Sat. Sep 18th, 2021
New Malasakit Center in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.

By Senator Bong Go

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, I continue to pursue better access to healthcare for all Filipinos while helping government improve public service delivery amid an ongoing health crisis.

Together with concerned agencies, I spoke at the virtual launch of the country’s 134th Malasakit Center at the Talavera General Hospital in Talavera, Nueva Ecija last Friday, August 6.

This is the 12th Malasakit Center in Central Luzon and the third in Nueva Ecija, in addition to those at the Eduardo L. Joson Memorial Hospital and the Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, both in Cabanatuan City, which opened in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Recounting my experiences working with underprivileged patients in Davao City when President Rodrigo Duterte was still mayor, I told the audience of the need to address the financial hardships that patients face so they can receive needed medical attention.

Nung mayor pa si (Pangulong Duterte), marami po ang lumalapit sa kanya sa (Davao) city hall na nanggagaling pa as far as General Santos, Zamboanga, o Surigao para humingi ng tulong sa kanilang pampa-ospital. Sabi ng (Commission on Audit), hindi daw pwede gamitin ang pera ng Davao City dahil hindi sila residente.

Kaya doon ko nakita ‘yung puso ni Pangulong Duterte sa mga mahihirap. Dahil hindi n’ya po matiis na tanggihan itong mga pasyenteng ito, dahil para sa kanya, Pilipino rin po ang mga ito… sabi niya — hanapan mo ng paraan ‘yan. Hindi na ako uupo dito sa City Hall kung hindi ko sila matulungan.

Doon ho nag-umpisa ‘yung konseptong Malasakit Center.

Sabi ko, bakit ba natin pinapahirapan ang mga kababayaan natin? Hirap na nga sila at may sakit, pinapahirapan pa. Sa totoo lang, pera naman ng lahat ‘yan. Dapat ibalik ng gobyerno ito sa mga Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng maayos, maaasahan at mabilis na serbisyo.

This is why in my first six months as Senator, I authored the bill that became Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.

The said Malasakit Centers Act aims to make medical assistance programs more accessible by putting concerned agencies under one roof, including the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Hindi niyo na kailangan pumila o umikot pa sa iba’t ibang opisina para humingi ng tulong pampagamot. Nasa isang kwarto sa loob ng ospital na po. Lapitan niyo lang, inyo po iyan. Ang Malasakit Center ay para sa mga poor at indigent patients.

Kaya ako’y nakikiusap sa mga hospital management… huwag niyo pababayaan ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan, lalo ‘yung mga helpless, hopeless.

At habang nasa topic tayo ng health, I wish to remind you, na importante na bakunado kayo para maiwasan niyo ang mga severe na sintomas ng sakit kung ma-infect man kayo. Kaya ‘wag kayo matakot sa bakuna.

Matakot kayo sa Covid-19 dahil ito ang nakakamatay.

Natutuwa akong ibalita sa inyo that the country achieved a milestone yesterday where it administered 710,482 doses in just one day! Masaya kami ni Pangulong Duterte dahil marami na ang gustong magpabakuna kaysa noon.

This brings the total doses administered in the country to close to 23.2 million, of which more than 10.7 million individuals are already fully vaccinated while almost 12.5 million Filipinos have received their first dose as of August 5.

Meanwhile, to encourage Talavera General Hospital staff overcome the challenges in the fulfillment of their duties, we distributed meals, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 364 medical frontliners as well as 39 indigent patients after the opening of the new Malasakit Center.

Some medical frontliners were also given shoes while others were provided bicycles. Select hospital workers also received computer tablets to help their children pursue their education. The DSWD additionally handed out financial assistance to patients in need and 175 rank-and-file hospital employees, including janitors and security guards, in a separate distribution.

Rest assured, bilang inyong senador — kung ano po ang mga hinaing ninyo o gusto ninyong iparating, patuloy po akong tutulong sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya.

At patuloy n’yo rin po akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte.

The senator reciprocates with a “finger heart” symbol via zoom to the Malasakit Center launch.

Leave a Reply