Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday thanked senior citizens for their support as he vowed to push for measures to promote their welfare and protection.
“Isa kayo sa prayoridad ko. Nagpapasalamat ako sa suporta ninyo sa akin at lalo na kay Pangulong Duterte,” Go told senior citizens who receive him warmly in Quezon province as they expressed their support to his candidacy for the 2019 election.
Go gave the assurance as he vowed to push for additional benefits to the country’s senior citizens in his message during the “Sama-Samang Paskuhan: Handog kay Lolo at Lola” pre-Christmas event for senior citizens of the province, held in San Andres town, Quezon Province.
He noted that the Duterte administration has ongoing programs for the benefit of senior citizens, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s pension program for the country’s indigent senior citizens.
“Sa ngayon, ang DSWD po natin ay may ibinibigay po sa ating mga senior Citizen. So sila po ang nag-identify kung sino ang talagang nasa kahirapan po. I-check po natin ito kung paano tayo makakatulong pagdating ng panahon sa mga benepisyo ng ating mga senior citizen.”
Bong Go said that part of his legislative plans is to support the creation of a Senior Citizens Commission and to place all Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCAs) in LGUs under its control and supervision. This agency will ensure that all rights and benefits under present laws for the welfare of Senior Citizens such as Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 are fully implemented or enforced.
In his visit to Quezon province, Go also announced that a Malasakit Center will be established in Quezon in two to three months’ time.
“Opo, magkakaroon po tayo ng Malasakit Center dito sa probinsya ng Quezon. Hindi man natin kayang mai-diretso per municipality pero titingnan natin kung ano ang hospital na kumpleto ‘yung pasilidad na pwedeng mapaglagyan ng Malasakit Center,” Go said.
The number of Malasakit Centers in the country increased to 18 following the recent inauguration of a center in Malolos, Bulacan.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where concerned government agencies like Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Social Welfare Development, PhilHealth, Department of Health, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and others are in one office in a hospital to streamline the process for indigent, vulnerable and disadvantaged patients to secure medical and financial assistance from the government.
He also assured the elderly in Quezon province they would get special treatment in Malasakit Centers.
“Ngayon naman po, about medical health service po, sa Malasakit Center, ang mga senior citizens natin ay may express lane para hindi na po sila pumila. Hindi naman po maiwasan na magka-edad na tayo ng 60, lumalabas talaga ang mga sakit kaya prayoridad po sila sa ating serbisyo medikal,” said Go.
Go, who played a key role in the establishment of Malasakit Centers when he was serving as President Duterte’s top aide said one of the reasons he is running for senator is to enact a law that would institutionalize the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all provinces and select urban centers in the country.
He said that his legislative agenda also include the fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption; establishment of a Department of OFW; solutions for agriculture and food security; improved support for education; localized peace talks; youth and sports development, fire protection and prevention, housing, as well as a Magna Carta for barangay officials.
Go was welcomed into the town of San Andres by the entourage of PAGCOR President Atty. Alfredo C. Lim, PDP Quezon Chapter Vice President and San Andres mayoral candidate Atty. Giovanne T. Lim, as well as other local and national leaders present at the celebration.
Go cited government projects that will benefit the people of Quezon province such as the PNR South Long Manila-Bicol po, the 140-kilometer Quezon-Bicol expressway, Kaliwa Dam project, Quezon Provincial Science Technology Center, GIS Hub for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, as well as the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens.
In the spirit of the holiday season Go left a Christmas wish for the people of Quezon: “Binabati ko po ang mga taga-Quezon, lalong-lalo na dito sa San Andres. Sana ay maging maligaya ang inyong Pasko at manigong Bagong Taon. Sana po ay maganda ang hinaharap at walang masaktan at mapayapa lang.”