Go serves relentlessly

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DAVAO CITY — When the song with an end-chorus goes “Ang kanyang bisyo ay mag-serbisyo” plays over and over again in a certain venue, the people knew someone special is coming. For the opposition and the bias media, it is an early campaign but for the people, as it means help is going to come really soon — from Dabawenyo Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Some are curious how the Senator manages his time working in the senate, serving the president, and attending the people in need at once. Well, he just answered: “I will not limit myself only as a legislator. Merong pitong araw sa isang linggo at apat na araw lang yung trabaho namin sa Senate. Yung natitirang tatlong araw ko i-seserbisyo ko sa publiko,” during one of his visits in Davao City.

That question was frequently asked when he didn’t stop immersing in the community even after winning the senate campaign. Go’s initiatives were observed by his supporters as more than what he promised during his campaign. The Senator’s focus has been aimed at the welfare of the people ever since he served with then Davao City mayor and now president Rodrigo Duterte. 

In 2018, the former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) remained true to his service-driven campaign and conceptualized the “Malasakit Center”. Upon winning the midterm election in May 2019, Go, who was elected as the chair of the Philippine Senate Health and Sports Committee, promptly pushed for the “Malasakit Center” bill to be passed as it aims to benefit all socio-economic statuses mostly the poor with health services from various departments of the government. 

Senator Bog Go opens the Malasakit Center in Tagum City.-Photo Courtesy: Office of Senator Go

In November 2019, the bill passed the fourth and final reading and was immediately signed by the president for implementation in less than a month. Malasakit Center Act establishes the Malasakit Program and institutionalizes Malasakit Centers in Department of Health (DOH) and other government hospitals in the country.

The Malasakit Center is a One-Stop Shop where indigent patients can efficiently access financial medical assistance from agencies such as PhilHealth, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

So far, many people have benefited from the bill. As of this writing, 58 Malasakit Centers were built in the country. The first Malasakit Center was established by the government at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City while the newest one was established in Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Tuguegarao City last January 14, 2020.

Another way Go shows his compassion to the people is by personally visiting victims of calamity and tragedy. Perhaps, he didn’t miss a single one from the corners of Luzon down to his place of birth in Mindanao. The senator never fails to bring aide to victims of disasters and calamities like fire, earthquake, typhoon  and other victims of unfortunate events. The latest one was on Friday, January 17 when he visited the fire victims of Bangkerohan in Davao City less than 24 hours when the tragedy happened.

Go usually provides financial assistance, food, clothing and other essential materials useful for the victims’ recovery. In a recent interview, Go also promised to go out and hear the people’s sentiments despite his Senate duties. “Kaya ako bumababa para pakinggan ang mga problema ng mga tao at maiparating ito sa ating pangulo. Kasi paano sila maririnig kung walang tao pupunta sa kanila para pakinggan sila,” Go said. And with that, it is certain that Go has a special place in every Filipinos heart especially to his fellow-Dabawenyos.

With all his good intentions and efforts for the people, he wouldn’t sound pathetic for sure if he constantly reiterates the line “Serbisyo, serbisyo, serbisyo, ang aking bisyo ay mag serbisyo”. Thus, the next time that LSS-worthy jingle plays over and over again, it means help is coming, as courtesy of the Senator.

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