Go backs higher teachers’ pay

Help appreciated Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong Go” receives a token citing him as “Special Assistant to the People,” in appreciation of his crucial role in the establishment of Malasakit Centers that makes it easier for the poor to avail themselves of medical assistance from the government. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go over the weekend reiterated he will push for the increase in salaries of public school teachers, noting their crucial contribution to the society and public service.

He noted teachers have to endure a lot of sacrifices to provide our students quality education.

Go vowed to remind President Duterte on the matter of increasing the pay of teachers.

“The increase in the salaries of teachers was already promised by the President during the convention of school principals in Davao City,” Go said. He recalled that Duterte gave assurance he would gradually increase the compensation of public school teachers.

However, Go explained that public school teachers will have to wait for the the completion of the four-year Salary Standardization in 2019.

“If given a chance (to be elected as a senator) I will be your bridge to the President,” Go said.

“Let us just wait for 2019. But as of this time, let me know if there is anything I can help you with and I will relay it to the President,” he added.

He explained he is supporting an increase in the wages of public school teachers because, like President Duterte, he understands their plight.

Meanwhile, Go witnessed the opening Monday of the 16th and 17th Malasakit Centers in the country at the Cotabato Regional Medical Hospital in Cotabato City and at the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan town, respectively.

The launching ceremonies were led by Presidential Adviser to the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino and key officials from the Department of Health. They were also joined by representatives from the respective local government units and other concerned national agencies.

The Malasakit Center is a “one stop shop” where indigent patients can ask for financial assistance from various government agencies, such as the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, PhilHealth, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

“The Malasakit Center intends to emulate the spirit of bayanihan by extending our hands to the least among us,” Go said in his speech during the event. Go, a candidate for senator in the 2019 elections, headed the project when he was still working as SAP.

“One goal of the Malasakit Center is to lessen the efforts of our loved ones in going from one government agency to another to get financial assistance,” Go added. “The number of documents that need to be processed will also be lessened. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities are given priority in the center.”

Go recalled that Malasakit Center started in Davao City, specifically at the Southern Philippines Medical Center which used to have an office that streamlined medical financial aids from government agencies. The office was turned into a Malasakit Center last September.

Go said there ought to be a law that would put at least one Malasakit Center in each province.

“This is what I would fight for if I am elected to the Senate: an easy and simple process for every Filipino who needs to avail himself of medical assistance. We should not make it difficult for the sick to ask assistance from the government,” he added.

Go has been instrumental in pushing for the Malasakit Centers to make quality healthcare more accessible to Filipinos. There are currently 17 cities with existing Malasakit Centers.

Aside from the Malasakit Center, Go said he will also fight for the increase in bed capacity of government hospitals, in nurses’ salaries and benefits of barangay health workers.

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