By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday, June 28, pressed for the passage of the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or “Bayanihan 2” which Congress failed to pass after Malacañang failed to certify the measure as urgent.
Go made the call when sought to comment on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest data showing the Philippines with the fastest surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in the entire Western Pacific region.
“As a legislator, I am committed to push and support necessary legislative measures that can address the most immediate needs of our people at this time of crisis,” said Go, who chairs the Senate committee on health and demography.
“Among others, we need to immediately pass the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill,” Go said.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque had earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to ask the Senate and House of Representatives when both chambers finally agree on the standby fund the law would allow his administration to tap for its coronavirus response.
The senator said the government should exhaust all means to continue funding its COVID-19 response efforts to stop the spread of the virus and save the Filipino population.
Passage of the measure, he said, would also help spur the country’s economy, which was heavily affected by the pandemic.
“Sa anumang mga hakbang na gagawin ng gobyerno at pati ng mga ordinaryong mamamayan, palagi nating unahin ang buhay at kapakanan ng kapwa nating Pilipino (In any government and private-led effort, we need to prioritize the life and welfare of our fellow Filipinos),” Go stressed.
As chair of the Senate health panel, the senator, likewise, urged the Department of Health (DOH) to boost its 3Ts—Test, Trace, and Treat strategy—to combat the steady rise of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
“Habang tumataas ang kaso ng COVID-19, mas tumataas rin dapat ang quarantine, contact tracing, at necessary treatment capabilities natin (While the cases of COVID-19 is rising, our quarantine, contact tracing, and necessary treatment capabilities should also be improving),” he pointed out.
Nevertheless, Go said he understands that there is still no vaccine that can put a stop to the spread of the contagion.
“Wala pang bakuna at gamot sa sakit na ito (There is still no vaccine or medicine for this disease). That is why strict enforcement of existing measures and proper compliance of everyone are very crucial,” Go said.