MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go vowed to continue prioritizing accessible health services to all Filipinos wherever they are in the country following the launch of the newest Malasakit Center in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental on Tuesday, October 12.
More than 3 million have benefited so far from the services of the Malasakit Centers. There are now 143 fully operational Malasakit Centers nationwide, 77 of which are in Luzon, 29 in the Visayas, and 37 in Mindanao.
In Region 10, a total of seven DOH-run and other public hospitals have opened their respective Malasakit Centers, including the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Maramag, Bukidnon; Gregorio T. Lluch Memorial Hospital in Iligan City and Kapatagan Provincial Hospital in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte; Mayor Hilario A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in Ozamiz City and Doña Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital in Tangub City in Misamis Occidental; and JR Borja General Hospital and Northern Mindanao Medical Center, both in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental.
“Dito sa Misamis Occidental, mayroon na kayong dalawang Malasakit Center na handang tumulong sa inyo. So dito sa Region 10, madami na, dalawa sa Cagayan de Oro City, mayroon sa Bukidnon,” said Go.
“Mayroon na tayong 143 na Malasakit Center at timing din na dito sa Misamis Occidental ang 143. Ang ibig sabihin 1, 4, 3, ang pagmamahal namin ni Presidente Duterte sa inyong lahat,” he added.
Go’s experiences working under then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte exposed him to the stressful and difficult process Filipinos go through just to seek government aid for their medical bills. These encounters moved him to conceptualize the one-stop-shop which he promised to push for during his senatorial campaign.
“Nagsimula itong Malasakit Center nung nakita ko ‘yung problema diyan sa baba. Sa tagal kong nagtrabaho kay President Duterte, maraming lumalapit sa kaniya sa Davao City Hall, mga hindi residente sa Davao. Minsan taga Misamis, taga Zamboanga, pumupunta sa Davao dahil nandoon ang hospital,” Go lamented.
The Malasakit Center brings together the offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under one roof to provide government medical assistance to patients.
Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, primarily authored and sponsored by Go, was eventually signed by President 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.
Go lauded Malasakit Center and hospital personnel and medical frontliners for their hard work and commitment to serve Filipinos during the ongoing national health crisis.
“Sa lahat ng frontliners dito sa ospital, maraming salamat sa inyong sakripisyo ngayong panahon. Palakpakan natin ang mga frontliners, kasali na dyan ang security, utility. Alam niyo, hindi ganun kadali ang magserbisyo, lalo na sa laban natin sa COVID-19,” Go expressed.
Go reaffirmed that he will continue to push for initiatives that will further improve and enhance the capabilities of the country’s health care system.
“Huwag muna nating pag-usapan ang pulitika ngayon. Naghihirap ang ating mga kababayan, unahin sana natin na malampasan itong pandemya dahil baka wala na tayong pulitika na pag-uusapan ‘pag hindi natin ito malampasan,” Go said.
“Importante po sa akin, bigyan natin ng komportableng buhay ang mga kababayan natin, lalong lalo na po ‘yung mahihirap po at mga walang matakbuhan, ‘yun po ang importante para sa akin,” he continued.
On October 12, Go attended the launch of the Malasakit Center in Doña Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital in Tangub City. He also distributed aid to small business owners at the Sinanduloy Culture Center in Tangub City, and to various sectors affected by the pandemic at the Medina Gym in Ozamiz City. He also conducted a monitoring visit of the Malasakit Center in Mayor Hilario A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in Ozamiz.
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