By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports
Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go recently personally witnessed the
inauguration of the Wellness Entertainment Sports or WES Arena in
Valenzuela City which he believes will serve as a catalyst for the
further development of the city and its constituents.
In his speech, Go praised the city government for its handling of the
He expressed confidence that the arena will enable the program to
expand at an even quicker rate and reminded officials to continue
prioritizing getting their constituents vaccinated ahead of the
“May pakiusap lang po ako sa lahat, wala pa naman pong kampanya. Medyo
mainit lang ‘yung usapan sa pulitika dahil nag-aantayan. Isa lang po
ang pakiusap ko sa mga kababayan ko, sa mga kandidato, puwede ba
mamaya na lang natin pag-usapan ‘yung pulitika. Maraming salamat po sa
lahat ng papuri pero mas kailangan po ng taumbayan ngayon na
magtrabaho muna tayo,” Go emphasized.
“Ulitin ko po, bakuna muna bago ang pulitika. ‘Yun po ang kailangan
natin sa ngayon,” added Go, who also chairs the Senate Committee on
An initiative of Deputy Speaker and 1st District Representative Weslie
Gatchalian, the 1.2-hectare facility is the first multi-sports arena
in Valenzuela and will feature basketball courts, a volleyball court,
and a badminton area, among others. The arena will continue to be used
as a vaccination site until the conclusion of the COVID-19 vaccination
“Ang ganda ng takbo ng vaccinations sa Metro Manila at nako-contain na
ang mga kaso ngayon. Sana tuluy-tuloy ang ginagawa ninyo dito at
nakakatuwa na mayroon tayong mga napakagaling na timon,” he continued.
The Senator expressed optimism as the government expands the
vaccination program to the general population. He explained that
vaccines are key to achieving lasting protection against the virus
towards herd immunity and return to normalcy.
“Mabilis ‘yung pagpapabakuna natin ngayon, so nakakatuwa na unti-unti
ng bumababa ‘yung bilang ng mga kaso. Napatunayan natin na ‘pag
bakunado ka, protektado ka. Nakikiusap ako sa mga taga-Valenzuela,
please magpabakuna na kayo. Huwag kayong matakot sa bakuna at
pinaghirapan ng gobyerno na ma-procure ito para sa inyong lahat,”
“Nasa datos naman na kung sino ang nag-positibo at grabe ‘yung
sintomas ay kadalasan ito ‘yung mga hindi pa bakunado. Kaya nakikiusap
ako sa inyo, please magtiwala kayo sa gobyerno at magtiwala kayo sa
bakuna,” he appealed.
The government has currently administered a total of 48.4 million
doses of vaccines with a daily average of 463,320 doses in the last
seven days, as of October 6. A total of 22.7 million Filipinos are
fully vaccinated while another 25.7 million have received their first
To avoid further risks of getting and spreading the virus, Go also
reminded the public to observe proper mask use, physical distancing
and other health protocols. He assured that the government is doing
everything it can to procure a sufficient supply of vaccines at the
soonest possible time while ensuring patients continue to receive the
care that they need.
In line with government’s efforts to improve access to health care,
the Senator announced the official launch of the country’s 142nd and
the city’s second Malasakit Center which he also personally attended
later in the day at the Valenzuela Medical Center. The Malasakit
Center at the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital previously opened its
own in August 2019.
The Malasakit Centers are one-stop shops pioneered by Go that host the
government agencies with programs that provide medical assistance to
patients, particularly the poor and indigent. The agencies include the
Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development,
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Philippine Charity
The program was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, also
known as the Malasakit Centers Act, which President Rodrigo Duterte
signed in 2019. The Act, which Go authored and sponsored in the
Senate, aims to help reduce a hospital bill to the lowest possible
amount by covering various patient services and expenses.
Representative Gatchalian filed the counterpart bill in the lower
“Batas ito na isinulong namin ni Senator (Sherwin) Gatchalian at Rep.
Gatchalian noong 2019. Nasa loob na ng ospital ang mga ahensya na
tutulungan kayo hanggang maging zero balance ang inyong billing para
wala na kayong babayaran sa inyong pagpapa-ospital. Iyan ang Malasakit
Center. Walang pinipili ‘yan, walang pulitika diyan,” explained Go.
“Huwag po kayong magpasalamat sa amin at kami ang dapat magpasalamat
sa inyo dahil binigyan niyo kami ng pagkakataon para makapagserbisyo.
Ako, hindi ko sasayangin ang oras na ito. Magseserbisyo ako sa inyong
lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya,” he vowed.
The ceremony was also attended by Sen. Gatchalian, Rep. Gatchalian,
Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III,
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr., Vaccine Czar and
National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito
Galvez., Jr., Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Secretary
Vivencio Dizon, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman
Benjamin Abalos Jr., and former Public Works and Highways secretary
Mark Villar, among others. (ai/mtvn)