Sun. May 9th, 2021

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go assured the continuing operations of Malasakit Centers all over the country after he attended the signing of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) for the operational guidelines of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 at Malacañang last December 16.

The signing of the JAO guarantees the full implementation of the Malasakit Center program as mandated by Republic Act No. 11463 or the “Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.”

The heads of the four participating agencies— Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office—simultaneously signed the final draft of the JAO.

Pakiusap ko lang sa four agencies na sumusuporta rin po, sana po’y maiwasan natin ang pagbungi-bungi ng Malasakit Center, especially naisabatas na po ito. Weunderstand na sa mga probinsya, talagang we are coping up dahil kulang po ang tao (I request the four agencies supporting this effort, that we prevent gaps in the Malasakit Centers. We understand that in the provinces, we need to cope because of lack of manpower),” Go said during his speech.

During the event, Go recounted how the Malasakit Center program was conceptualized by him and President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said that in the Davao City hall in one instance, he saw people lining up for financial assistance who were not from the city. However, the Commission on Audit said they could provide assistance to them since they were not from Davao City. Duterte felt sad for those who could not be assisted.

Eventually, when the President assumed office, Go thought of establishing these Malasakit Centers in public hospitals nationwide solely dedicated to address the medical and financial woes of poor, sick and indigent Filipinos. In December 2019, the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 was signed into law, seeking to establish Malasakit Centers in all 73 DOH-run hospitals in the country and at the Philippine General Hospital.

During the event, Go also asked officials of the Philhealth officials to help the government fight corruption within the agency. PhilHealth is one of the four offices in Malasakit Centers.In ending his speech, the Senator left a reminder to all government officials, saying, “Tandaan natin parati, minsan lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong ang puwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa tao, gawin na po natin dahil hindi na tayo babalik sa mundong ito (Always remember that we have one life on this earth. So, let us to whatever good we can do to our fellowmen because we will never come back to this world after we pass away).” SOVEREIGNPH

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