SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go personally met with typhoon victims in Virac, the capital of Catanduanes, to assure them of the government’s continuing commitment to support recovery and help rebuild areas destroyed by recent typhoons.
Go and his team also brought relief goods comprised of meals, food packs, cooking equipment, vitamins, masks and face shields to 307 families on November 10.
Selected recipients were also provided with bicycles to help them travel amid the limited public transportation. Others were given tablets, which their children may use for school once classes resume.
The senator, in his speech, shared that President Rodrigo Duterte had committed to provide assistance to help the municipality recover soon.
He also reiterated his plea to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to replenish a portion of the calamity funds of the provinces hit by the recent typhoons.
The beneficiary families were provided with collapsible water containers, hygiene kits and medicines by the Department of Health (DoH). The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) similarly gave away additional medicines and food packs in addition to a calamity assistance amounting to P2 million.
To tide them over, every qualified household that lost their home to Typhoon “Rolly” (international name: “Goni”) was given cash assistance by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Meanwhile, a team from the Manila Electric Co., in coordination with the Department of Energy, is working to restore the power in the affected areas.
The municipality’s affected farmers and fisher folk were provided various forms of financial aid by the Department of Agriculture. They were also given assorted vegetables, seeds and cattle medicines.
The senator expressed his gratitude to Gov. Joseph Cua; Representatives Alfredo Garbin Jr., Jose Teves Jr. and Hector Sanchez; and Virac Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento Jr. for also extending assistance.
He encouraged other officials to continue working together to help the affected communities.
The activity was carried out in strict compliance of the government-issued health and
safety protocols against the coronavirus. A similar activity was carried out in the municipality of Bato earlier in the day.
The senator, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, noted that based on reports to President Rodrigo Duterte, an estimated 10,000 homes were destroyed by the typhoon and damage to public infrastructure and agriculture were estimated at P2.4 billion.
The senator offered to help beneficiaries who required urgent medical treatment.
Furthermore, he announced plans to establish a Malasakit Center at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center in Barangay San Isidro, which shall serve as a one-stop for medical assistance from the government.
“We will have a Malasakit Center in Virac, which could make government agencies like the DSWD, DoH, PCSO and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. in one office that you could easily contact for your needs,” said Go, the principal author of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
“Basta Pilipino ka, lalo na mga poor and indigent, qualified ka sa Malasakit Center. Walang pulitika diyan. Pera niyo ‘yan, binabalik lang sa inyo (If you are a Filipino, especially the poor and the indigents, you are qualified to get help from a Malasakit Center. There are no politics here. This is your money being returned to you,” he explained.