DAVAO ORIENTAL– “Hinding-hindi ko pababayaan ang mga taga-Davao Oriental, lalo ngayon na kailangan natin magtulungan matapos ang sinapit ninyong trahedya.”
This was the declaration of former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) and aspiring senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as he continues his advocacy of giving help and providing joy to fire survivors, this time, to the ones in Barangay Central, Mati City.
On Monday afternoon, the former SAP and his supporters visited the fire victims in Barangay Central, Mati City, the site of the February 8, 2019 fire that burned down 55 houses, affected 78 families, led to the deaths of 3 children, and caused property damage amounting to PHP 1.5 million.
Based on initial data from the Davao Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (PDRRMC), the fire started at about 11:30 PM on Friday and was still raging at 2:00 AM on Saturday.
Residents of the area who were affected by the fire made a makeshift evacuation center out of Barangay Central’s covered court.
On February 11, 2019, Bong Go and his supporters visited the area where the Barangay Central evacuees were staying to provide assistance and give assurance that things will get better for them.
Go and his team quickly went about distributing clothes, grocery items, food packs, ready-to-eat meals, and cash assistance to the many affected families.
“Pumunta ako dito para mag-abot ng kaunting tulong mula sa ilang kaibigan para, kahit papaano, makaraos kayo,” Go stated.
The former SAP also relayed that he will be contacting his former colleagues in various government agencies to request for additional aid for the fire victims.
“Mananawagan ako sa iba’t ibang ahensya tulad ng NHA para sila din makapagbigay ng tulong sa mga biktima ng sunog,” Go told the Barangay Central residents.
In the event, Go met Jimmy Dayaan, a senior citizen blacksmith residing in the area who needs a replacement prosthetic leg. Go assured Dayaan that his team will be coordinating with the relevant parties so that he can eventually have his prosthetic leg replaced.
A senatorial candidate in the May 2019 elections, Bong Go prioritizes improvements made on the delivery of healthcare services. As part of this focus towards healthcare, he let members of his group tend to fire victims who were sick and suffering from illnesses.
In line with this, Bong Go told people about his plan to hopefully put up a Malasakit Center that will serve the people of Davao Oriental.
“One-stop shop po ito. Kung noon, isang linggo kayong iikot, manghihingi ng tulong sa iba’t ibang ahensya: DOH, PCSO, DSWD, at PhilHealth, ngayon po, nasa iisang kwarto na lang po ito sa Malasakit Center,” Go said.
A program of the Duterte administration, the Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where satellite offices of DOH, PCSO, DSWD, PhilHealth, and other particular government agencies are housed together in one location to ease the process for patients applying for quick medical and financial assistance.
Bong Go, who was integral in setting up the Malasakit Center program when he was still serving as the top aide of President Duterte, said he wants to push a law that would allow the establishment of Malasakit Centers in more provincial and urban areas of the country.
Aside from the Malasakit Center, Bong Go has a legislative agenda which has programs for agriculture, housing, education, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, anti-drug and crime drive, anti-corruption drive, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFWs, as well as senior citizen concerns.
Bong Go ended his visit to Mati City by assuring the fire survivors that he will be there to help and serve his fellow Davaoeños.
“Asahang ninyo na di ko po pababayaan ang mga taga-Davao Oriental. Kasama ni Pangulong Duterte, di kami titigil sa pagseserbisyo at pagtulong po sa bawat taong nangangailangan. Wala kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte, wala kaming ibang interes, kung hindi magserbisyo sa inyo. Mahal na mahal po namin kayo mga kapwa namin Davaoeño!