MANILA, Philippines — After personally attending the launch of the country’s 142nd Malasakit Center at Valenzuela Medical Center on Thursday, October 7, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go visited the existing Malasakit Center in Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital to ensure continued operations to help patients in need of medical assistance amid the ongoing health crisis.
In a short speech during his visit, Go thanked all the Malasakit Center employees and medical frontliners for the service they have rendered throughout the pandemic, especially in saving and protecting the lives of the most vulnerable sectors of society.
“Sa lahat po ng mga empleyado ng Malasakit Center dito sa Valenzuela (City) Emergency Hospital, maraming salamat po sa inyo. And, before I forget, ang pinaka-importante po sa panahon ngayon, ang lahat po ng mga frontliners po, maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong sakripisyo,” said Go.
“Hindi po nababayaran ng kahit ano ang inyong sakripisyo sa panahon ngayon. Pakiusap ko lang po sa inyo, lalong-lalo na po sa mga Malasakit social workers, please lang po, huwag niyo pong pabayaan ‘yung mga mahihirap po, ‘yung mga walang matakbuhan, ‘yung mga helpless, ‘yung mga hopeless po,” he asked.
He also advised the patients to notify their communities about the government assistance available through these one-stop shops so that they can take advantage of it.
‘Yung mga pasyente dyan sa likod, sabihin niyo po sa inyong mga kapitbahay, mayroon kayong Malasakit Center, dalawa na po dito sa Valenzuela,” he said.
“Batas na po ‘yan, isinulong namin ni Senator Win, Congressman Wes, Congressman Eric, at iba pang mga mambabatas ninyo. Ang Malasakit Center po ay one-stop shop, nasa loob na ho ng hospital ‘yung apat na ahensya ng gobyerno – PhilHealth, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Health, at Department of Social Welfare and Development,” he added.
Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, authored and sponsored by Go, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2019. The law mandates the establishment of the centers in every DOH-run hospital nationwide and in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
Other public hospitals can also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided they meet the standard set of criteria and guarantee the availability of funds for the center’s operation.
There are now 142 Malasakit Centers in the country since the program was initiated by Go in February 2018, with the latest opened on the same day at the Valenzuela Medical Center.
More than 3 million have benefited so far from the services of the Malasakit Center.
During the visit, Go’s team also provided meals, food packs, vitamins, masks, and face shields to the hospital staff, medical personnel, and patients. They also gave new shoes or bicycles to select individuals for their daily commuting needs. They likewise gave away computer tablets to help their children with their school activities under the blended learning set-up.
The senator also took the opportunity to recognize the efforts of local leaders, government officials and hospital personnel for their untiring service amid the ongoing crisis.
“Hindi ko na po hahabaan ang aking sasabihin. Mga kababayan ko, kami ni Pangulong Duterte ay handang magserbisyo sa inyong lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya. Ayaw namin mangako, magtatrabaho lang po kami para sa inyong lahat,” said Go.
“At tandaan natin, makinig kayong mabuti ha. Sana po’y maalala ninyo ito na nagtagpo tayo kahit isang beses sa buhay natin. Tandaan niyo po itong sasabihin ko, minsan lang tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na puwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa tao, gawin natin ngayon, dahil hindi na po tayo babalik sa mundong ito,” he concluded.
On the same day, Go also personally attended the launch of the country’s 142nd Malasakit Center at Valenzuela Medical Center and the inauguration of the Wellness Entertainment Sports or WES Arena in Valenzuela City which he believes will serve as a catalyst for the further development of the city and its constituents.
“May pakiusap lang po ako sa lahat, wala pa naman pong kampanya. Medyo mainit lang ‘yung usapan sa pulitika dahil nag-aantayan. Isa lang po ang pakiusap ko sa mga kababayan ko, sa mga kandidato, puwede ba mamaya na lang natin pag-usapan ‘yung pulitika. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng papuri pero mas kailangan po ng taumbayan ngayon na magtrabaho muna tayo,” Go emphasized.
“Ulitin ko po, bakuna muna bago ang pulitika. ‘Yun po ang kailangan natin sa ngayon,” added Go, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Health.
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