DAVAO CITY: Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go over the weekend attended the blessing and opening of a new four-story building that will house a Malasakit Center and other health-support services inside the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) compound in this city.

malasakit 20210202 - Bong Go opens 4-story Malasakit Center
NEW CENTER Sen. Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go (center) and hospital officials during the blessing of a new building that houses the Malasakit Center. The building is located inside the compound of the Southern Philippines Medical Center. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Go said the Malasakit Center aims to provide services to more people, needing medical assistance and other healthcare needs.

“We now have a faster service through the help of President (Rodrigo) Duterte and (Davao City) Mayor [Sara] “Inday” Duterte. In this building are the different government offices that can help you [in order] that you will not have to pay anything,” he added.

The center will house the offices of the Lingap para sa Mahirap, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Botika ng Bayan.

Satellite offices of the Office of the President (OP) and the office of the First Congressional District of the city will also be opened to provide further support to Davaoeños.

Through the Malasakit Center, the government hopes to improve access to medical assistance for many patients, who may now directly request aid from various government agencies without needing to travel to different offices in separate locations.

Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, has encouraged the patients to seek the services of the Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop that aims to reduce to the lowest amount possible the balance of a hospital bill by covering various services and expenses such as laboratory fees, medicines, surgeries and operations.

The Malasakit Center has a budget of P44 million, sourced from the Socio-Civic Fund of the OP.

The Lingap as well as the OP desks will operate 24 hours while the rest of the offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Go’s team extended assistance to all admitted SPMC patients and provided them with meals, food and medicine packs, medical-grade and reusable face masks, and face shields.

Each patient as well as each Malasakit Center personnel also received financial assistance from the DSWD as part of ongoing efforts by the national government to assist those struggling financially because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

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