Go hails ratification of Bayanihan 2

Published August 21, 2020, 8:59 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has commended the ratification by the Senate of the bicameral conference committee report on the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act that allots P140 billion for government programs to facilitate the recovery of the country and an additional P25 billion to serve as standby appropriations.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Before the ratification of the report, Go, chairman of the Senate Health and Demography Committee, confirmed the wish of President Dutere for the Executive branch to be transparent and accountable to where the government money will be spent.

“I would like to express my congratulations and gratitude to the conferees of both Houses of Congress for coming together in support of this measure. Mr. President (Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III), I thank the Honorable sponsor and chairman of the Committee on Finance, Senator (Juan Edgardo) ‘’Sonny’’ Angara, for taking charge of this difficult but crucial task,” he said.  

“Let me also thank the other members of the Bicameral Conference Committee – Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto, our Majority leader Sen. (Juan Miguel) Migz Zubiri, our Minority leader Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Senators Pia Cayetano, Imee Marcos, Grace Poe and Risa Hontiveros, and, on the part of the House, Representatives LRay Villafuerte, Stella Quimbo, Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Eric Yap, Ranie Abu, Junie Cua, Teodorico Haresco, Wilter Palma, and Sharon Garin,” he added.

In a speech delivered during a Senate in-person and virtual regular session, Go pointed out the provisions that will benefit both public and private healthcare workers who developed mild or severe symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or died due to the virus while in the line of duty

He, likewise, commended the provision of additional benefits to healthcare workers as requested by the President, such as the one-time COVID-19 special risk allowance, life insurance, accommodation, transportation, and meals. 

“Equally important is the support provided by the body for the procurement of PPEs, the construction and expansion of our isolation and quarantine facilities, the hiring of additional contact tracers, the maintenance of isolation facilities, including the billing of the hotels used as quarantine areas, and the food and transportation of our COVID-19 patients,” Go said. 

He also expressed his gratitude for the assistance that will be provided to Filipino migrant workers who have lost their jobs abroad and are forced to return to the country. 

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Go highlighted the benefits the measure will bring to alleviate the situation of the country’s national athletes and coaches whose funding were cut short due to the ongoing public health crisis.

“Finally, I want to thank the Bicameral Committee for recognizing the need to support the repatriation of overseas Filipinos through the [Department of Foreign Affairs], and for acknowledging the importance of our national athletes and coaches whose allowances were reduced due to the pandemic. Our OFWs, athletes, and coaches are some of our modern-day heroes who bring great pride and joy to our country,” he said.

Go expressed his confidence in the measure which shall go a long way as the country moves forwards on its road to recovery.

He reminded the implementing agencies to ensure that financial assistance will go down to and be felt by the needy and most affected. He emphasized that it is the President’s directive that every centavo will be accounted for.

“Uulitin ko po ang lagi kong pinapaalala sa ating mga executive agencies: Siguraduhin natin na magagamit ang pera ng bayan ng tama, siguraduhin natin na makakarating ang tulong sa pinaka-nangangailangan at pinaka-apektado nating mga kababayan. At siguraduhin natin na walang pinipiling oras ang ating pagtulong at pagserbisyo sa bayan,’’ he said.  (Again, I am reminding our executive agencies: We have to make sure that the taxpayers’ money will be utilized properly. We have to make sure that the assistance will reach those who are most in need and our most affected countrymen. We have to ensure that the assistance and service to the nation will be delivered on time.)