In spite of the global pandemic, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated his support for the government’s war against illegal drugs as he remains committed to developing a more holistic approach in supporting individuals and their families who have been victimized by substance abuse.
This, as Go sent his outreach team to distribute assistance to 222 former drug users in Sugbongcogon, Misamis Oriental on Aug. 18.
In his video message, Go echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of addressing the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug-related crimes in the country as he urged fellow lawmakers to extend their support for the enactment of Senate Bill 399.
Filed by Go in 2019, the proposed measure aims to support the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs by requiring one drug rehabilitation center to be established in every province, under the supervision of the Department of Health.
The center shall provide care, treatment, and accommodation to drug dependents, and also tasked to strengthen their physical, psychological, and social capability to cope with common problems.
The facility will provide after-care, follow-up, and social reintegration services, among others.
Following necessary safety and health guidelines, Go’s team also handed out meals, masks, face shields, and vitamins to the beneficiaries at the Sugbongcogon municipal gym.
“Sana ay nasa mabuti kayong kalagayan. Alam ko pong mahirap ang panahon ngayon, nandito pa tayo sa krisis dulot ng Covid-19. Nandito lang kami ni Presidente Duterte at handang tumulong sa inyo sa abot ng aming makakaya (I hope you are all in good condition. I know life is difficult now due to crisis brought about by Covid-19. We, along with President Duterte, are ready to help you),” Go said.
Apart from the assistance provided by Go, several government agencies also extended different forms of aid to further support persons who used drugs (PWUDs) and help them start a new life.
The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment each conducted an on-site assessment wherein qualified individuals will benefit from their respective livelihood programs that will open doors for business opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development granted the recipients financial assistance, and the Department of Agriculture gave supplies of vegetable seeds.
Jerry Sia, one of the victims of substance abuse, shared how illegal drugs negatively changed his life and how he struggled in getting his life back.
He expressed his appreciation to Go and Duterte for intensifying the war against illegal drugs.
“Salamat kay Senador Bong Go, maraming salamat at malaking tulong ito sa panahon ngayon lalo na ngayon na wala rin kaming trabaho. Hindi talaga maganda ang paggamit ng droga, kahit ibalik pa ang panahon hindi talaga maganda yan. Nagpapasalamat talaga kami na may ginawa ang gobyerno, malaki talaga ang pagbabago (Thank Senator Go, the assistance will help us a lot especially now that we have no source of income. It is not really good to use drugs, even if you bring back the time, it’s not really good. We are really thankful that the government has done something, it really changed a lot),” Sia shared.
Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, reminded the public to remain vigilant and strictly comply with necessary health guidelines against Covid-19 to prevent the further spread of the virus.
He also urged residents to get inoculated, saying vaccine is the solution to return to normal life.
“Kailangan pong magtiwala kayo sa gobyerno dahil ginagawa po ng gobyerno ang lahat sa abot ng makakaya para po malampasan natin itong krisis na ito (You have to trust the government because it is doing everything it can so that we can overcome this crisis),” he added.
In line with his advocacy to promote the health and well-being of Filipinos, Go advised locals to take advantage of the medical assistance programs that are being offered in nearby Malasakit Centers located at Northern Mindanao Medical Center and JR Borja General Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City.
The center is a one-stop shop where concerned agencies, such as DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, work together to assist particularly poor and indigent patients with their medical expenses.
Go, also vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, extended his support for various infrastructure projects in the municipality to expand economic opportunities to its residents. Among these are the construction of a multipurpose building, road concretion along Kidampas-Kaulayanan Road, and installation of solar-powered streetlights in Barangay Mimbuahan.
Other projects he supported include rehabilitation of roads in Alubijid, Baliangao, Balingasag, Balingoan, Cagayan de Oro City, El Salvador City, Initao, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Libertad, Lugait, Magsaysay, and Manticao; acquisition of ambulance units in Balingoan, Cagayan de Oro City, Kinoguitan, Libertad, and Lugait; and flood control project in Gingoog City, Magsaysay, and Medina.
He also pushed for the construction of water work systems in Balingasag, and Jasaan; construction of multi-purpose buildings in Binuangan, Cagayan de Oro City, Gingoog City, Initao, and Magsaysay; construction of a public market in Manticao; and improvement and development of Municipal Public Plaza in Lugait.
Go extended his gratitude towards Mayor Mildred Lagbas-Mondigo, Vice Mayor Derrick Lagbas, and other local officials for serving their constituents and making certain they receive necessary support amid the global pandemic.
Go’s team also distributed assistance to market vendors from El Salvador City and Jasaan. (PNA)