Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go assured nurses that he will continue to prioritize their welfare and push for initiatives to improve quality and accessibility of healthcare services in the country.
“Malaki ang diperensiya ng suweldo sa abroad at dito, pero nais kong dito na kayo magtrabaho para hindi kayo malayo sa mga pamilya ninyo,” Go said on November 29 in his speech at the 39th foundation anniversary and 38th annual convention of the Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MCNAP) at the Manila Hotel.
The Senator shared that as the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he defended the budget increase for the Department of Health (DOH) during the budget deliberations to ensure quality and accessible healthcare for all Filipinos, as well as to safeguard the welfare of health workers including nurses.
“Just this week, the Senate approved on third and final reading the 2020 budget. We made sure that the DOH would have enough budget for its operations and health care professionals would not lose their jobs,” he said.
“Pinaglaban ko po ’yan kasi magkakaroon sana ng slash sa hiring ng mga (health) workers. Hindi po ako pumayag,” he added.
Members of MCNAP also cheered when the Senator shared that the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget includes the amount that is needed to implement the Supreme Court decision that the salaries of government Nurses 1 and 2 should be at salary grade 15 and 16, respectively.
“We allotted 3.173 billion pesos to upgrade the salaries of Nurses 1 and 2, in accordance with the recent Supreme Court decision,” Go said.
He also said that he has filed a bill that seeks to increase the salaries of civilian government employees, including nurses. “Iba pa po ’yung para sa desisyon ng Supreme Court. Para ito sa lahat,” he explained, adding that he will prioritize the passage of a new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) which will provide for the increase in the current salaries of all government workers.
Go filed in July Senate Bill (SB) 200 or the proposed “Act Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel” which seeks to increase the salaries of all government workers, including nurses and teachers. The bill will be discussed in the Senate plenary before the year ends.
Go also added that some of the other bills that he filed will surely help nurses further in their professional development and in protecting the health of mothers and children.
“These bills seek to amend certain sections of the Philippine Nursing Act to provide for an advanced nursing education program; expand the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program, institutionalize an Emergency Medical Services System and mandate the appointment of at least three barangay health workers in every barangay.”
Go also mentioned that his proposed legislative measure that will institutionalize Malasakit Centers will soon be enacted into law. He recalled that the Malasakit Center, which has been opened in 51 hospitals all over the country, started as an idea when he was still the Special Assistant to the President and was inspired by his experiences serving in Davao City for then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
At the Malasakit Center, patients or their representatives can apply for financial assistance from four government agencies, namely the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Go also informed the nurses that President Duterte will sign the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 as soon as both houses of Congress finish the Bicameral Committee discussions. The Senate passed it on third and final reading last Wednesday, November 27.
“Hopefully, bago mag-end ang second week (ng December), maibigay na po sa Pangulo ang bagong budget,” the Senator said.
“Ayaw na naming maulit ang nangyari noong nakaraang taon, kung saan nagkaroon tayo ng re-enacted budget. Inaprubabahan April na, so effective ang budget natin July. Losses po ’yun sa gobyerno araw-araw, at ang basic services po na pwedeng ibigay sa mga tao (na hindi naibigay) ay malaking kawalan po ’yun,” he explained.
President Rodrigo Duterte postponed his scheduled meeting with farmers in North Cotabato on Friday, to first visit the slain and wounded soldiers who engaged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a firefight in Eastern Samar last Monday.
“President Rodrigo Duterte postponed his meeting with North Cotabato farmers on Friday to visit six dead and 20 wounded soldiers attacked by NPA (rebels) in Eastern Samar,” Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Thursday.
Duterte visited the wake of the slain soldiers at Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City.
At least six soldiers were killed and 20 others were wounded when the NPA detonated six explosives in Pinanag-an village in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on Monday.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The President also visited the 20 wounded soldiers who were confined at the Camp Lukban hospital at the headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan City.
The President has conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, rank of Kalasag, on the slain soldiers, and the Order of Lapu-Lapu, rank of Kampilan, on the wounded soldiers.
The soldiers who were killed in action were Sgt. Rex Jadulco, corporals Ronald Go and Limar Banug; and privates 1st Class Kent Loyd Agullo, Charlie del Rosario, and Junmar Buranday.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is awarded to a government worker or a private individual who has rendered extraordinary service or made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy. The Kalasag Medal is conferred on an individual who lost his life as a direct result of his participation in an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President, while the Kampilan Medal is given to a person who was seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of his participation in such action.
Malacañang said the dependents of the slain soldiers, as well as the wounded soldiers, would also get financial support from the government through the Comprehensive Social Benefit Program.
Participating in the program are the local governments; the departments of trade and health; the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; the National Housing Authority; the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Commission on Higher Education; and the National Police Commission.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go expressed his support for the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill during the Senate regular session on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.
Senator Risa Hontiveros delivered a privilege speech at the opening of the Senate session, seeking the support of her fellow senators to pass the SOGIE Equality Bill following an incident involving Gretchen Diez, a transwoman, at a Quezon City mall.
Diez was arrested on Tuesday after she took a video using her mobile phone on how she was prevented by a janitress from entering the women’s bathroom at the Farmer’s Market mall in Cubao.
In his manifestation of support delivered at the Senate floor, Go said that he was approached both by Representative Geraldine Roman and Senator Hontiveros to help them pass the bill.
“Nilapitan ako ni Cong. Geraldine Roman months before upang humingi ng tulong na maipasa ang bill na ito,” Go said in his statement.
“Kanina naman, I spoke to the lady from Akbayan, Senator Risa Hontiveros, on her fight to promote the rights and enhance the welfare of the members of various sectors of our society, including the LGBTQ community, through the SOGIE Bill,” he added.
MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday bared the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to create a commission for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) pending the approval of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality… Read More
Go also said that he supports the proposed measure, recalling that his home city of Davao has the same measure to safeguard the rights of Davaoeño LGBT community.
“Suportado ko po ito. In fact, sa Davao po, meron kaming Anti-Discrimination ordinance. It declares as unlawful the acts and conduct of discrimination based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin,” he said.
Go then called on the Senate to ensure that all citizens must be treated equally and justly, especially gender minorities who also contribute to the country’s development.
“We are all equal under the law and it is our duty in this institution to ensure that all Filipinos – regardless of their age, sex, religion, ethnicity or gender orientation – are treated equally and justly,” Go said.
“Moreover, it is only right to protect the welfare of our country’s gender minorities who have contributed to our development and nation-building and have served and continue to serve the Filipino people well,” he added.
Ending his speech, Go said that as a diverse country, the Philippines must continue to promote acceptance and inclusivity for generations to come.
“As a country that prides itself for its diversity, it is our moral obligation to safeguard a culture of acceptance and inclusivity to ensure that our children and generations of Filipinos to come will live in a nation where they feel loved, cared for and accepted,” he said.
My job is to help Filipinos
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday maintained that he is going around the Philippines to help Filipinos and promote the Duterte administration’s 3-point campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption, and not for political gains.
Go, who was rumored to be running for a Senate seat in next year’s midterm elections, visited this city to meet with more than a thousand residents from all over Northern Mindanao.
On whether he has already decided to run for senator next year, Go said: “It’s up to the President,” referring to President Rodrigo Duterte. “I will just do as he says, in case I will run for senator. Right now, my focus is to help those victims of fire. My job is to help Filipinos.”
“Why should I deprive those less fortunate the help that they need just to satisfy my critics? Let us just help,” Go told reporters in a press briefing before he faced the jubilant crowd at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines gymnasium.
During the event, Go also showed his supporters his basketball skills, saying sports is one of the ways to divert the attention of the youth from vices, particularly illegal drug use.
He said he fully supports Duterte’s anti-drug campaign and would aggressively work to keep the younger generation from being hooked on drugs.
“The President aims to eliminate illegal drugs in the country. If it can’t be eliminated, at least it will be reduced to its barest minimum,” he said.
During the meet-and-greet session with residents, Go extended assistance to victims of the recent fire incidents in the city.
He also handed out pairs of shoes to adults and gave school supplies to children.
Meanwhile, he said the members of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution will submit their proposal to the President on Monday, July 9.
In a recent interview, former Senate Pres. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. said among the proposals the committee has come up with include the shift to a presidential-federal system of government, and the abolition of political dynasties in the country.(PNA)