MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday virtually attended the launching of the country’s 76th Malasakit Center at the Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.
The newly opened Malasakit Center is the second in the province and 38th in Luzon.
“Patuloy po ang serbisyo ng Malasakit Centers para mabigyan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal ang mga Pilipino kahit saan mang parte ng bansa. Lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya, hindi dapat maantala ang pagbubukas ng dagdag na Malasakit Centers kaya sa Zoom na lang muna tayo ngayon (Malasakit Centers continue to serve to provide Filipinos with prompt, efficient and reliable medical service anywhere in the country. Especially in this time of the pandemic, the opening of additional Malasakit Centers should not be delayed, thus we are via Zoom for now),” Go said in his message during the launching ceremony.
The chair of the Senate Committee on Health and author of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 (RA 11463) said he really wanted to be physically present during the launching, but health and safety protocols prevented him from doing so.
Nevertheless, he promised Novo Ecijanos that he will visit their province when the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has finally been addressed.
“Babalik po ako d’yan. Pupuntahan ko po kayo kapag pwede na upang mapakinggan ang inyong hinaing. Palagi pong bukas ang aming opisina para tumulong at magserbisyo sa inyo (I will return there. I will come to you when it is already permissible to listen to your appeals. My office is always open to help and serve you),” Go said.
Under RA 11463, Malasakit Centers shall be established in all hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH) all over the country, as well as in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, to expedite the provision of medical and financial assistance to patients.
Concerned agencies extending medical and financial assistance programs that are housed in these centers are the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Filipinos who need medical and financial assistance to cover their hospital bills would only need to fill up one form in the Malasakit Center as a way to streamline the process of availing such assistance from partner agencies. A special lane is also provided specifically for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
To further alleviate the burden of poor patients, Go pointed out that President Rodrigo Duterte has already signed an Executive Order to regulate the prices of select drugs including essential medicines most commonly prescribed to patients.
He also took the opportunity to thank all front-liners for their heroism in this time of the pandemic.
“’Yung sakripisyo ninyo sa panahong ito, rest assured na ipaglalaban ko ang inyong kapakanan (For your sacrifices in these times, rest assured that I will fight for your welfare),” he said.
He also urged front-liners to report any irregularity or maltreatment that they would encounter in the course of their duty.
Go also urged the public not to hesitate in seeking his office’s assistance during their times of need.
“Huwag kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa akin. Trabaho namin ito. Gagawin namin ang lahat ng aming magagawa, lalo na ako, dito sa Senate Committee on Health, hindi lang para sa Covid patients kundi para sa lahat ng mga Pilipino (Don’t hesitate to approach me. This is our job. We will do everything, especially me, in the Senate Committee on Health, not only for Covid patients but for all Filipinos),” Go said.
Aid to fire victims continues
In the meantime, Go’s office continues to provide aid to fire victims in four cities while strictly observing proper health and safety protocols amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Last July 23, Go, through his office, distributed aid to 26 families who were affected by a fire incident that ravaged properties in Astek Block 3 in San Joaquin, Pasig City.
Go’s staff provided immediate relief, such as food and financial assistance, and also distributed face masks and medicines.
The lawmaker also took the initiative to provide select fire victims a healthier and sustainable mode of transportation – bicycles.
The same set of assistance was also provided to the fire victims in earlier fire visits.
His office personnel visited Bernsite Sitio Lambac 2 of Brgy. San Juan in Taytay, Rizal on July 22 wherein 72 families received help after a fire incident last July 18.
Go’s team also went to Brgy. San Pascual in Obando, Bulacan on July 18 where thirteen families comprised of 52 individuals benefitted; and Brgy. 649 Gasangan Area in Baseco Compound, Manila on July 21 where 143 families, composed of 549 individuals, left homeless were assisted.
As always, the distribution of assistance by the Senator’s staff strictly followed health and safety protocols imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Walang tinitingnang oras o panahon ang pagtulong sa kapwa, lalong lalo na sa panahon ng pandemyang ito. Lagi kong sinasabi noon na kahit maging Senador man ako, kahit anong oras at pagkakataon, kapag kailangan ako ng aking mga kababayan, tutulong agad ako (Serving your fellowmen does not consider time nor weather, especially in this time of pandemic. As I’ve always said before, even if I’m already a senator, at any time and opportunity, if my countrymen needed me, I will immediately help),” Go said. “Kahit ngayon na may kinakaharap na krisis, mas dapat pa nating dagdagan ang ating tulong sa kapwa lalo na ang mga nawalan ng bahay (Even in the face of this crisis, the more we should expand assistance to our fellowmen, especially those who have lost their homes).” (PNA)