Senator Christopher “Bong” Go led the launching of the country’s 87th Malasakit Center at the Bagong Cainta Municipal Hospital in Cainta, Rizal on Friday, October 16.
The Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop for medical and financial assistance, is the third to be launched in Rizal province. The two other Malasakit Centers are located in the Antipolo City Hospital System Annex IV-Mambugan in Antipolo City and Margarito A. Duavit Memorial Hospital in Binangonan.
The Senator, in his speech, reminded members of the hospital staff to serve their patients well, particularly those belonging to the poor and vulnerable sectors, such as senior citizens and persons with disabilities, by ensuring the quality of care. He likewise reiterated his commitment to serve the Filipino people, especially the less fortunate.
“Iyung slogan ko dati sa kampanya, paninindigan ko po ‘yon. Twenty-four seven, kahit anong kailangan ninyo, sa abot ng aming makakaya, gagawin namin. Bisyo ko po magserbisyo (I will stand by my slogan during the campaign 24/7. Whatever you need as long as we can afford, we will extend help. Service is my passion),” pledged Go.
“Salamat rin sa inyong tiwala at paniniwala sa ating Pangulo [Rodrigo Duterte]. Huwag kayong mag-alala, hindi kayo bibiguin ni Pangulo. Up to the last day of his term, gagawin niya ang lahat at ako, tutulungan ko po siya sa lahat ng mga hangarin niya para sa ating bansa,” he continued.
“Iyung pagbabago na ipinangako niya noon sa inyo laban sa kriminalidad, nararamdaman ninyo naman pag maglakad kayo sa kalye […] pati pulis disiplinado dahil alam nila na pag mayroong scalawag sa kasamahan nila ay yayariin ni Pangulo. So, makikita mo pag nasa taas ‘yung disiplina at ‘yung lider, nirerespeto, sunud-sunod na po ‘yan hanggang sa baba,” he ended.
Go thanked the individuals who supported the Malasakit Center initiative and helped in the success of its continuing implementation under the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 which Go authored and sponsored.
They included those who were present in the launch, particularly, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista and Undersecretary Aimee Neri, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Greco Belgica, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office – Rizal Branch Manager Francis S. Manalad, Cainta Mayor Johnielle Keith “Kit” Nieto, Vice Mayor Ace B. Servillon, and Dr. Joseph Kenneth “Jet” Nieto, among others.
Go also reminded the public to be vigilant and hold their leaders accountable by speaking out against corruption and mismanagement within the government.
“Kung mayroon kayong reklamo at nakikitang katiwalian sa gobyerno, i-report ninyo po sa PACC. Magtiwala kayo sa gobyerno. Alam ninyo, hindi tayo aasenso kung hindi kayo magre-report. Eh, paano natin huhulihin ‘yung mga corrupt kung hindi ninyo naman isusumbong sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte? Bukas po ang aming tanggapan diyan,” assured Go.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that brings together under one roof all the national agencies from which patients may apply for aid, namely, the Department of Health, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and PCSO.
The senator recounted his experiences working for then Davao City mayor Duterte which spurred him to open the first Malasakit Center in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City last February 2018.
“Fifteen years ago, ang dami pong lumalapit sa City Hall ng Davao City, may dala pong hospital bill. Lunes palang, hihingi ‘yan ng tulong kay mayor. Martes, pupunta po ‘yan sa PCSO. Miyerkules, pupunta po ‘yan sa DOH at Huwebes, pupunta ‘yan sa PhilHealth, sa DSWD,” he shared.
“Ubos ‘yung panahon ng pasyente sa kakapila, ubos ‘yung pamasahe at minsan po, mangungutang pa kung may balanse […] Dumudugo ‘yung puso ko tuwing natatanggihan ‘yung mga pasyente. Kaya noong naging Senador ako, ipinangako ko na gagawin ko itong batas para kahit hindi na po Pangulo si Pangulong Duterte at hindi na po ako Senador, batas na po ito at hindi na po mahihirapan ‘yung mga pasyente natin,” he explained.
Last December, President Duterte signed Republic Act 11463 (The Malasakit Centers Act of 2019). The law directs the establishment of a Malasakit Center in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila City and every DOH-run hospital throughout the country.
Other public hospitals may also have their own provided they meet the set criteria and guarantee the necessary funds for its operation, including maintenance, personnel and staff training, among others.
Speaking to the poor and vulnerable, Go expressed his confidence that the President would steer the nation through these difficult times. He reassured them that they would be prioritized when a vaccine for COVID-19 is available and that the President would always look out for their welfare first.
“Sa mga kababayan ko, kaunting tiis lang po. Alam ko pong hirap na hirap na po kayo sa sitwasyon natin ngayon […] Buti nalang mayroon tayong leader sa panahong ito, siguro talagang sinadya ng Panginoon na mayroon tayong strong leader na papakinggan po ng lahat,” he said.
“I join the President sa kanyang ginagawa para sa ating bayan. Wala kaming ibang interes sa gobyernong ito but to serve the Filipino people. Magtulungan lang po tayo, sino ba naman ang magtutulungan kundi tayo lang po mga kapwa nating Pilipino,” he added.