Press Release
November 25, 2019

Bong Go rallies nation to fully support PH delegation to SEA Games; visits Mandaue fire victims to give assistance

With the 2019 Southeast Asian Games nearing its opening next week, Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go rallied his fellow Filipinos to fully support Team Philippines and assured Filipino athletes of full government support during his visit to Mandaue fire victims in Cebu City on Saturday, November 23.

"Ako naman, ito ang panahon hindi para magturuan at magsisihan. Kailangan ng mga atleta natin ang ating full support. Barely one week na lang, magbubukas na po ang SEA Games. Let's aim for the gold," he said, adding that he hopes that the country will place higher in the medal rankings this year after it placed 6th in the last edition of the Games in Malaysia.

"Number 6 tayo noong nakaraang SEA Games. May home court advantage tayo ngayon. Let's aim for one of the top three positions. Magtulungan tayo," Go said.

As for alleged anomalies in the handling of the funds for the Games, Go said that he himself is willing to investigate should the allegations are proven substantial.

"As Senate Committee Chair of Sports and member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, handa akong imbestigahan ang mga alegasyon. Kahit piso lang ang mawala sa gobyerno, handa akong imbestigahan 'yan," he said.

"Basta full support tayo sa mga athletes. Lahat ibinibigay natin sa kanila. Kailangan natin ngayon ay magkaisa," he added.

Meanwhile, during his visit and interaction with the fire victims, the senator distributed relief and financial assistance to more than 500 families affected by the incident that occurred on November 14. A total of 85 houses were affected by the fire.

The senator also promised to replace the uniforms and school supplies of the students so they can immediately resume their schooling.

"May dala po akong pagkain, groceries at cash assistance sa inyo, sa bawat pamilya, para pansamantala kayong maitawid ngayon. Ako na rin ang bahala sa mga uniporme at school supplies ng mga estudyante para makabalik kayo kaagad sa pag-aaral," Go said.

Go was also joined by concerned government agencies during the visit, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to provide additional assistance to the residents.

"Magtutulung-tulong lang po ang ahensya ng gobyerno para makatulong sa inyo at muli kayong makabangon sa isang dinanas na trahedya," Go said.

Go also mentioned that for those who have complaints in their social pension or in receiving benefits from DSWD programs, he has invited a representative from DSWD to assess and address their concerns.

For those who were injured or are in need of medical attention, Go assured victims that the government is always willing to help.

He also advised the victims to go to the nearest Malasakit Center to request for government medical financial assistance. A Malasakit Center at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City is readily available to assist patients in the area and nearby towns, especially those who may need to consult medical specialists.

"As of now, we have 51 Malasakit Centers all over the country. We plan to establish 73 Malasakit Centers in all DOH-run hospitals," said Go. As for the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 which recently passed the legislative process, Go hopes for President Rodrigo Duterte to sign it within the year.

"Masaya po ako dahil isa ito sa mga ipinangako ko," he said.

The center is a one-stop shop for the Filipino citizens who need financial assistance for medical needs. No more complicated forms, one sign up and the patient can avail the benefits from concerned agencies.

"Ako at ang Pangulo, wala nang hihingin pa. Ang gusto na lang namin ngayon ay maibalik ang lahat sa ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng pagseserbisyo," he added.

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