Duterte fetes Bong Go, Cabinet members

President Rodrigo Duterte awarded the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Grand Cross to his aide Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, for his contributions to the nation’s development and for helping to achieve the administration’s goals over the past six years.

The Order of Lakandula was created by Executive Order 236 issued by then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2003. The award is given to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to the peaceful resolution of conflict and/or whose life is worthy of emulation by the Filipino people.

Go was also awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Magalong. The award is given to government officials or personnel and private individuals who have rendered “exceptional service or made outstanding contributions to the success of an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”

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The senator said she did not expect to receive the awards, but she was honored to be recognized for her accomplishments in helping the President. He added that helping his fellow Filipinos and seeing them overcome poverty is rewarding enough for him.

Besides the senator, other recipients are Cabinet members, including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Senator-elect Mark Villar, Presidential Adviser Vivencio Dizon, Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd, former Cabinet secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Presidential Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Go, who was a special assistant to the President before being elected senator, was one of the co-authors of the bill that became Republic Act 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” which seeks to empower and give the government has the flexibility it needs to deal with the public health crisis.

The longtime aide of the President also demanded the passage of RA 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover As One Act,” which aims to fund various government programs, such as improving the health care system, implementing cash-for -work program, assistance to industries affected by the pandemic especially the agricultural sector and the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, among other interventions.

Amid the public health crisis, Go also successfully urged the administration to provide all possible support for vulnerable sectors, specifically financial assistance to small business employees affected by the pandemic through Small Business. Wage Subsidy program.

He, too, made a personal appeal to the Government Service Insurance System to waive penalties for delayed remittances, release pensions early and grant emergency loans to Filipino retirees.

The senator also urged the administration for one -time financial assistance to be provided to local government units to help localities cope with the growing needs of their constituents during the pandemic.

Go was also active in addressing the plight of locally stranded individuals due to quarantine measures at the height of the pandemic. Additionally, his office also assisted private donors in identifying and distributing donations and assistance to hospital beneficiaries.

Go then expressed his gratitude to President Duterte and the Filipino people for entrusting him with honor, and said he would never tire of serving them for the good of the country.