Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go on Saturday October 23 assured that the government is working hard to accelerate the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to contain the pandemic.
Go, chairman of the Senate Health committee, explained that getting vaccinated substantially reduces one’s risk of developing severe symptoms and being hospitalized.
He reminded local authorities to follow the priority list to ensure the success of the national vaccination strategy.
“Habang patuloy tayong nagbabakuna, ‘wag tayo maging kumpiyansa dahil delikado itong COVID-19 (While we continue with our vaccination, let us not be complacent because this COVID-19 is dangerous). Target natin ma-achieve ang population protection this year at ang herd immunity by early next year para unti-unti na natin fully mabuksan ang ekonomiya. Iyan ang hiling namin palagi ni Pangulong Duterte (We aim to achieve the population protection this year and the herd immunity by early next year so we could eventually fully open the economy. That is what I and President Duterte are always aiming for),” Go said.
“Ang importante, buhay tayo at malampasan natin ang pandemyang ito (What is important is that we are alive and we can overcome this pandemic). Hindi ito kaya ng ating gobyerno kung hindi tayo magmalasakit at magbayanihan (The government cannot do it alone, we have to have help and cooperation),” he added.
Go’s staff recently distributed meals, vitamins, masks, and face shields in batches to a total of 4,000 residents at the Aklan Sports Complex in Makato and Numancia covered court.
They gave selected residents new shoes and bicycles for traveling, and computer tablets for blended learning activities.
Meanwhile, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided each resident financial assistance under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) also handed out separate financial assistance to farmers and fisherfolk under the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program.
On the other hand, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) conducted assessments of residents seeking livelihood and skills training opportunities.
The senator from Davao also offered assistance to those who require treatment in the bigger hospitals in Metro Manila.
Go advised them to seek further aid from the government through the Malasakit Center located at the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo.
The Malasakit Center aims to make medical assistance programs more accessible by putting together the concerned agencies under one roof. These agencies are the DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhiHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Its primary task is to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest amount possible by covering various patient services and expenses, pursuant to the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 which Go principally authored and sponsored in the Senate.
Concluding his video message, Go thanked 2nd District Representative Teodorico Haresco Jr., Governor Florencio Miraflores, Vice Governor Reynaldo Quimpo, Makato Mayor Abencio Torres and Vice Mayor Ramon Legaspi III, and Numancia Mayor Jeserel Templonuevo and Vice Mayor Rogelio Enero II for working to help those hit hardest by the pandemic.
As Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has supported several initiatives to enhance access and foster economic growth in Aklan. Among these are construction of local roads in Makato and an evacuation center and a slaughterhouse in Numancia.
Other major initiatives include the construction of roads in Balete; riverbank protection structures along the Tigayon-Kalibo and Minalezo sections of the Kalibo River; a multi-purpose building for monitoring emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases; a two-storey building for the Ibajay District Hospital; and multi-purpose buildings in Balete and Buruanga; as well as the rehabilitation of the Altavas, Ibajay, and Libacao public parks.
Go’s staff also recently provided relief to thousands of residents in Altavas, Balete, Banga, Batan, Kalibo, Lezo, Libaco, Madalag, Malinao, and New Washington. The activities were carried out in batches to ensure the strict enforcement of the health and safety protocols.