SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go commended the ratification of the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act on Thursday, which will allot P140 billion for government programs to facilitate the recovery of the country, and an additional P25 billion to serve as standby appropriations.
“I would like to express my congratulations and gratitude to the conferees of both Houses of Congress for coming together in support of this measure. Mr. President, I thank the Honorable sponsor and chairman of the Committee on Finance, Sen. Sonny Angara, for taking charge of this difficult but crucial task,” said Go.
“Let me also thank the other members of the Bicameral Conference Committee – Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, our Majority leader Sen. Migz Zubiri, our Minority leader Sen. Franklin Drilon, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Imee Marcos, Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, and, on the part of the House, Cong. LRay Villafuerte, Cong. Stella Quimbo, Cong. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Cong. Eric Yap, Cong, Ranie Abu, Cong. Junie Cua, Cong. Teodorico Haresco, Cong. Wilter Palma, and Cong. Sharon Garin,” he continued.
In his speech delivered during a Senate session, Go, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, pointed out provisions that would provide for the benefits of both public and private healthcare workers who developed mild or severe symptoms of COVID-19 or died due to the virus while in the line of duty.
The senator likewise commended the provision of additional benefits to healthcare workers as requested by the President, such as the one-time COVID-19 special risk allowance, life insurance, accommodation, transportation and meals.
“Equally important is the support provided by the body for the procurement of PPEs, the construction and expansion of our isolation and quarantine facilities, the hiring of additional contact tracers, the maintenance of isolation facilities, including the billing of the hotels used as quarantine areas, and the food and transportation of our COVID-19 patients,” Go said.
Go also expressed his gratitude for the assistance that would be provided to Filipino migrant workers who have lost their jobs abroad and are forced to return to the country.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, he also highlighted the benefits the measure would bring to alleviate the situation of the country’s national athletes and coaches whose funding were cut short due to the ongoing public health crisis.
“Finally, I want to thank the Bicameral Committee for recognizing the need to support the repatriation of overseas Filipinos through the [Department of Foreign Affairs], and for acknowledging the importance of our national athletes and coaches whose allowances were reduced due to the pandemic. Our OFWs, athletes, and coaches are some of our modern-day heroes who bring great pride and joy to our country,” said Go.
The senator expressed his confidence in the measure which shall go a long way as the country moves forwards on its road to recovery. However, he reminded the implementing agencies to ensure the financial assistance would go down to and be felt by the needy and most affected. He emphasized that it is the President’s directive that every centavo would be accounted for.
“Uulitin ko po ang lagi kong pinapaalala sa ating mga executive agencies: Siguraduhin natin na magagamit ang pera ng bayan ng tama, siguraduhin natin na makakarating ang tulong sa pinaka-nangangailangan at pinaka-apektado nating mga kababayan. At siguraduhin natin na walang pinipiling oras ang ating pagtulong at pagserbisyo sa bayan,” he continued.
“I would like to confirm, gusto ng Presidente na transparent ang Executive and lahat ay accounted saan nagastos ang pera ng gobyerno.”