Uplifting Filipinos’ lives

Now on our path to recovery and progress, I hope that we could all continue working together to uplift the lives of our Filipinos in need.

It has been a little over three years since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19) as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. It is no exaggeration to say that the disease has affected practically every person in the world.

Our country is no exception. Caught unprepared, the pandemic has claimed the lives and livelihoods of many of our fellow Filipinos and tested the limits of our healthcare system.

Nevertheless, just like always, the Filipino people’s resilience coupled with the spirit of bayanihan shone even brighter in the face of adversity. Owing to the collective efforts of our government, with our science-based measures, and the people, we are now on our way to recovery.

In a recent Social Weather Stations survey released on 9 March, it was revealed that 48 percent or almost half of Filipino adults are optimistic that our Philippine economy will improve in the next 12 months.

This optimism is not unfounded especially as the previous Duterte administration had successfully initiated and the current Marcos Administration continues to strengthen efforts to revitalize our economy, including massive infrastructure developments that generated jobs for our people.

Now on our path to recovery and progress, I hope that we could all continue working together to uplift the lives of our Filipinos in need and ensure that no one, especially the poor and helpless, is left behind.

Like what I had told my fellow government officials during the Philippine Councilors League National Convention last 10 March, I believe that we as public servants should always prioritize the welfare of our kababayans who have no one else to rely on but the government.

It is important for us to remember that all public officials, whether on the national or local level, should share the same goal and aspiration: To serve our fellow Filipinos and help provide them with a safer and more comfortable life. We should have one purpose and that is to be of service to our people. Just as I told local leaders, “Iisa ang ating bisyo, ang magserbisyo”.

To the best of my capacity, I continue to promote initiatives to bring our government, particularly its medical services, closer to our people especially the poor, to the hopeless and the helpless who are in dire need of our utmost attention. As your partner in the Senate, I am committed to working with all levels of government to ensure that we move forward together towards a brighter and more prosperous future.

Among the various people-centered measures I have pushed for include Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which I principally authored and sponsored.

For five years, the Malasakit Center, which serves as a one-stop shop for medical assistance programs, has been instrumental in improving access to health care by helping over seven million patients across the country so far with their medical bills according to the Department of Health. Since the first Malasakit Center was opened in 2018, there are now 156 such centers nationwide. I personally attended the launching of the latest one at the Ospital ng Lungsod ng San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan last 6 March.

I have also been advocating for the establishment of more Super Health Centers across the country. Such centers offer various basic health services so Filipinos, especially those in far-flung areas, need not travel far just to secure adequate medical attention in hospitals often found in city and town centers. Through the support of fellow lawmakers, we were able to successfully push for sufficient funds to be allocated for the construction of some 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023.

I am glad that our Department of Health, our legislators, and many local government units have been likewise very supportive in implementing the SHCs.

Again, I encourage everyone to continue working hand-in-hand to achieve our most cherished dream of a stronger and better nation and a more comfortable life for every Filipino. Let us do our part in ensuring no Filipino is left behind toward recovery and progress.

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