MALASAKIT CENTER. The government opens the country’s 79th Malasakit Center Thursday (August 13, 2020) at the Laguna Medical Center in Santa Cruz, Laguna. The Malasakit Center is the 40th in Luzon and sixth in the Calabarzon Region. (Contributed photo)
MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go attended the virtual launch of the country’s 79th Malasakit Center which opened on August 13 at the Laguna Medical Center in Santa Cruz, Laguna.
The Malasakit Center is the 40th in Luzon and sixth in the Calabarzon Region.
“Para po ito sa lahat ng mga Pilipino lalo na ang mga mahihirap at parte ng vulnerable sectors na nangangailangan ng tulong sa pampagamot. Sisiguraduhin natin na pagdating sa serbisyo mula sa gobyerno, sila ang ating uunahin palagi,” said Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
(This is for all the Filipinos, especially the poor and part of the vulnerable sectors that in need of help for their medications. We would ensure that when it comes to service from the government, they would be prioritized.)
Malasakit Centers are one-stop shops that host concerned government agencies with programs that provide financial and medical assistance to Filipino patients, particularly the poor and indigent. These agencies are the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
With the enactment of the Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, all DOH-run hospitals in the country and the Philippine General Hospital in Manila are now mandated to establish their own Malasakit Centers.
Local government unit-run hospitals and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided that they meet a standard set of criteria and guarantee the availability of funds for the operation of their centers, including its maintenance, personnel, and staff training, among others.
In his speech, Go also shared the new face mask distribution program of the government to strengthen the mask-wearing policy in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We required them to wear masks, so it is just right to provide free masks to those who cannot afford to buy their own,” Go said.
Among the vulnerable sectors to be prioritized by the mask distribution program include households with senior citizens, pregnant women, persons with special health conditions, and Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.
Go also assured that the government is working hard to overcome the health crisis as he shared news regarding the development of a Covid-19 vaccine in Russia which the Russian government expressed their intent to supply to the Philippines.
“Tatlong bagay ang nasa offer ni (Russian) Ambassador (Igor) Khovaev. Una, na dito rin sa Pilipinas mag-conduct ng clinical trials. Magsu-supply din sila sa atin ng bakunang ito kontra Covid-19. At, pangatlo, plano nilang mag-set up ng local manufacturing dito mismo sa bansa natin,” he said in a previous statement.
(There are three things in the offer of Russian Ambassador Khovaev. First, clinical trials would be done in the Philippines. They would also supply us with the vaccine against Covid-19. And third, they plan to set up local manufacturing here in our country.)
“Uunahin po namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga mahihirap (We would prioritize the indigents) to avail the vaccine,” Go said as he previously urged the government to come up with a national Covid-19 vaccine program to ensure availability, accessibility, and affordability particularly to the poorest of the poor and other vulnerable Filipinos.
Meanwhile, Go continues to express his dismay over the controversies surrounding PhilHealth and vowed to go after those responsible for the alleged widespread corruption in the government-run health insurance agency.
“Patuloy po ang imbestigasyon sa PhilHealth. ‘Wag kayo mag-alala, meron na pong inatasan ang Pangulo na task force headed by (Justice) Secretary (Menardo) Guevarra para tingnan ang katiwalian sa PhilHealth,” Go said.
(The probe of the PhilHealth is ongoing. Don’t worry the President has already formed a task force headed by Secretary Guevarra to look into the corruption in PhilHealth.) (PR)