Go extends add’l aid to latest batch of BP2 beneficiaries

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go personally met with the latest batch of beneficiaries of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program before returning to their respective hometowns in Zamboanga del Norte.

In strict compliance with the health protocols against Covid 19, Go and his team conducted the aid distribution for a total of 70 individuals, composed of 19 principal beneficiaries and 51 family members, at the BP2 Depot in Quezon City on Dec. 16.

Go and his staff distributed meals, food packs, vitamins and masks, as well as new cellular phones and shoes to all the recipients.

He wished them a safe trip and assured them of the government’s continued support as they resettle and start anew back in their province.

“Nung panahon ng lockdown, napakadami sa mga kababayan natin ang naipit dito sa Maynila. Hindi makauwi, walang matakbuhan at nananawagan na lang ng tulong sa Facebook at sa telebisyon. Nung panahon na ‘yon, 68 days din kaming kinulong dito ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte. Doon namin naisipan itong programa upang tulungan ang mga kababayan nating gustong umuwi ng probinsya (During lockdown, we have so many countrymen stranded in Metro Manila. They cannot return home, no one to run to and sought for help on Facebook and television. At that time, President Duterte and I were on lockdown for 68 days. That’s time we came up with this [BP2] program for our countrymen who want to return to their provinces),” Go recalled.

“Sa Maynila, dikit-dikit ang mga bahay, trapik at mausok. Pero sa probinsya, malinis ang hangin. Kung may problema ka, mayroon kang matatakbuhan dahil kamag-anak mo ang iyong kapitbahay (In Metro Manila, houses and traffic are congested, air is polluted. But in the province, its clean and air is fresh. If you problem, you can go to your relatives),” he added.

The BP2 program is a long-term plan of the government to decongest Metro Manila and boost the development of the countryside.

In May 2020, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 114 which institutionalized the program. The EO came about after Go authored Senate Resolution No. 380, which the Senate adopted in the same month.

At the height of more stringent Covid-19 quarantine measures, rollouts were temporarily suspended to give way to the Hatid Tulong initiative, a transportation assistance program that helps locally stranded individuals return to their provinces.

Meanwhile, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided the beneficiaries Transitory Family Support Package, transportation assistance and additional financial aid under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.

The Department of Health, in turn, distributed medicines and vitamins while the Department of Agriculture gave away boxes of sardines and assured the beneficiaries of further assistance once they return to Zamboanga del Norte. The Department of Trade and Industry, on the other hand, conducted assessments of potential beneficiaries of its livelihood assistance program.

To further ensure the beneficiaries’ health and well-being, Go strongly reminded them to remain vigilant and cooperate with the local quarantine restrictions.

He called on all eligible individuals to complete their Covid-19 shots as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones from the deadly virus.

Go also pledged to further help those with medical concerns so they can get the treatment they need.

He likewise advised them to seek medical assistance from the government through the Malasakit Center at the Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center in Dipolog City or Dr. Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital in Dapitan City.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which brings together the desk representatives of the DOH, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The program, which was institutionalized through the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 that Go principally authored and sponsored, has assisted over 3 million poor and indigent patients nationwide.

“Kung may problema kayo doon sa probinsya, ‘wag kayong mahiyang lumapit sa opisina ko o ni Pangulong Duterte. Handa kaming tumulong sa inyo sa abot ng aming makakakaya (If you encounter problems in the province, do not hesitate to ask for assistance from my office or President Duterte),” he said.

“Masaya ako na uuwi na kayo pero ‘wag niyong kakalimutan ang inyong Kuya Bong Go. Kalabitin niyo lang ako saan man tayo magkita (I’m happy that you will finally return home, just remember me. Just ask for my help). Have a safe travel and may you arrive safely in Zamboanga,” he added.

Go also commended government officials such as National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr., Deputy Executive Director and Head for Operations Victor Balba, Chief of Staff John Mahamud, National Capital Region North Sector Regional Manager Albert Perfecto, and Quezon City District Officer-in-Charge Rose Padre-Mahamud, among others.

After the activity, the lawmaker proceeded to the Tent Area in Commonwealth Avenue where he joined Duterte to witness the unveiling of six new Metro Rail Transit Line 7 train sets.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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