Press Release
July 4, 2019

Malasakit Center opens in Siquijor

Joined by various national government officials led by Presidential Adviser for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino and local leaders, Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go graced the opening of the 35th Malasakit Center in Siquijor today.

In a statement, the newly elected senator expressed his pleasure towards the continuing growth of Malasakit Centers around the country - a vision he started only last year when he was still the former special assistant to the president.

"My promise has always been to go around each corner around the country, and hear the needs of the Filipinos," he said in Visayan to the media. He further added that like the Malasakit Center that just opened in Siquijor, "there are still a lot of needed equipment for the hospital. If there's money in the government, then we'll use it to uplift the lives of our brothers and sisters. I will be a working senator and I am used to delivering service 'ora mismo'."

Ever since its first establishment in 2018 through the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, 34 Malasakit Centers have already helped and assisted thousands of Filipinos all over the country of their medical expenses.

The service provided by this one-stop shop of all government agencies linked to providing financial assistance for Filipinos needed for their medical expenses in certain public hospitals has already given a good impression towards the future of healthcare in the country.

To complement the Universal Health Care Act which was recently approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Go is targeting to institutionalize Malasakit Centers. In the bill filed on Tuesday entitled the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, it states that "there shall be a Malasakit Center in each DOH, LGU, DND and SUC hospital in country as a processing center for all Philhealth concerns regarding coverage, billing, health benefits packages, patient navigation and referral to the health care provider network, and one-stop shop medical assistance to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses of indigent and poor patients."

Go, in an ambush interview after he filed the bill together with the rest of his nine priority measures in the Senate, said that this was his promise before to help alleviate the stress that hospitalization provides to sick Filipinos.

"Ito po 'yung pangako ko noon na sana mapapabilis na 'yong serbisyo medikal," Go told the members of the press. He further said that before, the length of time Filipinos process for financial medical support could reach a week, with the Malasakit Center, all papers and documents in all government agencies concerned will be processed in only a day.

"Kung dati, isang linggo kayo pipila sa PCSO, PhilHealth, DOH, DSWD, ngayon po, isang araw lang at nasa iisang room na lang po, nandoon na po ang representative ng DOH, DSWD, PhilHealth at PCSO. It will complement with the Universal Health Care," Go explained.

Go also hopes that if he is given the chance to head the committee on health in the Senate, he plans to put a center in all government and DOH-run hospitals. "Lahat sana ito, kung sana nga ibibigay sa akin ang committee of health, isa po ito sa aking isusulong."

The senator also emphasized that though the bill would raise some minor concerns in harmonizing with the Universal Health Care Act, Go pushes that the most important thing is to provide Filipinos the right, fast and efficient healthcare service.

"So papaano po natin ito pagtutugmain lahat, isa lang po ang ating aim which is mapabilis, maisaayos at maging maaasahan ang serbisyong medikal para sa bawat Pilipinong nangangailangan," Go ended.

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