President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go attended the 69th National Executive Board Meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines on Friday, September 27, in Dusit Hotel, Davao City where the senator delivered a short message explaining his legislative agenda. He also expressed his deep respect and admiration of city mayors who continue to provide quality service to their respective constituents.
“As all of you probably know, I have been President Rodrigo Duterte’s assistant for more than twenty years, and, in most of those years, he was the mayor of Davao City,” Go said during his message.
He added, “It is not an exaggeration for me to claim that I understand the challenges that city mayors face and I highly respect and admire you for your service and dedication to your respective cities.”
Noting the tremendous work that city mayors undertake, Go told that he would like to continue helping the city leaders now that he is in the Senate.
“Ngayong nasa Senado na ang inyong Kuya Bong, isa kayo sa laging inaalala at ipinaglalaban ko. Nais kong matulungan kayo upang magpatuloy sa paglago ang lahat ng mga lungsod sa ating bansa,” said Go.
The Senator then shared the different measures he filed so far in the Senate to foster the growth and development of cities throughout the country and promote the welfare of their local leaders.
“I have filed a bill seeking to increase the salary of all civilian employees of the government, including LGU personnel. This will allow you to hire competent professionals and keep the existing ones because they are satisfied with their compensation,” Go said.
“I also filed a bill that seeks to expand the purposes and applications of the Special Education Fund so that you can use it in providing free uniforms, school supplies, and related items to the students in your localities,” he added.
Vowing to continue to go around the country, visiting victims of natural disasters and listening personally to the concerns of the masses, Go said that he has also filed a bill to reinforce the country’s disaster resilience, management capability and efforts.
“Another one seeks to create the Department of Disaster Resilience which provides for the establishment of safe and permanent evacuation centers in disaster-prone areas. These measures will help mayors ensure the safety of the people and manage the resources of the city in times of calamities,” the senator said.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go said that he also seeks to prioritize the enhancement of the country’s healthcare system by filing a measure to institutionalize Malasakit Centers, and another to allow municipal or city mayors appoint at least three health workers per barangay.
“Sa laki ng pakinabang at dami ng natutulungan ng mga Malasakit Centers, kailangang masiguro natin na magpapatuloy ang operasyon ng mga ito kahit sino pa ang nakaupo sa Malacañang. Kaya naghain ako ng Senate bill na naglalayong ma-institutionalize ang mga Malasakit Centers bilang kaakibat ng Universal Health Care Law,” Go said.
“Naghain din po ako ng Senate bill na nag-aatas sa mga mayor na magtalaga ng hindi bababa sa tatlong barangay health workers (BHWs) sa bawat barangay na inyong nasasakupan, at ang mga (BHWs) na ito ay bibigyan ng suweldo at mga benepisyo kagaya ng mga regular government employee.”
Expressing his desire to “work on legislation that the league of cities needs”, Go said that his office will always be open to the concerns of the organization.
“These are some of the work that I have done inside the Senate, and for the whole duration of my term, I will serve with utmost dedication and compassion. My office is always open for your needs and concerns. Rest assured that I will work on legislation that the league of cities needs,” he said.
He also urged the local leaders to work with him to effect positive change on the country. “So, let us work together. The national government and the local government units must help each other so that the positive change that is happening in our country will continue.”
Meanwhile, Go also thanked the local leaders for their support during the elections, saying that he respects them as they are “superstars in their own right.”
“Maraming, maraming salamat po sa tulong niyo,” the senator said.
“Alam niyo, ako natutunan ko talaga kay Mayor Duterte noon, dahil naging mayor siya ng 20 years sa Davao, mag ‘sir’ at ‘ma’am’ ako sa inyo. Alam niyo kung bakit? Dahil ang mga mayor, pinili ‘yan ng mga tao dahil superstar sila in their own right. Ginagalang ko po kayong lahat,” he added.