Amid the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go underscored the need for the government to protect the safety of Filipinos in Ukraine, majority of whom are in the capital Kyiv, and nearby areas.
“We are, without a doubt, living in tumultuous times. That means it is imperative now more than ever to be proactive and safeguard the future of Filipinos and our nation,” Go said.
“Our primary priority is to get our kababayans out of danger as quickly as possible,” he stressed.
Senator Go lauded the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs in mobilizing all resources to evacuate Filipinos. Operations are underway to move affected Filipinos to safety from Ukraine to neighboring countries and ultimately back home. To date, 40 Filipinos have been transported safely to Poland, Hungary and Moldova with 6 Filipinos already repatriated.
The senator advised Filipinos in Ukraine to exercise care and be aware of their surroundings, to be vigilant, and to keep in touch with the Philippine Embassy Team in Lviv or the Consulate General in Kyiv if they require assistance.
He also urged the government to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the international conflict on the country through the timely provision of fuel subsidies to transport drivers and the agricultural transport sector, especially since oil prices have already surpassed $100 per barrel.
Meanwhile, noting the large number of Filipinos living abroad, Go reiterated the need to enhance and strengthen policies and measures that would protect their safety.
“One of these (measures) is President Rodrigo Duterte’s gift to overseas Filipino workers, the newly enacted law establishing the Department of Migrant Workers. The passage of Republic Act No. 11641, which I authored and co-sponsored, has been a long time coming, since it is one of President Duterte’s declared priority legislative initiatives during his term,” he said.
“The DMW will devote the government’s resources to safeguarding the rights and interests of Filipinos abroad. The bill also tackles the significant issues that migrant workers have faced as a result of the ongoing epidemic, with many of them losing their employment and were repatriated,” Go explained.
Under the new Act, all government agencies involved in foreign employment and migration will also be reorganized and their tasks will be streamlined.
Finally, the senator noted that given the uncertainties of these times, there is a pressing need to secure the welfare of the country and ascertain sustainability of the development brought by the Duterte Administration.
To ensure that future generations of Filipinos benefit from the government’s initiatives and policies aimed at ensuring a comfortable life for all, Go assured that the Duterte administration is intent in ensuring an honest, peaceful, credible and free elections this coming May.
“As he approaches the end of his term, it is undeniable that President Duterte’s commitment to fulfilling his promise of providing a comfortable life for all has resulted in significant improvements in the lives of our people. However, the government could not have done it without the Filipino people’s cooperation, which is why we appreciate their continued support,” Go remarked.
“As for me, my trust in and loyalty to the President and the country are unwavering. As my mentor, I am one with him in serving the Filipinos, regardless of our position in the government. We love our country, and we feel that only by serving it can we give back to the land and the people that nurtured us and made us who we are today,” he ended.