Press Release
October 31, 2019

Bong Go aids fire victims in GenSan, says disaster resiliency efforts in the country must be prioritized

Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" distributed grocery packs and financial assistance on Wednesday, October 30, to more than 50 families affected by a fire that occurred in an informal settlement at Barangay Dadiangas West, General Santos City, on Saturday, October 26.

"Sabi nila, bakit ako naglilibot ngayong tapos na ang eleksyon. Pwede na akong magpahinga. Ngunit hindi ko matiis na magpalamig lang sa Senado tapos kayo rito naiinitan, nangangailangan ng tulong," Go told the victims.

Go added that the fire visits he regularly conduct is part of his commitment to represent the ordinary Filipinos by listening to their concerns and providing solutions to their daily struggles.

"Pumupunta ako sa mga nasunugan kasi nais kong mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati. Gusto ko marinig ang kanilang hinaing at mabigyan ng solusyon ang pang-araw araw nilang problema," Go said.

The Senator was accompanied by representatives from several government agencies that can help the victims with their immediate needs, such as the National Housing Authority (NHA), which provided housing materials assistance; the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which distributed food packs and cash assistance; and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for livelihood training and opportunities.

Go offered affected children with replacements for uniforms and school supplies that they lost in the fire so they can immediately go back to school. He also encouraged the students to apply for scholarships being offered by government agencies in order to further enhance their education and open more opportunities for them in the future.

For those who need medical attention, Go also offered to help shoulder the fare and accommodation for those who are suffering from serious illnesses and need to undergo medical operation in Davao City or Manila.

In an interview by local reporters after the event, Go said that efforts to improve disaster resiliency in the country must be prioritized by the government. He hopes to help mitigate the adverse impact of disasters, especially in poor communities through legislative measures that he has filed in the Senate.

"Pagkaupo ko po sa Senado, agad kong inihain ang proposed Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2019 at Disaster Resilience Act of 2019," he said.

The two bills aim to modernize the Bureau of Fire Protection and to establish the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), respectively.

The Senator added that included in the creation of the DDR is the construction of safe and permanent evacuation centers in disaster-prone areas nationwide.

Go also filed a bill entitled National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act which seeks to provide a long-term housing plan to address the need for adequate, affordable and quality housing for Filipinos.

"It's an ambitious bill, pero ito ang long-term plan natin sa housing ng mga nasunugan, para mabigyan sila ng relocation. Sana wala nang squatter sa sariling bayan natin," he explained.

General Santos is also one of the areas affected by the 6.6-magnitude earthquake with epicenter in Tulunan, North Cotabato, on Tuesday, October 29. The quake occurred just two weeks after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the same area.

The senator reminded the residents of southern parts of Mindanao hit by the twin quakes, saying "Be vigilant and pray. Andito ang gobyerno para tumulong sa inyo."

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