SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go emphasized the need for a unified, “whole-of-nation approach” to further enhance the country’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as he assured the medical and business sectors that the government is always willing to listen to their concerns.
“Binibigyang-diin po namin ang inyong halaga, karanasan, at kaalaman sa laban na ito. Asahan ninyo po na laging handa ang pamahalaan ninyo para pakinggan ang inyong mga payo,” he said in his opening message during a virtual meeting with top government officials and representatives from the medical and business groups.
Go also emphasized that the government sees them as partners in this fight against the pandemic and is always open to suggestions from various subject-matter experts and sectoral leaders.
“We are here to hear your inputs and recommendations, let us contribute and continue to help each other. Both the government and the private sector must work together and do what we can to address and respond to the threats of COVID-19,” he stressed.
Go, who is the chair of the Senate committee on health, committed that he will make sure that the medical community will have a voice in the government.
“Personally po, I am not an expert. Kinikilala namin na kayo ang mga eksperto sa inyong mga larangan. Kaya, gagawin ko ang lahat ng aking makakaya para bigyan kayo ng boses sa ating pambansang estratehiya para labanan ang COVID-19. Kaya andito po tayo ngayon para magtulungan,” he added.
Go then acknowledged the contributions of the business sector and the medical community in promoting and protecting the welfare of fellow Filipinos.
“Una sa lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating mga frontliners—lalo na sa ating mga healthcare workers at medical community—sa serbisyo ninyo sa bayan sa panahon ng COVID-19. Walang katumbas ang sakripisyo ninyo para malampasan natin ang pandemyang ito,” Go said.
“Ganun din sa business sector, salamat po sa pakikipagbayanihan at pakikipagtulungan sa gobyerno sa pagresponde dito sa pandemic na ito. Thank you for stepping up and doing your social responsibility efforts to help fight COVID-19,” he added.
Go stressed that while the government is doing its best, it is able to improve its response to the crisis through the participation of these sectors.
“Every single day has been a learning experience for us in government. We strive to be better each day...But even as we try, we cannot do it alone. Thus, as we move forward, we need help to successfully assess what institutional practices we need to retain or change and to make long-lasting plans not only for our recovery but also for our sustainable future,” Go said.
He urged the public to cooperate and be informed on how to protect themselves and positively contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
“Kung obligasyon ng gobyerno na ipaliwanag ng mabuti ang bawat desisyon nito, obligasyon naman po natin—bilang responsableng mamamayan—na alamin ang mga kadahilanan sa bawat hakbang na ito,” he added.
Go said that both the legislative and executive branches are working together to enact measures that will help uplift the lives of affected Filipinos and protect the welfare of frontliners, especially healthcare workers.
“Patuloy din po akong magsisilbing tulay ninyo sa Senado at sa Pangulo. I will not limit myself to being just a legislator. Handa po akong pumagitna. Sa katunayan, nandito po tayo ngayon sa hiling na rin ng ilang mga doktor na makipagdiskusyon at makipagdiyalogo,” Go said.
Present during the meeting were officials from the Office of the Executive Secretary; Departments of Heath, Interior and Local Government, Finance, National Defense, and Trade and Industry; and heads of the National Task Force on COVID-19, among others.