Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go distributed cash assistance and grocery packs on Monday, October 21, at the towns that were hit hardest by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit central and southern parts of Mindanao on October 16 at around 7:37 PM.
Go first visited Tulunan, North Cotabato, the epicenter of the earthquake, and then proceeded to Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, where a 22-year-old mother and her 9-month-old child were killed in a landslide during the quake.
“Nagbigay ako ng konting tulong lang po, pagkain at konting financial assistance,” Go said in an interview in Tulunan.
“(Andito rin ako para) makapagbigay ng solusyon sa kanila kung meron silang mga hinaing na gustong iparating sa national government,” he added.
The senator was joined by representatives from concerned government agencies, such as the National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide additional help to the victims.
Go emphasized the role of NHA in helping the victims rebuild or repair their houses. “Pinakiusapan agad namin ang NHA na magbigay ng assistance sa lahat ng biktima ng lindol,” he said.
He also assured the affected residents of neighboring towns and provinces that necessary government assistance will also be delivered to them. “Sa Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, huwag kayong mabahala. Maglilibot ang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno upang magbigay ng tulong diyan sa inyo. Makakatanggap ng tulong lahat ng tinamaan ng lindol.”
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the earthquake affected a total of 5,101 families, involving 25,505 individuals, in 108 barangays in Regions 11 and 12, as of October 22, 6:00 am.
A total of 778 aftershocks, ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 magnitude, have also been recorded, as of October 22.
Meanwhile, Go advised the public to be cautious and rely only on legitimate sources of information in spreading news through social media.
“Meron tayong legitimate na mga balita. Makinig kayo sa inyong mga radyo. Huwag kayong maniwala agad sa mga post sa Facebook,” he said adding “huwag maniwala at magkalat ng fake news.”
Go warned purveyors of fake news to stop adding to the burden by deceiving the public. “Tumulong na lang kayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Huwag na kayong magdagdag sa kalbaryo nila. Please lang po.”
In his speeches in the two towns, Go also encouraged the people to avail themselves of the services of the Malasakit Center, an office where patients and those in need of medical attention can avail of financial assistance from concerned government agencies, such as PhilHealth, DOH, DSWD and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
After the visits in the areas affected by the earthquake, Go went to the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, and attended the opening of the 47th Malasakit Center in the country.