By Mario Casayuran
Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go spent his birthday last Friday with fellow ‘’Dabawenyos ‘’ in Davao city as he visited three districts in the city to extend his sincere gratitude for their support to the Duterte administration.
“Gusto ko ibalik sa tao itong blessing na ibinigay sa akin. Pasasalamat na rin sa mga taga Davao na sumuporta sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go said after turning 45 years old last Friday. (I want to return the blessings you have given me. I also want to thank you the citizens of Davao for their support to me and President Duterte.)
Part of his simple celebration was giving of gifts as a sign of gratitude to the orphans and indigenous people of Davao City. He also took time to visit the city jail to provide food packs for the inmates.
“Pinuntahan natin ang street children dahil gusto ko makakain sila. ‘Yung City Jail din dahil para sa akin kahit nakakulong sila ay Filipino pa rin sila. Gusto ko sila mabigyan ng pagkakataon para magbagong buhay. Ako kahit meryenda man lang maibahagi ko sa kanila dahil gusto ko maibahagi ang aking mga biyaya,” Go stated.
(I also gave gifts to street children so that they can eat. Likewise, I also visited inmates at the City Jail who should be treated as fellow Filipinos. I want to give them an opportunity to seek better life. I distributed snacks to show as I acknowledge the blessings given me.)
When asked for his birthday wish, Go desired a healthy life to be able to continue giving his service to the people.
“Wala akong ibang birthday wish kundi sana mabigyan kami ni Pangulong Duterte ng mabuting pangangatawan para makapagbserbisyo pa kami ng husto sa kapwa naming Pilipino,” he said.
(All I want as a birthday gift is for me and President Dutrerte are healthy so that we could be of service to our countrymen.)
Interviewed on his preference of committee assignments in the 24-member Senate in the coming 18th Congress, Go said he would be glad if his Senate colleagues allow him to chair the Committee on Health, and Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.
“Isa talaga sa top priority ko ang mas lalong pagpapabuti ng medical and health care services sa bansa. Nauuna na talaga dyan ang mungkahi kong magkaroon ng mga Malasakit Center sa bawat lalawigan at malalaking lungsod. Meron na tayong 34 na Malasakit Centers sa buong bansa. Ang Malasakit Center ay isang experimental initiative ng Office of the President. Nais ko sanang maisabatas ito para ma-institutionalize kahit tapos na ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go added.
(One of my top priorities is to enhance medical and health care services in the country. He said he would push through with his plan to establish Malasakit Centers in every province and every big cities. I want to institutionalize these Malalsakit Centers that would function even after President Duterte has completed his term in 2022.)
Go also said he plans to address the housing problems in the country as he emphasized that every Filipino family deserves to have a safe and affordable home.
“Kailangan din nating matugunan ang 6.5-million housing gap within 20 years. Meron nang Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development na naitatag noong Pebrero 2019 (Republic Act No. 11201). Ngayon, pag-aaralan natin kung ano pang batas ang kailangan upang makakatugon sa housing gap para sa ating mga kababayan. Ang aking layunin ay dapat walang squatter sa sariling bayan.,’’ he stressed.
(I want to address the 6.5-million housing gap within the next 20 years. I want to study whether the current Republic Act 11201 creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development needs further amendments to address that housing gap. My desire is that there should be no Filipino squatter in his own country.)
He also said that in his 21 years of experience in public service along with President Duterte, he is now ready to continue his people-centered and service-oriented advocacies in the Senate.
“21 years na po akong naghanda sa trabahong ito. Sa mahabang panahon na nagserbisyo ako kay Pangulong Duterte, natutunan ko ang tunay na kahulugan ng serbisyong publiko na Tatak Duterte. Sa ngayon, tuloy ako sa paglilibot. Kahit noong kampanya, hindi lang ‘yun para mangampanya. Pagseserbisyo rin ‘yun. Mahalaga na makahalubilo natin ang mga kababayan natin, malaman ang kanilang mga hinaing,” he added.
(For the past 21 years, I have prepared myself to handle my government position. During the years I have served President Duterte (who was then the Davao city Mayor), I have learned to appreciate the Duterte brand of public service. I continue to move around so that I could hear their aspirations.)
Go also gave message to his fellow Dabawenyos: “Kagaya nga ng sinabi ko noon sa inyo na huwag kayong mahiyang lumapit sa akin, huwag n’yo akong tratuhin na senador dahil iisa lang tayo at para sakin ay trabahante lang ako ng gobyerno na magsisilbi sa inyo.”
(As I have promised before, feel free to come to me. Don’t treat me as a senator because I am just a worker in government to serve you.)