Amid the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports Christopher “Bong” Go continues to help vulnerable sectors and those who are in need of assistance, including athletes and coaches whose activities and livelihood have been adversely affected by the crisis.

On Friday, August 21, the Senator personally visited and aided 59 beneficiaries from the boxers group at the Buhangin Gym in Buhangin, Davao City on Friday, August 21.

Go provided immediate relief, such as food, masks and medicine packs to the athletes. The distribution of assistance by the Senator and his team strictly followed health and safety protocols imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

During his speech, Go, who also sits as the Senate Health Committee Chair, reminded the athletes to take good care of their health during the pandemic.

“Mga boxers, alam ko naman na sanay na kayo. Mag-ensayo muna kayo para ang resistensya natin lumakas dahil itong COVID, napansin namin kung sino ‘yung malakas ang resistensya, nakaka-recover agad,” Go said.

“Tingnan ninyo, tumataas ang numero ng nagpopositibo pero mataas rin ang numero sa mga nakarecover at karamihan sa mga nakarecover ay mga bata,” he added.

Go also echoed the pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte that the poor and vulnerable sectors must be prioritized when it comes to government services and assistance, most especially once a vaccine against the virus is made available.

“Magsuot kayo ng face shields at lagi rin kayong mag-mask. Pero ‘wag kayong mag-alala dahil kami ni Presidente Duterte, nagsusumikap talaga kapag mayroon ng vaccine na talagang tested na, ‘yung sigurado na protektado tayo sa sakit, uunahin talaga namin ang mga mahihirap na makakatanggap agad ng vaccine,” he said.

“Sisiguraduhin namin na accessible sa inyo lalo na ‘yung mga vulnerable. Ibig sabihin ng vulnerable, ito ‘yung mga tao na kinakailangan magtrabaho, kinakailangang lumabas sila. ‘Yung madaling mahawaan, sila ang uunahin natin na mabigyan ng vaccine,” the Senator added.

Earlier, Go also urged the national government to also provide proper masks for the poor and to those who cannot afford to buy their own. Go also urged the government to enforce a stronger mask-wearing policy in the country.

“Let us make this a discipline among all Filipinos as we continue our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. I am urging the government to use its resources to provide masks, especially to the poor and vulnerable,” he said in his previous statements.

“Importante po ang mga mahihirap na ‘di makabili ng mask, ito ang gawan nila ng paraan na mabigyan para maprotektahan nila ang sarili at ang kanilang komunidad mula sa pagkalat ng sakit,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development also provided additional assistance to the athletes as part of its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.

The Senator also provided select beneficiaries with a healthier mode of transportation—bicycles. Go has earlier expressed his support for using bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation, especially at a time when public transportation is limited in many places in the country.

“I have strongly been advocating for the use of bicycles these days. Matagal ko na rin pong hinihikayat ang ating mga kababayan na gumamit nalang po ng bisikleta para sa kanilang pang-araw araw na commute,” he said.

Ending his message to the boxers, Go told them not to hesitate to seek his or the President’s help in times of need.

“‘Wag kayong mahiya na lumapit sa akin dahil trabaho namin ‘yan. Lapitan n’yo lang kami. Mayroon ba kayong gustong ipaabot kay Presidente? Magsabi lang kayo dahil ipagpapatuloy ko ang maging tulay ninyo kay Presidente,” Go said.

Go also appealed to the athletes for their cooperation and understanding amid the ongoing crisis. He asked them to set a good example for their communities by cooperating with authorities and following health and safety protocols as the government looks for more ways to promote the welfare of all Filipinos during the pandemic.

“Humihingi lang ako sa inyo ng pang-uunawa. Alam ko na napakahirap ng inyong kalagayan. Magtulungan at magbayanihan tayo upang maiahon ang ating bayan mula sa krisis na nangyayari ngayon,” he said.

“Magkaisa po tayo at patuloy na magmalasakit sa kapwa. Sino ba naman ang magtutulungan kundi tayo ring mga kapwa Pilipino,” he appealed.

On August 19, Go, through his team, also distributed immediate relief assistance to residents in nearby Tagum City, Davao del Norte who were affected by a fire incident and two freak tornado incidents in different barangays recently.

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