By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go personally attended the launch
of the country’s 127th Malasakit Center at the Southern Tagalog
Regional Hospital in Bacoor City, Cavite on Wednesday, July 7.
Go cited that the establishment of more Malasakit Centers is part of
the Duterte Administration’s commitment to bring government closer to
the people and improve public health delivery to those in need
especially amid an ongoing pandemic.
This Malasakit Center is the 11th in the CALABARZON region and second
in the province, in addition to the General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial
Hospital in Trece Martires City which opened last January 2020.
In his remarks, the Senator — who serves as Chair of the Senate
Committee on Health — described the challenges faced by low-income
patients in getting access to quality healthcare. He lamented that
Filipinos living in poor areas often forego medical care or end up
financially burdened due to medical expenses.
“Nung wala pa ang Malasakit Center, kailangang pang lumapit ng mga
pasyente sa iba’t ibang opisina ng gobyerno para magmakaawa na
tulungan sila. Lunes, pipila ‘yan sa city hall para humingi ng tulong
kay mayor, Martes sa PhilHealth at Miyerkules sa (Philippine Charity
Sweepstakes Office),” began Go.
“Bakit ba natin sila pinapahirapan? Bakit kailangan pa nilang
magmakaawa sa gobyerno kung pera naman nila ‘yan? Kaya isinulong ko sa
Senado para maging batas ‘to para kahit wala na kami ni Pangulong
Rodrigo Duterte ay tuloy-tuloy lang ang programang ito,” he continued.
To address the need for an efficient integrated system for
conveniently availing medical assistance, Go principally authored and
sponsored the Malasakit Centers Act which the President signed into
law in December 2019.
The center is a one-stop shop which streamlines the process of
acquiring aid from the relevant agencies, namely PhilHealth, PCSO, the
Department of Health, and the Department of Social Welfare and
Development. It seeks to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest possible
amount by covering various patient services and expenses.
“Isa lang pakiusap ko sa mga susunod na administrasyon, sana
ipagpatuloy niyo ang mga programa gaya ng Malasakit Center dahil
nakakatulong naman ito sa mga mahihirap. Bihira naman na pupunta sa
mga pampublikong ospital ang mga mayayaman. Ang pumupunta dito ang mga
mahihirap at walang matakbuhan,” said Go.
The Senator reminded the hospital staff to provide their poor patients
with the necessary treatments and medical attention. He especially
asked them to properly use government funds to provide sufficient care
to those needing tests and medication. He promised to continue looking
after the welfare of medical workers and health professionals.
“Bukas ang aking opisina sa lahat ng medical frontliners. Kung may
reklamo kayo o may hindi sang-ayon sa inyo, sabihan niyo lang ako at
isusumbong natin ‘to kay Pangulong Duterte. Tutulungan ko kayo to the
best of my abilities in my capacity bilang inyong committee chair (of
health) sa Senado,” reassured Go.
Meanwhile, he reiterated his appeal to unvaccinated Filipinos
belonging to priority sectors particularly medical frontliners to get
inoculated so they can safely perform their duties. The concerned
authorities, he said, have been directed to accelerate all vaccination
efforts in order to move on to the next priority groups for
“Patuloy po tayong magtiwala at mag-cooperate sa pamahalaan. Kailangan
namin ang disiplina ninyo habang patuloy tayong nagbabakuna. So far,
so good naman ang overall COVID-19 response natin at rollout ng mga
bakuna,” explained Go.
”Pakiusap, magpabakuna na ang pwedeng magpabakuna. Basta pagdumating
ito, i-deploy at iturok niyo na agad para makamtan na natin ang
‘population protection’ ngayong taong ito,” he concluded.
Following the ceremony, Go and his team handed out meals, food packs,
vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 239 medical
frontliners. They also gave selected recipients new shoes or bicycles
while others received computer tablets for their children’s
In addition, personnel from the DSWD also provided 131 rank-and-file
hospital employees with financial assistance. Similar assistance were
likewise extended to 56 indigent patients.
“Naka-admit ako ngayon dahil mahina na ang baga ko. Dati na akong
nagka-COVID. Nung Monday, na-admit ako dahil may pneumonia daw ako
ulit. Nagdadasal ako na gumaling ako para sa mga anak ko.
Nagpapasalamat din ako sa Panginoon na medyo okay naman ang pakiramdam
ko ngayon,” said Edna Badiola, 53.
“Humihingi ako ng tumulong kay Senator Bong Go para sa aking
maintenance at iba pang gamot. Nagpapasalamat kaming mga pasyente para
sa lahat ng ginagawa mo. Makakatulong ang Malasakit Center na ito sa
mga walang-wala talaga. Sana ipagpatuloy niyo po ang adhikain niyo
para sa mga mahihirap,” she continued.
The Senator also took the opportunity to recognize various officials
for their untiring service amid the challenges of the pandemic,
including Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino of the Office of the
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Chief Presidential Legal
Counsel Salvador Panelo, and Assistant Secretary Girlie Veloso of the
Office of President.
He likewise thanked local officials such as Deputy Speaker and 2nd
District Representative Strike Revilla, Governor Juanito Victor
Remulla, Vice Governor Ramon Revilla III, Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla,
Vice Mayor Catherine Evaristo, and Chief of Hospital Dr. Ruby Ephraim
Rubiano for their support and assistance.
In 2019, Go was declared an adopted son of the CALABARZON region in a
manifesto issued by the governors of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal
and Quezon. They cited his many years of service under President
Duterte and “heart for his country” through the various projects he
initiated which have benefited millions of Filipinos.
“Wala na kaming mahihiling pa dahil binigay na ng Panginoon ang lahat.
Kami ay mga probinsyano lamang, isa akong Batangueño na Bisaya. Ang
mga lolo at lola ko ay nag-migrate sa Mindanao mula sa Santo Tomas at
Tanauan. Isa akong ordinaryong empleyado na ginawa ninyong senador,
kaya ibabalik ko sa tao ‘yung serbisyo para sa inyo,” Go previously
It is in line with his commitment to Caviteños that Go supported the
funding of various infrastructure projects in Bacoor City. The
projects include the construction of slope protection structures along
the Zapote River in Barangays Ligas and San Nicolas III; a revetment
along the Bacoor River; construction of a multi-purpose building in
Brgy. Mambog 3; and concreting of the road at Greenvalley in Brgy. San
Nicolas 3, among others. (AI/MTVN)