An exclusive with Sen. Christopher ‘Bong’ Go
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - August 1, 2020 - 12:00am

(Continued from yesterday)

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 114 institutionalizing the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program. It also created an inter-agency council that will craft and oversee the implementation of short-term to long-term plans and programs. This council will also ensure a whole-of-country approach. By now we all understand that, the Whole-of-Nation Approach entails the parts of each and everyone of us whether it be the public or private sector.

As a reserve in the Philippine Army, someone like me can’t help but ask about the Senator’s views and long term plans for our Armed Forces. Sen. Bong Go explained that securing our people is now becoming a shared responsibility between the government and the governed, especially with the fast emerging and new forms of threats to the safety of our people such as cybercrime, terrorism and cross-border and transnational crimes. As vice chair of the Senate committees on national defense and on peace and order, it is also the Senator’s mandate to ensure that we continue to modernize our armed forces to keep up with the changing times. He states that, modernizing our armed forces is not only limited to allocating funds for the purchase of new and modern weapons, ammunition and equipment, but also enhancing the services and benefits for our personnel who are after all, in the service of every Filipino.

Last but not least, I asked the Senator about his views on the film industry. Films after all have also been dear to me as I celebrate in spirit my great grandfather’s historical contribution to the 100 years of Philippine Cinema once being in the theatrical business. Sen. Bong Go sits as member of the board of the Metro Manila Film Festival which started last year. The film industry, just like sports, and as he says, is also very close to him as he has many friends in the industry not to mention his movie screen Filipino idols. Movies are a reflection of our culture and heritage ( I totally agree with you Sen. Bong). The whole industry provides numerous jobs not just for the artists but even for the most ordinary personnel and worker.  Competition with foreign movies is tight which is why last year, Sen. Go pushed for the conduct of an additional summer version of the Metro Manila Film Festival similar to the main festival held every December. The Senator says by having two film festivals we will be providing more opportunities for our local films to be showcased and with better incentives for producers, directors and artists that will in turn further improve the quality of our movies. I for one am certainly thrilled! It’s about time the Philippines takes center stage once again in the region and perhaps in the rest of the world.

I’d like to wholeheartedly thank Sen. Bong Go for this interview. Considering our extra hectic schedules, I am grateful for the time and effort. We certainly look forward to a more comfortable life for all and as we say in the Armed Forces, convergence is key. In our lifetime and for the sake of the generations to come, I would love to see a strong nation... one that pushes the Philippines forward because inwardly, we are doing  what it takes to make the Philippines great.

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