Senator Christopher “Bong” Go appealed to concerned government agencies to provide small businesses with more support so they can continue to thrive and recover despite the global pandemic.
He highlighted the contributions of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to the country, saying they will serve as a major engine for its recovery in a video message at a relief effort for micro-entrepreneurs in Licab, Nueva Ecija on Tuesday, October 26.
“Backbone ng ating ekonomiya ang mga MSMEs. Masisipag at madiskarte sa buhay ang mga Pilipino. Kung mabibigyan lang sila ng tamang tulong at training, hindi malayo na mas lalago pa ang mga negosyo nila,” said Go.
“Sana, ma-konsidera ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno ito. Tulungan natin ang mga MSMEs na buhayin ang kanilang mga negosyo dahil sila rin ang bubuhay sa ating ekonomiya, lalung-lalo na ngayon na nasa gitna tayo ng krisis dulot ng COVID-19,” he continued.
Go’s staff distributed meals, vitamins, masks and face shields to 530 micro-entrepreneurs at the municipal gymnasium. They gave away bicycles and new shoes for traveling, as well as computer tablets which children can use for studies.
In addition, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development handed out financial assistance as part of an ongoing government effort to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic on low-income sectors.
“Nung dumating ‘yung pandemya, halos lahat nawalan ng trabaho. Naghirap talaga ang buhay namin kasi wala kaming pagkukunan ng kita. Buti nalang, may maliit na tindahan ako at ito ‘yung nagsustento sa amin habang nag-uutang ang iba,” said Jacinto Ramos, 58, a driver.
“Buong puso kaming nagpapasalamat kay President (Rodrigo) Duterte at Senator Bong Go at ikinatutuwa talaga namin ‘yung biyaya mula sa DSWD. Medyo naghihingalo na ang aking tindahan kaya gagamitin ko ang pera para makabili ng paninda para may extra income kami sa mga susunod na araw,” he added.
The senator also offered to help the poor and indigent get the treatments and medicines they require. He advised them to avail of the services of the Malasakit Center, the nearest of which are located at the Talavera General Hospital in Talavera and the Eduardo L. Joson Memorial Hospital and Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center (DR. PJGMRMC) in Cabanatuan City.
Go is the principal author and sponsor of the bill that became the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019. The law aims to make medical assistance programs more accessible by bringing together the concerned agencies such as the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under one roof.
“Hindi niyo na kailangan pumila o umikot pa sa iba’t ibang opisina para humingi ng tulong pampagamot. Nasa iisang kwarto sa loob ng ospital na ang mga ahensya na tutulong sa inyung babayarin sa ospital. Lapitan niyo lang ‘yan at para ‘yan sa mga poor at indigent patients,” he reassured.
In the end, the senator thanked 1st District Representative Estrellita Suansing, Governor Aurelio Umali, Vice Governor Emmanuel Umali, Mayor Eufemia Domingo, Vice Mayor Albert Caraang and the members of the Municipal Council for their assistance and overall response to the pandemic.
In demonstration of his steadfast commitment as an adopted son of Nueva Ecija, he pledged to assist in the province’s economic recovery in his capacity as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, having previously supported many initiatives that aim to improve access to jobs and services.
These initiatives include the construction of the Barangay San Agustin, Santo Domingo to Brgy. Pag-asa, Talavera Road with bridge; construction of the Brgy. Dolores, Santo Domingo to Brgy. San Carlos, Aliaga Road with bridge; and rehabilitation and improvement of the Central Luzon State University road networks.
He also supported the rehabilitation of roads in Cabiao, General Tinio, Pantabangan, Zaragoza and Cabanatuan City; construction of flood mitigation structures in General Tinio, Quezon, San Antonio and Zaragoza; construction of multi-purpose buildings in Gabaldon, Sta. Rosa and Cabanatuan City; completion of the DR. PJGMRMC in Cabanatuan City; reconstruction of the Llanera public market; rehabilitation of the Baloc public market; and installation of streetlights in Zaragoza.
A separate relief effort was also held for 5,053 residents in Bongabon from October 13 to 15. All activities were carried out in batches to ensure compliance with the health and safety protocols against COVID-19.