Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, attended the groundbreaking of another Super Health Center in the country, this time in Mati City, on Saturday, 11 March.
Acknowledging the collective efforts of the Department of Health and the local government, led by Congressman Cheeno Miguel Almario, Governor Corazon Malanyaon, Vice Governor Niño Sotero Uy, Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat, and Vice Mayor Lorenzo Leon Rabat, among others, Go maintained that he will continue to pursue efforts to strengthen the health sector and bring medical services closer to those in need.
“Ngayong araw, nag-groundbreaking tayo ng isa pang Super Health Center. Iyan ang ating inisyatibo noon na aking isinulong as legislator. Ang Super Health Center itu-turn over ito sa local government kapag natapos. Pwedeng iimprove pa lalo ng LGU at palawakin ang services dito. Pwede manganak diyan, dental at pagbakuna, at iba pang laboratory tests. Iyan ang Super Health Center, para talaga ‘yan sa mga mamamayan dito sa Mati (City),” he continued.
Super Health Centers are designed to make basic health services, such as database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit, more accessible to Filipino patients.
Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Through Go’s initiative and with the help of his fellow legislators, some 307 SHCs were funded in 2022. The senator also successfully pushed for the funding of at least 322 more SHCs in this year’s health budget.
“Ilalagay po ito (SHC) sa mga strategic areas po kung saan po’y ilapit po natin ang serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan na hindi na ho sila kailangang mag-travel pa sa malalayong ospital,” he said.
“Maraming mga munisipyo na 4th class, 5th class, 6th class — ang income po nila, siguro around PhP15 million lamang. Paano po sila makakapagpatayo ng Super Health Center ng sarili? Kaya natin ipinaglaban na mapondohan ito ng national government para mailapit po natin ‘yung serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayang naghihirap at nangangailangan,” cited Go.
Apart from the City of Mati, Go also supported the construction of more Super Health Centers in Davao Oriental particularly in Manay, Cateel, Baganga, Boston, Caraga, San Isidro, Taragona, and Lupon, where he also attended the groundbreaking on the same day.
The senator, likewise, led a relief operation at the Mati Cultural Gymnasium where he and his team distributed grocery packs, snacks, vitamins, masks, and shirts to 500 struggling residents.
Furthermore, Go also gave away cellular phones and watches to select recipients while others received shoes, watches, bicycles, and balls for volleyball and basketball as part of the senator’s advocacy to promote sports as a means to keep the youth away from vices like illegal drugs.
A team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development was also present and provided financial assistance through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.
Go likewise offered to help those with medical concerns as he advised them to seek the assistance of the Malasakit Center at Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center in the city.
A brainchild of Go, the idea of the Malasakit Centers program started after he witnessed the struggles of financially incapacitated Filipinos to get quality health services. The program was later institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, which he principally authored and sponsored in the Senate in 2019.
Celebrating its fifth year of providing assistance to poor and indigent patients, there are already 156 Malasakit Centers that have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide so far.
“Mga kababayan, mayroon lang akong sasabihin sa inyo. Minsan lang tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa, gawin na natin ngayon dahil hindi na tayo babalik sa mundong ito,” Go reminded.
“Ako ang inyong Senador Kuya Bong Go, kasama ang mga lingkod bayan na kasama natin dito, patuloy kaming magseserbisyo sa inyo. Dahil kami ay naniniwala na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo ‘yan sa Diyos, serbisyo ‘yan kay Allah,” he concluded.
After the relief operation, Go had lunch in the community with some local residents and personally listened to their concerns and suggestions, 20 of which were beneficiaries of the distribution activity.
“Mga kababayan, lagi po kasi kaming nakakarinig kahit saan kami magpunta, ‘salamat (dating) presidente (Rodrigo) Duterte, salamat Senador Bong Go.’ Hindi ko naman mapipigilan ‘yung iba dahil nagtrabaho naman talaga si (dating) presidente Duterte para sa kabutihan ng Pilipinas (pero) huwag kayong magpasalamat sa amin. Kami ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil kami ay mga probinsyano lang na binigyan n’yo ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo,” expressed Go.
To ensure the continued development of the city, Go, as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported the construction of several infrastructures, such as roads in several barangays, a multipurpose building, a sports complex, and a public park, and the rehabilitation of Buso Hot Spring Park.
Later that day, he also attended the grand alumni homecoming of Maryknoll School of Lupon Inc.
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