Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has assured victims of Tropical Storm “Quiel” in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro that the government will help rehabilitate affected areas.

Right after the morning plenary session on Tuesday, Go rushed to Paluan to distribute food, groceries and financial assistance families affected by the calamity.

Four barangay (villages) and around 240 individuals were affected by the sea swell caused by Quiel last week. At least 23 houses were damaged.

“I promised the people that, wherever you are in the Philippines, as long as my time permits, I will go to you to extend help and leave behind a smile,” Go said, explaining that he regularly visits victims of calamities to listen to provide solutions to their struggles.

The senator was joined by representatives of concerned government agencies, including from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and National Housing Authority.

The lawmaker also told Paluan Mayor Carl Michael Pangilinan that he would assist in fast-tracking the repair of the town’s seawall to protect coastal residents.

Go added that plans are underway to establish a Malasakit Center in Occidental Mindoro. A Malasakit Center consolidates the financial assistance programs provided by various government agencies in one office so that patients or their representatives will save time and resources in availing such government assistance.

“The Malasakit Center is one of the solutions the Duterte government has developed to provide quick and quality access to healthcare to all Filipinos, regardless of their age, sex, ethnic background, religion and political affiliation,” Go said.

Go said the Senate approved on third and final reading on Monday, November 11, Senate Bill (SB) 1076, otherwise known as the “Malasakit Center Act of 2019,” which seeks to institutionalize the establishment of the centers in all 73 hospitals run by the Department of Health as well as in state universities and colleges.

Citing the vulnerability of the country to natural disasters, Go said it was time for the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience to mitigate the consequences and take a more proactive approach in responding to calamities.

The senator filed SB 205 or the “Disaster Resilience Act of 2019” an Act seeking to create a Department of Disaster Resilience, “an empowered, highly specialized department with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.”

He urged his fellow legislators and concerned government agencies to act immediately to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on the country.

“Let us not waste time. We do not have to wait for a major calamity to hit our country. It is time to scale up our preparedness and resiliency against natural disasters. It’s time to have an agency that will give full attention to our preparedness and resiliency to respond to calamities and disasters,” Go said.