Bong Go calls for greater nat’l adaptability, resilience measures amid natural disasters

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go. Photo from Go’s office

MANILA, Philippines — Following the devastation of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) in the country, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go doubled his efforts to push for priority measures aimed at enhancing national adaptability and resilience.

“Nito lamang nakaraang linggo, hinagupit na naman ng isang malakas na bagyo ang ating bansa. Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nawalan ng mga mahal sa buhay, samantalang ang iba naman ay malubhang nasaktan at nawalan ng kabuhayan,” he said.

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The typhoon victims are Go’s top priority, and he pledged to keep helping them, saying, “Bilang inyong Senator Kuya Bong Go, sisikapin ko po na makatulong sa abot ng aking makakaya at magbigay ng suporta tungo sa pagbangon ng mga komunidad na naapektuhan ng Bagyong Paeng at iba pang sakuna.”

The senator also stated that he has been in constant coordination with national agencies that are already on the ground as well as concerned local government units in order to assist them in any way that he possibly can.

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“Patuloy akong nakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga government agencies at mga local government units para tulungan silang maproteksyunan at maalagaan ang ating kawawang mga kababayan,” he said.

For all their efforts at the height of the typhoon, Go also commended national and local government officials who have been serving the Filipino people even amid disasters.

“Saludo rin ako sa mga kawani ng national at lokal na gobyerno na walang tigil ang pagseserbisyo sa kabila ng banta ng sakuna. Ang ilan sa mga lokal na opisyal, sinamahan ang aking opisina sa paglilibot sa mga evacuation centers ng mga bayan na lubhang naapektuhan ng bagyo,” he noted.

In light of the high number of people who perished as a result of Typhoon Paeng, Go requested that the government investigate the factors that led to the severe flooding that was responsible for the deaths. Go went on to say that the incident should serve as a warning to authorities that it needs to take a more proactive approach toward natural disasters.

“Nakakalungkot na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nasawi dahil sa Bagyong Paeng. Kaya naman hinihikayat ko ang gobyerno na alamin ang naging sanhi ng matinding pagbaha para hindi na ito maulit. Maging leksyon dapat ito sa atin,” he said.

“Gaya rin ng palagi kong sinasabi, panahon na po para magkaroon tayo ng mas proactive na approach pagdating sa mga kalamidad,” he added.

Go argued that the government should take a more preventative approach to dealing with natural disasters due to the susceptibility of the country to these types of catastrophes.

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“Huwag na nating hintayin ang susunod na sakuna bago natin maisaayos ang ating mga imprastraktura at mekanismo sa pagresponde sa kalamidad. Alam ko na ang sambayanang Pilipino ay hindi matitinag ng kahit anumang pagsubok, ngunit hindi ito nangangahulugan na kailangan nating hayaan ang ating sarili na mabugbog nang paulit-ulit,” he said.

“Naniniwala ako na ang ating katatagan bilang isang bansa ay masusukat din sa kung gaano kaayos natin mapaghahandaan ang mga krisis na ito,” he added.

In line with this call, Go renewed his push for the passage of his proposed measures to improve national adaptability and resilience. These include Senate Bill No. 188 which provides for the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience, and SBN 193 or the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act of 2022.

The senator also renewed his call for the passage of SBN 192 or the Rental Housing Subsidy Bill to help address homelessness in the country, underscoring interminable issues, such as poverty and limited access to affordable housing, aggravated by the crisis situations.

Go also refiled his proposed SBN 1181 or the proposed Philippine Building Act of 2022 which shall provide more effective regulation of planning, design, construction, occupancy, and maintenance of all public and private buildings and structures, promoting building resilience against natural and man-made calamities.

Go then gave assurance that he will continue to push for more measures that are people-centered and service-oriented, which will promote national resilience and adaptability while ensuring non-stop public service delivery to those who require the attention of the government the most.

“Makatitiyak po kayo na patuloy akong magsusulong ng mga batas at mga inisyatiba na nakasentro sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan at nakatuon sa serbisyo na magtataguyod ng national resilience at adaptability,” he said.

“Pero ang trabaho ng isang senador ay hindi lamang limitado rito. Kasama sa trabaho po namin ay constituency services at representation. Kaya makaaasa rin po kayo na patuloy akong maglilibot sa buong bansa para personal na kumustahin ang ating mga kababayan, maghatid ng tulong, pakinggan ang inyong hinaing, masolusyunan ang inyong problema, at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” he concluded.

On November 4, Go provided assistance to Paeng victims in Kawit and Bacoor City in Cavite province, as well as fire victims in Taguig City on the same day. On November 5, he also send aid to  Paeng victims in Maguindanao del Norte.

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