SEN. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go has urged poor students in various towns in Nueva Ecija to engage more in sports than in illegal drugs.

The senator on Thursday sent relief goods to 269 poor students from the towns of Penaranda, General Tinio, San Isidro, Jaen, San Antonio, Cabiao, Guimba, Nampicuan, Cuyapo and Pantabangan, and the cities of Cabanatuan and Gapan.

They were provided with snacks, masks and shirts. Some also received balls for basketball and volleyball, bicycles, shoes, and cellular phones.

In a video message, he appealed to the student-beneficiaries to engage more in sports rather than in illegal vices, particularly in substance abuse.

"Do not waste your lives," said Go in Filipino. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports added, "Get into sports, stay away from drugs."

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He stressed how sports participation can significantly benefit one's physical and mental health.

Go reminded the student-beneficiaries that their parents sacrifice a lot to provide them with a good life. "That's why you should stay away from illegal vices and join sports instead."

He also appealed to parents and teachers to support the government's anti-drug campaign by encouraging the youth to participate in sports activities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development also extended separate financial aid as educational assistance to the students.

Go, also chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, offered help to those with health concerns.

He advised them to visit Eduardo L. Joson Memorial Hospital and Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, both in Cabanatuan City; and Talavera General Hospital in Talavera where there are Malasakit Centers "ready to provide them medical assistance from the government."

A one-stop shop designed for indigent patients, the Malasakit Center streamlines the provision of medical aid from the government as it puts all relevant agencies under one roof.