, lahat ng distrito, lahat ng munisipyo o lahat ng siyudad sa lahat ng probinsya,” the former top presidential aide said.
Go, who is gunning for a Senate seat in the 2019 polls, lamented that the congestion in metropolis, particularly in poor areas with houses built of light materials is one of the causes of frequent fire outbreaks in Metro Manila.
During his visit, the former palace official handed out assistance to fire victims in Barangay Holy Spirit, through the help of his supporters.
“Mayroon lang po kaming kaunting tulong na dala, pinansyal at tsaka pagkain,” Go said, who arrived with his friends and supporters.
Go committed to provide students affected by the fire with school supplies and uniforms.
He also offered uniforms for the employees as well as some construction materials from his supporters to help the victims build even a temporary shelter.
“Papakiusapan ko bukas ‘yung NHA na pumunta dito at ano pa ang ahensya na dapat… papapuntahain ko rin ‘yung HULRB bukas kung paano sila makakatulong sa inyo,” he added.
Meanwhile, Go was asked for his comment on the controversy over the alleged insertions for some lawmakers in the proposed 2019 national budget that triggered a word war between the House of Representatives and the Senate.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte respects the prerogative of lawmakers to allocate government funds.
“Hindi siya nakiki-alam kung paano ninyo i-aalocate yung Department of Public Works and Highway, yung pera basta divided fairly among all the regions,” Go said.
He said countryside development would gain further momentum through a shift to a federal form of government that President Duterte is pushing for, since each state would have greater control over their own resources.
“Countryside development would gain further momentum through a shift to a federal form of government that President Duterte is pushing for.”
“Sa Federalism, alam mo kanya-kanyang State ‘yun so kanya-kanyang namamahala,” Go said, although he cited the need for a strengthened education campaign to inform the people about the benefits of federalism.
Once development spreads to the province, he said it would provide more employment and business opportunities and encourage people in the metropolis to go back home.
“Once development spreads to the province, it would provide more employment and business opportunities and encourage people in the metropolis to go back home.”
He even encouraged some of the fire victims to go back to their respective provinces and start their lives anew.
“Doon sa atin sa probinsya maluwag di ba? Pwede naman kayo umuwi doon sa probinsya ‘yung komportable kayo.” Go said.
However, he acknowledged that many of them who have steady employment would likely prefer to stay in the city.
Go added that those who need medical assistance can go to Malasakit Centers that cater to all Filipinos especially the poor who cannot afford to avail medical treatment and medicines.
The center is a one-stop shop program of President Duterte that Go helped establish during his stint as presidential aide.
The Malasakit Center houses concerned government offices to hasten the delivery of medical and financial assistance particularly for poor patients.
Go said he wants to institutionalize the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all the provinces and urban centers of the country through an appropriate law.
As a staunch supporter of the President’s anti-drug war, Go also urged the fire victims and nearby residents to stay away from illegal drugs. After the visit to fire victims, he joined tricycle drivers in a ‘boodle fight’ and took the opportunity to remind them about the government’s war against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality.
“Lumayo kayo sa masamang bisyo. Nakakasira lang yan ng pamumuhay at pamilya,” he stressed.
Apart from these advocacies, Go said he has programs for agriculture and food security, housing, education, sports and youth development, anti-corruption, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, and the creation of a Department of OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker).