Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has been recognized by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMD) as one of the Outstanding Public Servant Awardees for the Year 2023.

The recognition is a testament to Go’s significant impact and contributions to public service in the Philippines. Known as Mr. Malasakit for his compassionate service to communities in need, Go expressed his gratitude and reaffirmed his dedication to serving the Filipino people.

“Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. sa pagkilala sa aking mga nagawa. Ito ay nagbibigay inspirasyon at lakas sa akin upang lalo pang pagbutihin ang aking serbisyo para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino,” said Go.

“With or without an award or recognition, patuloy akong magseserbisyo sa abot ng aking makakaya dahil bisyo ko na ang magserbisyo at naniniwala ako na ang serbisyo sa tao, ay serbisyo sa Diyos,” added Go.

Furthermore, Go highlighted the importance of collaborative effort in achieving inclusive development towards national progress. “This award is not just for me but for all of us who believe in the power of service to humanity.”

“Together, we can overcome challenges and build a stronger, more resilient Philippines. Let’s continue to work hand in hand for the welfare and progress of our beloved country,” he added.

According to Dr. Paul Martinez, Executive Director of the RPMD, the accolade reflects Go’s commitment to enhancing the welfare and living standards of the Filipino people throughout his career.

“Senator Go’s illustrious career in public service began as the Executive Assistant to the then Davao City 1st District Representative and, subsequently, President Rodrigo Duterte. It evolved into his election as a Senator in 2019, where he achieved a commendable third-place finish, garnering approximately 21 million votes, exemplifying his deep-seated dedication to the Filipino populace,” Martinez stated.

Martinez specifically lauded Go’s instrumental role in enacting the Malasakit Centers Act, which has been crucial in improving healthcare accessibility especially for poor and indigent patients nationwide.

A brainchild of Go, the Malasakit Center program was first launched in 2018 and was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, which the senator principally sponsored and authored. It houses relevant agencies to provide poor and indigent patients convenient access to medical assistance programs from the government.

Currently, there are 159 operational Malasakit Centers that have assisted around ten million Filipinos according to DOH. RPMD also highlighted Go’s efforts in advancing legislation that supports various sectors, including the modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection, the enhancement of government employee wages, and the establishment of the National Academy of Sports. “Senator Go’s advocacy efforts include the Department of Migrant Workers Act and the initiation of Super Health Centers, showcasing his holistic approach to ameliorating Filipinos’ living standards,” Dr. Martinez added.

He pointed out that Go’s advocacy for free annual medical check-ups, specialized healthcare centers, and improvements in education, disaster resilience, and community safety represent a comprehensive vision for the nation’s progress. Go has made significant legislative contributions, having authored or co-authored 32 laws and sponsored or co-sponsored 170 laws during the 18th Congress.

Martinez then congratulated Senator Go, remarking, “The RPMD award mirrors the populace’s esteem, celebrating Senator Go’s exceptional public service and dedication to the nation. It accentuates his extraordinary contributions to legislative reform, healthcare, education, and the overall enhancement of Philippine society.”

Through the years, Go has built a reputation on his compassionate service and unwavering commitment to aiding communities across the country. His approach is deeply rooted in the belief that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a significant difference in people’s lives. He emphasizes, “patuloy akong umiikot para magbigay ng tulong sa nangangailangan sa abot ng aking makakaya, tumulong sa mga pasyente, tumulong sa mga proyektong makakapag-unlad ng inyong syudad, sa mga health programs, health facilities, at of course, ang pagpapatuloy ng serbisyo mula Malasakit Centers, at makapag-iwan ng konting kasiyahan at ngiti sa panahon ng pagdadalamhati,” the senator said.

“Sunog, bagyo, lindol, buhawi, putok ng bulkan… ang aking pinangako sa Pilipino na kahit saang sulok po sa Pilipinas, basta kaya ng aking katawan at panahon, pupuntahan at tutulungan ko po kayo sa abot ng aking makakaya,” vowed Go. #