On Tuesday, January 5, an outreach team from the Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go traversed swollen rivers, rocky tracks, and landslide-prone roads to deliver immediate assistance to the victims of a diarrhea outbreak in Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.

“Patuloy po kaming umiikot para makapagbigay ng konting tulong sa mga nangangailangan. Nais naming iparamdam sa inyo na nandito ang inyong gobyerno na nagmamalasakit at handang maglingkod sa bawat Pilipino,” Go said in a video call.

Go continues to discharge his duties to constituents around the country, especially to ordinary Filipinos affected by natural disasters and other unforeseen incidents such as disease outbreaks. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he assured the public that his office is ready to respond to their health-related needs on top of his duties as a legislator.

“As I have said numerous times, I will not limit myself to serving as a Senator only. Bilang public servant, magseserbisyo po ako sa inyo kahit saan man kayo sa mundo para tugunan ang inyong mga suliranin, pakinggan ang inyong mga hinaing, at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go reiterated.

“Para sa amin, walang tulog ang serbisyo, lalo na sa oras ng inyong pangangailangan. Kahit anumang problema ang inyong hinaharap — nasunugan, tinamaan ng lindol, apektado ng pagputok ng bulkan, nabahaan, lahat ng klaseng krisis — handa akong tumulong at maserbisyo sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya,” he added.

Go’s team provided meals, food packs, vitamins, medical-grade and reusable masks, and face shields to a total of 71 beneficiaries, including 31 patients admitted at the Jose Abad Santos District Hospital. The activities were carried out in strict compliance with health and safety protocols.

Selected patients also received new shoes while some members of the hospital staff were also provided with bicycles so they can commute with ease despite limited public transportation options. Other select recipients with children were given tablets to help them in their studies.

“I am very happy na pinakauna na tumugon sa mga panawagan ng Jose Abad Santos ay ang pinakamabait na senator natin na si Senator Bong Go,” said town Mayor Jason John Joyce.

“Personal niya akong tinawagan sa unang araw na pumutok ang balita about the outbreak and, after two days, nakarating na dito sa pinakamalayong munisipyo sa Pilipinas … ang grupo ni Senator Go at President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” the Mayor narrated.

“Gusto namin iparating ang aming sinsero at malaking pasasalamat kay Senator Go at Presidente Duterte dahil hindi nila pinabayaan ang mga taga-Jose Abad Santos,” Joyce added.

For his part, Senator Go urged everyone to take better care of their health and well-being and to observe the necessary precautions against COVID-19. The Senator vowed that the government would prioritize the poor and vulnerable sectors, as well as frontliners, once a safe and effective vaccine has been declared by the Food and Drug Administration and made available to the public.

Furthermore, Go offered to help those in need of medical attention, especially when it comes to surgeries and operations not available in the province. He also informed them that they can conveniently avail medical assistance from the government at any Malasakit Center nearest to them, including those in the Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital in Digos City and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

In addition to the above aid, representatives of several national agencies, likewise, took part in the activity as part of the national government’s ongoing efforts to assist those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed separate financial assistance, so the patients could purchase their daily needs. The Department of Agriculture provided seedlings. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, in turn, offered livelihood training, and the Philippine Red Cross gave them water tester kits, hygiene kits, and jerry cans for water storage.

On top of these, the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Trade and Industry committed to extend further alternative livelihood assistance upon completing their assessments.

In recognition of their continuing commitment to serve their community, Go expressed his gratitude to Mayor Joyce, Vice Mayor James John Joyce, Annie Firman from the Office of Representative Lorna B. Bandigan, Chief of Hospital Dr. Mary Christine Daligdig, DA Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer Ray Reintar, DOLE Davao Occidental Field Office Head Engr. Mario Sinajon, DSWD SWAD team leader Boy Fernandez, TESDA Provincial Director Engr. Alfredo Panuela Jr., and Red Cross Davao Del Sur Chapter Service Representative Regina Palma, among others.

“Patuloy akong tutulong, lalong lalo na sa mga mahihirap. Bisyo ko ang magserbisyo. Tuloy dapat ang serbisyo lalo na sa panahong hirap na hirap na ang mga kapwa nating Pilipino. Gagawin po natin ang lahat sa abot ng ating makakaya para magbigay ng tulong. Hindi po namin kayo pababayaan,” vowed the Senator.

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