Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, reaffirmed his commitment to local infrastructure development as he witnessed the blessing and turnover of a multipurpose building in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on Tuesday, October 24. The said project was funded through the support of Go.
During times of calamities and disasters, the structure will function as the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), facilitating rapid response and coordination among various agencies. In normal conditions, it will house the Office of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center, ensuring that the community remains prepared for any potential risk.
“Napakahalaga ng proyektong ito, lalo na sa panahon ng mga krisis at sakuna. Ang EOC na ito ay magiging sentro ng inyong mga operasyon, kung saan kayo ay magkakaroon ng magandang koordinasyon at pagtutulungan sa mga oras ng pangangailangan. Ito ay isang bahagi ng ating paghahanda para sa kaligtasan at kaginhawaan ng ating mga mamamayan,” expressed Go in his speech.
Several local officials were also present during the event, including Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez, Governor Edwin Jubahib, Mayor Maria Theresa Timbol, and Vice Mayor Edgardo Timbol, among others.
Meanwhile, Go briefly visited another multipurpose building, which he also supported the funding of. The said infrastructure, also known as the Balay ni Maria, was finished last 2020 and was mostly used as an isolation facility during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Go then highlighted his commitment to disaster preparedness and community resilience as he reiterated his push for the passage of his filed measure, Senate Bill No. (SBN) 188, which seeks to establish the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR). The proposed measure aims to create a new Cabinet-level department that would focus on holistic approaches to enhance disaster resilience.
He added that the DDR shall concentrate on three significant areas such as disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.
“We need to be better equipped and prepared to face these challenges. That is why I am urging my fellow lawmakers to prioritize the passage of Senate Bill No. 188, which will establish the Department of Disaster Resilience,” he said.
“Itong departamento na ito, bago pa dumating ang bagyo, mayroon na hong makikipag-coordinate sa LGUs, preposition of goods at ilikas po ang mga kababayan natin sa ligtas na lugar. At pag-alis ng bagyo, restoration of normalcy kaagad, maibalik kaagad sa normal ang pamumuhay ng mga kababayan natin. ‘Yan po ang layunin ng Department of Disaster Resilience,” Go explained.
Furthermore, Go stressed that infrastructure development is recognized as a fundamental driver of economic growth, as it creates jobs, improves accessibility, and encourages investment.
It is for this reason that he also supported some road construction and rehabilitation in the town among other projects nationwide.
As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go also supported the construction of Super Health Centers across Davao del Norte.
The Super Health Centers will offer a range of healthcare services, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation center and telemedicine, through which remote diagnosis and treatment of patients are made possible.
Go mentioned that Super Health Centers are set to be established nationwide, including eleven in the province. With the support of the Department of Health (DOH), local government units, and fellow lawmakers, Go helped secure sufficient funds in the 2022 and 2023 national budgets for the construction of more than 600 Super Health Centers across the country.
Designed to focus on primary care, consultation, and early detection, Super Health Centers aim to fortify the healthcare infrastructure, particularly in rural communities.
Go also brought attention to Republic Act 11959, known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, a law for which he served as the principal sponsor and one of the authors in the Senate. The Regional Specialty Centers Act assumes an important role in the healthcare legislative priorities of the Marcos Administration, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan for the years 2023 to 2028. This law shall create Regional Specialty Centers within the pre-existing regional hospitals under the jurisdiction of DOH.
On the same day, Go also attended the Provincial Health Information Management Orientation for barangay health workers in Island Garden City of Samal.
Image credits: Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB