Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday, 19 May, attended the groundbreaking for the Super Health Center Buenavista in Guimaras, underscoring its role in improving healthcare access for the residents of the town and nearby areas.
During the ceremony, Go highlighted the significance of the Buenavista Super Health Center as a means to improve public service delivery, particularly basic healthcare, in the area.
“Alam n’yo, sa kakaikot ko sa buong Pilipinas, marami pong mga buntis na nanganganak na lang nang hindi umaabot sa ospital dahil sa layo ng byahe. Ngayon po na magkakaroon na ng Super Health Center dito sa inyong lugar, mas mailalapit na sa inyo ang serbisyong medikal at makakatulong rin po yun na hindi mapuno ang mga ospital,” said Go.
Go emphasized the importance of accessible basic healthcare services, particularly in remote island communities, where access to quality medical care can be limited.
“Hindi niyo na kailangan bumyahe pa ng napakalayo para magpagamot. Ilalapit na ng gobyerno sa mga tao ang serbisyo na inyong kailangan pagdating sa pangunahing pangangalagang pangkalusugan,” he added.
The Super Health Center will bridge this gap, providing residents with basic medical services and facilities, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy and ambulatory surgical unit.
Other available services in SHCs 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 the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. The Department of Health, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.
In Guimaras, Super Health Centers will be built in Jordan and Nueva Valencia, in addition to the one in Buenavista.
Meanwhile, Go’s efforts of improving public service delivery extend beyond healthcare infrastructure. As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go likewise took the opportunity to inspect a new seawall and wharf in Buenavista, two crucial projects that he actively supported during the time of former president Rodrigo Duterte.
The construction of the seawall and wharf aims to enhance the town’s connectivity, allowing for faster and safer transportation of goods and services while bringing in more economic opportunities for its people.
Following the groundbreaking, Go and his team then distributed assistance to 1,462 indigent families in the town. The aid provided included food packs, vitamins, masks, and snacks.
Select beneficiaries also received a bicycle, a mobile device, a shirt, a watch, and pairs of shoes, as well as basketballs and volleyballs.
Moreover, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided assistance to qualified beneficiaries.
The senator extended further aid to residents seeking medical care by informing them about the availability of a Malasakit Center at the Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital (Dr. CGNPH) in Jordan. He had personally conducted a monitoring visit to the Malasakit Center earlier that day and extended aid to patients and frontliners while the DSWD also provided financial assistance to qualified patients there.
Principally authored and sponsored by Go, the Malasakit Centers Act aims to establish Malasakit Centers in qualified public hospitals to conveniently assist particularly poor and indigent patients with their hospital bills by covering various patient services and fees.
There are now 157 Malasakit Centers nationwide. Since the first Malasakit Center was established five years ago, the centers have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to the DOH.
“Hindi niyo na kailangang pumila o umikot pa sa iba’t ibang opisina para humingi ng tulong pampagamot dahil nasa loob na sila ng iisang kwarto. Lapitan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center at wala itong pinipili. Karapatan niyo bilang mga Pilipino ang maka-avail ng serbisyo nito,” he cited.
Meanwhile, Go, who is chair of the Senate Committee on Health, also mentioned ongoing efforts to upgrade the CGNPH to become a Level II hospital. He mentioned that the upgrade is included in House Bill No. 3344, which is currently pending approval in the Legislature.
Go commended the local officials for their steadfast dedication to protecting the welfare of their constituents and ensuring they receive sufficient assistance during challenging times. They include Guimaras Lone District Representative Lucille Nava, Uswag Ilonggo Partylist Representative Jojo Ang, Governor JC Rahman Nava, Vice Governor John Edward Gando, Buenavista Mayor Samuel Gumarin, and Vice Mayor Cyril Beltran, among others.
In addition to the aforementioned projects in Buenavista, Go also supported various other initiatives in the province, including the acquisition of a dump truck for the local government of Jordan.
On the same day, Go also took part in the celebration of the Manggahan Festival. During the festivities, he attended the First Manggahan Open Volleyball Tournament, further showcasing his commitment to engaging with the local community, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle through sports, and supporting grassroots sports development.
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