Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go was proclaimed, along the 11 other new legislators, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the PICC. (Contributed photo)
MANILA, Philippines — Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who placed third place in the final tally of the 2019 senatorial race, shared his plans as a legislator right after the proclamation rites, which was held on Wednesday at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay.
Then he went straight to work, heading for Caloocan City to visit 480 residents of Barangay 49 in District 2 who were affected by a fire struck the areas last May 14.
But before that, Go — who garnered 20,657,702 votes, the highest among the newly elected neophyte senators — made a statement at the PICC proclamation: “Sa mga kapatid kong Pilipino, maraming, maraming salamat po sa suporta at tiwala. Ngayon, balik serbisyo na po ako. Tuloy lang po ang pagtrabaho. Handa akong mas makapagserbisyo pa sa mga kapatid natin.”
[To my fellow Filipinos, thank you very much for the support and trust. Now I’m going back to service. I will just continue working. I’m ready to give more service to our brothers.]
Noting that he had been preparing for the job with his 21 years in government, Go vowed to continue people-centered, service-oriented advocacies he started even before being elected as a senator.
“The Senate is a public office. This is public service,” he said. “ Serbisyo ang dadalhin ko sa Senado — serbisyong may malasakit sa tao, serbisyong Tatak Duterte.”
[I will bring service to the Senate — service that cares for people, service with the Duterte brand.]
More than that, he said: “I will not limit myself to just being a legislator. My work will not only be confined to the four corners of the Senate hall.”
He said he would continue to go around the country and talk to people.
To facilitate this, he said he would put up an extension office in the Visayas and Mindanao so that people could easier access to him.
Thes offices, like his Malasakit Center, would be open to everyone who would want to have suggestions about legislation.
Go’s legislative agenda, apart from the three-pronged campaign against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs, would prioritize bills on the following:
- the creation of a Department for Overseas Filipino Workers
- institutionalization of Malasakit Centers, with at least one such center in every province and big chartered cities nationwide, to improve the delivery of health services. Go had already opened 34 Malasakit Centers before running for the Senate.
- increasing the salaries of public school teachers
- creation of a Senior Citizens Commission
- creation of Department of Disaster Resilience to scale-up the country’s resiliency and preparedness
- amending the 18-year-old Solo Parents Welfare Act by providing more benefits, such as tax discounts and more services being available to a growing number of solo Filipino parents
- passage of the Magna Carta for Barangay Officials, which, among others, will provide better compensation and benefits for the barangay officials, including health workers, often called the “guardians of the nation’s health”
Go will also explore the possibility of the postponement of the barangay elections, scheduled this 2020 and give elected barangay officials more time to implement their planned programs.
Go promised to help his colleagues in the Senate improve the working relationship the legislative and the executive branches
He vowed, however, to remain independent as senator while ensuring that the top priority legislative agenda of the Duterte administration would be translated to laws benefiting Filipinos.
“Magtatrabaho tayo para ang mga panukalang batas na ito ay naaayon sa mga polisiya at direksyon ng mga ahensyang tutugon sa mga tunay na pangangailangan ng ating mga mamamayan,” he added, before leaving the PICC grounds to visit the fire victims in Caloocan City.
[We will work for proposed laws that will be in accordance with the policies and directions of the agencies that will respond to the true needs of our citizens.]
Asked about the absence of his family during the proclamation rites, Go said: “Eh kasi biglaan po itong proclamation. Wala naman po dito yung pamilya ko, nasa Davao po.”
[The proclamation was sudden. My family is not here but in Davao.]
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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