Senator Christopher “Bong” Go virtually attended the opening of the 83rd Malasakit Center at the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital in Calapan City on Friday.
“Bukas na sa wakas ang pinakaunang Malasakit Center sa inyong probinsya,” said Go during the launch. “Ito po ang ika-83 sa buong bansa. Matutulungan na rin sa wakas ng opisinang ito ang ating mga kababayan sa kanilang pangangailangang pangkalusugan.”
The local government unit-retained hospital’s Malasakit Center is also the 43rd Malasakit Center in Luzon, fourth in Region IV-B (MIMAROPA), and first in the province of Oriental Mindoro.
“Zero balance ang target natin dito sa Malasakit Center kaya dapat lamang na hindi na matakot ang ating mga kababayan diyan sa Oriental Mindoro na pumunta sa Oriental Mindoro (Provincial) Hospital para magpacheck-up, at magpagamot dahil tiyak na matutulungan kayo ng Malasakit Center,” he added.
The Malasakit Center is a brainchild of Go after observing firsthand the difficulties Filipinos go through just to ask for financial and medical help from government offices and agencies. The center houses four government agencies, namely the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and PhilHealth.
When President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, Go thought of creating an office solely dedicated to address the medical and financial woes of poor, sick and indigent Filipinos.
Eventually, the Malasakit Center was formed and when Go became a senator, he made sure that the program will remain and be institutionalized to serve all Filipinos.
December last year, the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 was signed into law, seeking to establish Malasakit Centers to all 73 DOH-run hospitals in the country and at the Philippine General Hospital.
Go in his speech also urged other LGUs to avail of the program.
“At sa mga probinsya naman po na gustong maglagay ng Malasakit Center ay pwede po silang maglagay katulad ng Oriental Mindoro, sumunod lang po sa criteria,” he said.
“Kung ano po ‘yung makatulong sa mga kababayan natin, ‘wag natin silang pahirapan. Alam ninyo kung bakit? Pera nila ‘yan, sa kanila po ‘yan. Dapat ibalik natin sa kanila. Kaya sabi ko ang Malasakit Center, wala pong pulitika dyan. Ang Malasakit Center ay para po sa mga Pilipino, para sa mga poor and indigent patients po ‘yan at dapat may express lane para sa mga senior citizens at disabled para hindi na sila kailangan pumila,” Go added.
Meanwhile, representatives from the DSWD were also present during the launch.
They provided financial assistance to 40 patients in the hospital’s charity ward. This assistance was through the department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.