MANILA -- Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go has vowed to push for programs that will help address issues in agriculture, food security, and education in the province of North Cotabato.
In an interview with reporters at the Kawayanan Festival in North Cotabato on Friday, Go, who is gunning for a Senate seat in 2019, said he plans to push for the prioritization of farmers' rights in the province and in other agricultural areas to ensure food security.
"Sisilipin ko ang presyo ng abono, atin itong titingnan kung ano ang magagawa natin at marami ang magkaka-benepisyo sa mga magsasaka (I'll look into the price of fertilizers. We'll see what we can do so many farmers could gain benefits)," he said.
The former presidential aide also said that aside from free tuition, the government should allocate funds to address the other needs of students, such as school supplies.
"Marami dito ang munisipyo ng North Cotabato na kulang sa special education fund, not enough to buy school materials para sa mga grade school students natin (Many municipalities in North Cotabato lack in special education fund, therefore resulting in not enough funds to buy school materials for our grade school students)," he said.
Go also plans to establish a Malasakit Center in North Cotabato, citing the need to make the process of getting government financial aid easier for patients.
Malasakit Centers are one-stop shops situated in government hospitals, from where patients can avail of financial assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philhealth and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
"Ating lalagyan ng Malasakit Center ang government hospital dito na mayroong kumpletong pasilidad. Lalagyan natin dito sa North Cotabato (We will establish a Malasakit Center in the government hospital here, with complete facilities. We will establish it here in North Cotabato)," he vowed.
Go, who hails from Mindanao, said he also wants the government to promote tourism in North Cotabato, citing festivals such as Kawayanan.
"Ang pinaka-importante dito ay magkaroon ng access sa turista (The most important thing is to ensure that tourists have access to the province)," he said.
When asked by reporters, Go declined to comment on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite, saying he does not want to influence the outcome of the BOL.
"Hintayin na lang natin kung ano ang magiging resulta (Let's just wait for the results.) I will support what is best for the people," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency