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Go: Food and cash assistance to vulnerable groups should be the priority

By Mario Casayuran

Neophyte Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go today (Tuesday) urged agencies on Tuesday to prioritize food and cash assistance to the most vulnerable groups as the country grapples with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

Senator Bong Go delivers his co-sponsorship speech on Senate Bill 1418 (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Bong Go 
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Go, during the Special Session of Congress on Monday, expressed his support for Senate Bill 1419, the ‘’Bayanihan To Heal as One Act of 2020,’’ that further empowers and gives government the flexibility it needs to address the COVID-19 situation in the country and to help Filipinos affected by it.

Senate resumes its session on Tuesday to adopt Concurrent Resolution 10 which officially ends the special session.

An enrolled bill, when ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the COVID-19 measure, might be sent to the President for his signature also on Tuesday.

“Mahirap maging mahirap. Kaya huwag na natin sila mas pahirapan pa.” (It is difficult to be poor. Let us not make their lives more difficult.)

Go quoted a taxi driver who was recently interviewed on TV explaining the plight of the poor while most areas in the country are under enhanced community quarantine.

He emphasized that the priority of the measure is to further equip government to be able to provide immediate healthcare needs to solve the health problem and defeat the virus and, at the same time, to provide cash and food assistance to those who are affected most by the crisis.

Go reminded concerned agencies, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), to make sure ordinary Filipinos are taken care of, especially those who need government attention the most.

He said that as much as the government would want everyone to stay home, concerned agencies have to make sure that government is able to sufficiently provide Filipinos with the necessary means to take care of their families and ensure the security they need in order to remain in their homes.

He also appealed to Filipinos to put their trust in the government and follow the advice of the authorities in combatting the spread of the disease.

“I appeal to my fellow Filipinos: magtiwala po kayo sa inyong gobyerno. Sumunod po tayo sa mga patakaran ng Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin kung hindi ang kapakanan ninyo at kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino,” he said. (Trust your government. Follow the guidelines set by the IATF. We have no other objective but the welfare and health of every Filipino.)

Citing the situation in other countries, Go emphasized that COVID-19 spares no one.

‘’Therefore, cooperation from the public is needed to fight the disease,’’ he stressed.

Go quoted President Duterte as saying: “We are now in the fight of our lives.”

Go also reminded his fellow servants in the government, particularly those in local government units and those leading the barangays, to set aside politics and be accountable to and united for the Filipino people.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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