By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go personally visited
the ravaged parts of Buguey and Santa Teresita, Cagayan province on
Monday, October 18, to give hope, comfort, and aid to the victims of
In a speech during the activities, Go called on Filipinos to stand in
unity, saying that the country is facing various converging crises
such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters. He pledged his
continued support for the province whose people are still recovering
from other recent calamities.
“Uulitin ko lang po, mawalang galang na po sa inyong lahat. Huwag ho
kayong magpasalamat sa amin. Kami po ang magpasalamat sa inyo dahil
binigyan n’yo po kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo po sa inyo,”
He also assured the community that the government is doing everything
it can to extend the appropriate assistance to expedite their
“Ngayon, hinding-hindi po namin sasayangin ito. Itong pagkakataon na
ito na ibinigay n’yo po sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte – mga probinsyano
lang po kami. Si Pangulong Duterte isa po siyang mayor sa Davao na
ginawang presidente. Ako naman po, 23 years na nagtatrabaho po sa
kanya bilang staff n’ya po at naging special assistant, naging
secretary po sa kanya noong 2016, ginawa n’yo pong senador,” he
“Wala na po kaming hihilingin pa sa Panginoon, ibinigay na po Niya
lahat sa amin. Kaya ibabalik po namin sa inyo ‘yung serbisyo pong para
sa inyo po. Magseserbisyo kami sa inyo,” he added further.
Go explained that despite his vice presidential bid, he remains
focused on his duties as a senator and public servant, especially in
assisting the government and the general public in combating the
“Huwag muna nating pag-usapan ‘yung pulitika. Alam mo, napakaaga pa
po, wala pang campaign period. Maraming salamat po sa pag-endorso,
Governor (Manuel Mamba). Maraming salamat pero ayaw ko munang
pag-usapan ‘yung pulitika ngayon… dalawa ang tumama sa atin dito sa
Cagayan. Gusto kong unahin muna natin malampasan ang pandemyang ito at
iba pang krisis na ating hinaharap,” said Go.
“Noong naging senador po ako pangako ko po kahit saang sulok kayo ng
Pilipinas pupuntahan ko po kayo. Ma-Batanes, ma-Apari hanggang Jolo
pupuntahan ko po basta kaya lang po ng aking katawan at ng aking oras.
Pangako namin ‘yan sa inyo ni Pangulong Duterte – walang masasayang na
oras pagdating sa serbisyo,” he assured.
The senator and his team handed out meals, food packs, vitamins,
masks, and face shields to 600 typhoon victims, with thousands more to
be assisted in the coming days.
The activities were carried out in batches at the Buguey and Santa
Teresita municipal gymnasiums in strict observance of the health and
safety protocols against COVID-19.
They gave selected residents new pairs of shoes and bicycles so they
can travel with ease despite the limited transportation options. They
also gave some computer tablets so children can study under the
blended learning set-up better.
As part of government’s response to the disaster, representatives from
various national agencies extended other forms of aid. The Department
of Social Welfare and Development provided each victim with financial
assistance and, along with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office,
separate food packs. The Department of Agriculture gave supplies of
assorted vegetables, hybrid seeds and fertilizer to qualified farmers.
It also turned over knapsack and power sprayers for livestock raisers,
a cassava chipper machine, and recirculating rice dryer from Enhanced
Moreover, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources provided
bangus, crab, tilapia and other fingerlings and financial assistance
for the construction of a tilapia hatchery.
On the other hand, the Department of Health offered free medical
check-ups and handed out hygiene kits, vitamins, and masks. The
Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and
Industry also conducted assessment of potential beneficiaries for
their respective assistance programs.
The senator, who is Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, also
reminded the public to keep taking precautions even if they are fully
“Tingnan niyo. Pababa na ang mga kaso sa Metro Manila kasi marami na
ang bakunado. Nasa datos naman na ‘yung mga positibo ngayon, sila ay
‘yung hindi nagpabakuna, ‘yung nag-aantay at nagsasabi na mamaya na
sila. Huwag niyo na antayin na kayo’y abutan at nakakamatay ang virus
na ito,” warned Go.
“Ngayon, mayroon ng mahigit na 90 million doses ng bakuna ang dumating
sa ating bansa. Mahigit 24 million na Pilipino na ang fully
vaccinated. Tuloy-tuloy lang ang programang ito hanggang makamtan
natin ang population protection leading to herd immunity,” he
Go offered to help residents with injuries or illnesses and advised
them to seek further medical assistance at the Malasakit Center at the
Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City.
The program was institutionalized through the Malasakit Centers Act of
2019, which Go primarily authored and sponsored in the Senate. It
currently has 143 operating centers, which have assisted some three
million patients across the country to date.
“Kung kailangan niyo naman magpa-ospital sa Maynila, magsabi lang
kayo. Hindi niyo na kailangang mag-alala dahil kami na po ang
sasagot,” reassured Go.
The senator recognized various government officials for their quick
response and hard work after the typhoon struck. They included
Governor Mamba, Buguey Mayor Lloyd Antiporda and Vice Mayor Licerio
Antiporda III, and Santa Teresita Mayor Rodrigo De Gracia and Vice
Mayor Ruben Fagela.
As Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go supported
numerous initiatives to enhance the development and improve the
delivery of vital services in Cagayan such as the construction of
various roads in Sta Teresita, Aparri, Amulung, Baggao, Calayan,
Gonzaga, Iguig, Santa Ana, Enrile, Tuao, and Tuguegarao City;
construction of a multi-purpose building in Sanchez-Mira; construction
of a river control structure at the Zinundungan River; installation of
streetlights in Camalaniugan; and upgrading of the CVMC.
He also committed to support the construction of the Peñablanca Super
Health Center, Sta. Praxedes Super Health Center, and Sta. Teresita
Super Health Center.
“Bukas ang aming opisina. Huwag kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa amin
at nandidito ang gobyernong nagmamasakit sa inyo. Tulungan niyo din si
Pangulong Duterte sa mga huling buwan niya sa gobyerno. Wala siyang
ibang hangarin kung hindi ang kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino at ang
maiahon tayong lahat mula sa krisis na ito,” ended Go.
The senator then visited the CVMC where he also provided aid to 2,560
health workers and 700 patients while checking on the operations of
the Malasakit Center there. (ai/mtvn)