Sen. Bong Go
MANILA — Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher “Bong” Go urged government agencies to improve its communication efforts and disseminate the right information to the public.
“Sa ating mga officials, pakiusap lang po: tulungan natin ang ating mga kababayan na makabangon gamit ang tama at klarong impormasyon. Huwag natin silang mas pahirapan pa,” Go appealed.
Go emphasized that consistently providing timely, accurate and relevant information on COVID-19-related updates and initiatives to the general public will strengthen the country’s collective efforts to overcome the ongoing health crisis.
“Huwag na po natin dagdagan ang iniisip ng taumbayan lalo na’t hilong hilo na po lahat dahil sa hirap na dulot ng pandemya. Siguraduhin ninyo po na maipaliwanag ng maayos at tama ang impormasyon na inyong binibigay,” he added.
He stressed that timely, accurate and relevant information will also improve the government’s decision-making process, particularly when imposing community quarantine measures and implementing initiatives to help vulnerable sectors and those most affected by the health crisis, such as returning overseas workers and locally stranded individuals who need to go back to their provinces.
“Nakasalalay po ang ating mga desisyon sa tamang impormasyon na base sa science at health experts. Tulungan natin ang ating mga kababayan na gumawa ng tamang desisyon para sa kanilang pamilya tulad ng mga desisyon na ginagawa ng Pangulo at ng gobyerno para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino,” he said.
As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go said he is coordinating closely with the Department of Health to make sure that health officials are able to provide the leadership and the people timely, accurate and relevant information particularly on COVID-19 cases in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines.
“I also call upon local government units, hospitals and accredited laboratories to closely coordinate with DOH to ensure that the needed data from their end are also validated and submitted on time,” he also appealed.
Go also reiterated his call urging the health department and other concerned agencies to prepare a national COVID-19 vaccine program in order to ensure the accessibility and affordability of the vaccine, once it is made available, to all Filipinos, especially the poorest and most vulnerable sectors.
“Pinaghahandaan na natin ngayon kung ano ang gagawin kapag may bakuna na laban sa COVID-19. Siguraduhin natin na mabigyan ng prayoridad at unahin ang mga mahihirap at vulnerable sectors,” Go stressed.
“Pero habang wala pa ito, patuloy dapat tayong magtulungan at magbayanihan gamit ang tama at klarong impormasyon upang mapigilan ang lalong pagtaas ng COVID-19 cases sa ating bansa,” Go said.
Go also reminded the public that health and safety protocols must be followed, including wearing the proper mask in public areas, social distancing, hand washing and proper hygiene, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Ang pinakamabisang panlaban natin ngayon ay ang pagsunod sa mga itinakdang health protocols,” said Go.
“According to experts, wearing the right kind of mask decreases the risk of spreading the virus by 85%. With social distancing and the use of face shields, the risk may be reduced by more than 90%. This is why in the absence of a vaccine, wearing a mask remains a must,” he finally explained.
The Senator reiterated his earlier appeal to the government to prioritize the provision of proper face masks to the poor, in addition to his various recommendations in response to concerns aired by the medical community in an online press conference held last August 1.