Duterte touts Bong Go bills in fourth SONA

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Senator Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — President Rodrigo Duterte gave special mention to his former aide-turned-senator, Christopher "Bong" Go, in his fourth State of the Nation Address Monday.

"Additional benefits for solo parents, the assignment of health workers in all barangays, and the expansion of the Malasakit Centers, are what we also hope to achieve through the bills filed by -- the original concept of -- Bong Go," the President said.

Duterte had mentioned a few bills he wishes the 18th Congress to pass in his SONA. These include the Salary Standardization Law to increase the salaries of teachers and nurses, the postponement of the May 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections to October 2022, the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience, and a Fire Protection Modernization Program to give better tools to the Bureau of Fire Protection.

These bills are among the first 10 bills filed by Senator Go.

Go, whose closeness to the President has been criticized, also accompanied Duterte in his entrance to the Batasang Pambansa.

Duterte had endorsed his former aide's senatorial bid. He said in his SONA that the Navy frigate controversy allegedly involving Go that former Senator Antonio Trillanes raised in a Senate hearing helped the neophyte senator win in the May 2019 elections.

"Para manalo sa kampanya, 'yun ang mantra niya. Totohanin mo lang, Bong, mapahiya tayong lahat," he added

[Translation: To win in the campaign, that was his mantra. Just be true to your word or else we might shamed for it.]