ADMINISTERED by no other than President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go took his oath in Malacañang yesterday.
In a short message by the President to Go after his oath taking, Duterte said that Go deserves the spot in the Senate and it is his destiny to serve the people.
“You deserve it, this is your destiny,” the President said.
Towards the end of the oath, the President also gave a simple reminder to his long time aide, “And may I remind you of your sacred duty, ‘Ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos.’ Congratulations and more power!”
The newly elected senator was accompanied by his family, friends and some of the cabinet secretaries.
Go was proclaimed number three in the final tally of the 2019 senatorial race, garnering 20,657,702 votes, the highest among the newly-elected neophyte senators.
He said that health, housing, and sports are his top priorities in the Senate.
Go eyes the improvement of health services through the institutionalization of the Malasakit Centers, with at least one such center per province and big chartered cities around the country.
Based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center is a continuing program of the administration seeking to make it easier and faster for indigent patients to receive medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and PhilHealth.
Senator Go will also push for measures to address problems of informal settlers and to provide affordable houses for all, especially the poor and homeless.
Meanwhile, in an ambush interview yesterday, Go shared to the media that Senator Manny Pacquiao is considering to give him the sports committee.
“Binibigay ni Sen. Pacquiao ang committee on sports. Kung sakali naman, handa akong tanggapin ito,” he said.
Part of the agenda of Go is to establish sports and youth development centers in every LGU nationwide to help fight criminality, corruption and illegal drugs. He also aims to strengthen grassroots sports development program; to conduct annual national sports caravan to improve national athletes’ pool; and to increase the incentives for sports competition not presently covered by law.
Other priorities under his legislative agenda include programs for OFWs, agriculture, education, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, anti-illegal drugs and criminality, anti-corruption drive, barangay welfare, and improved benefits for senior citizens.
Go also agreed that there is a need to change the Constitution now that the President conceded that changing the country’s form of government to federalism may not be realized within his term.
“With the present constitution marami po talagang dapat baguhin para puksain itong korapsyon. Ako naman, bigyan natin ng autonomy itong mga local government natin para hindi na sila umasa sa national government. Alam po nila kung ano po ‘yung problema sa lugar nila, at mga programa na dapat sa kanilang lugar nila,” Go stated.
Go was appointed by President Duterte as Special Assistant to the President, with the rank of Secretary, from June 30, 2016 to October 15, 2018. He resigned as Duterte’s top aide to run in the 2019 senatorial election.
According to Duterte, his trust in Go remained unshaken for over 20 years because his former top aide is “extraordinarily honest.”
Now that he is already a senator, Go stated that his relationship with the President will never change, and that he will still continue to help the President in his own capacity, saying, “My personal relationship with him will never change. We both know na hindi naman sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay magkakasama kami palagi. I am an incoming senator now and I have my duties to our people. So as long as walang conflict sa mandate and duties ko bilang senador, I will continue to personally help the President as my commitment sa kanya. Pero priority ko ang pagiging senador.”