Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go today, July 4, reiterated the need to assist thousands of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who want to return to their respective provinces.
Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, also emphasized the need for stringent health protocols, saying that the welfare of every Filipino is of paramount importance.
“Uunahin po natin ‘yung health (ng bawat Pilipino). ‘Yun ang pinakamahalaga sa atin, kalusugan po ng bawat Pilipino. Pero ‘di natin pwedeng ipagpaliban ito na ‘di sila (LSIs) makauwi sa mga probinsya (The health of every Filipino is of paramount importance. That is most important to us. However, we cannot also delay the return of the LSIs to their provinces),” he said.
Go issued the statement after visiting last Thursday the wake of soldiers who died in an encounter’ between police and military personnel in Jolo, Sulu recently.
“There were times, that the media asked me to help those (LSIs) and I cannot refuse them as this was also the instruction of President Duterte not to ignore them, to provide them food until they have returned to their provinces,” Go said in Pilipino.
Go also recalled that the LSIs appealed to the government for help to bring them back to their home provinces.
“Nandito sila sa Maynila, nakakalungkot ni CR, ni higaan wala silang mapuntahan dahil ito po ang mga taong nagbaka-sakaling maghanap ng trabaho dito sa Metro Manila, inabutan ng lockdown. Marami po ‘yan kawawa po (They’re here in Manila to look for jobs, but they were overtaken by the lockdown and they have no place to stay in Metro Manila),” he said.
Go stressed that health protocols must be put in place in transporting LSIs to ensure that they are in good health when they arrive in their respective provinces.
Since ‘“Hatid Tulong” is a directive from the President, Go reiterated that it is important to make sure that proper health and safety protocols are in place in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
His office has also assisted other LSIs and is committed to continue helping those in need of government assistance especially in this time of crisis.
Clarifying that the Hatid Tulong initiative of the government is different from the ‘’Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2)’’ program, Go assured that the latter would resume once the current pandemic has been contained.
“As a legislator, I am pushing for the measures that will provide incentives for the businessmen who will invest and put up their businesses in the provinces so they could provide jobs to the people there,” Go said in Pilipino.