Go opens 143rd Malasakit Center opens in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental

Go opens 143rd Malasakit Center opens in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go continued his appeal
to Filipinos to prioritize their health needs amid the ongoing health
crisis as he witnessed the launch of the 143rd Malasakit Center at
Doña Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental
on Tuesday, October 12.

The Malasakit Center is the second center established in the province
in addition to the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in
Ozamiz City that was launched in January of last year. It is also the
37th in Mindanao region and the seventh in Northern Mindanao.

Go, who serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and
Demography expressed his concern that Filipinos living in rural areas
are often reluctant to get medical attention due to the cost it
entails. He explained that the Malasakit Centers aim to address this

“Nagsimula itong Malasakit Center nung nakita ko ‘yung problema diyan
sa baba. Sa tagal kong nagtrabaho kay President Duterte, maraming
lumalapit sa kaniya sa Davao City Hall, mga hindi residente sa Davao.
Minsan taga Misamis, taga Zamboanga, pumupunta sa Davao dahil nandoon
ang hospital,” Go lamented.

“Kaya sabi ko ilagay natin sa isang kwarto, tinest namin sa Cebu ni
Sec. Michael Dino. Nilagyan namin ‘yung Malasakit, pinagtabi ‘yung
PhilHealth, PCSO, DOH at DSWD… Effective naman dahil nakita natin na
hindi na nila kailangang pumila at magpakahirap dayuhin ang iba’t
ibang opisina. Iisang kwarto na lang sa loob mismo ng ospital,” he

Principally authored and sponsored by Go and signed into law by
President Duterte in 2019, Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit
Centers Act of 2019 mandates all hospitals administered and managed by
the Department of Health, as well as the Philippine General Hospital
in Manila, to establish Malasakit Centers that would address the need
for an efficient integrated system for conveniently availing medical
assistance programs from the government.

Other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers
provided they comply with the criteria set by the law to ensure
sustainability of its operations.

The center is a one-stop-shop that streamlines the process of
acquiring aid from the concerned agencies, namely DOH, Department of
Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance
Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Its primary aim is to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest amount possible by
covering various patient services and fees.

“Ngayon kung mayroon kayong pasyente na hindi kayang operahan dito,
magsabi kayo dahil ako na ang sasalo sa Davao o Manila, sa Heart
Center… operasyon o transplant na kailangan… tutulong po kami,” Go

“’Wag na ninyong patagalin, ang importante ay makasalba man lamang
tayo ng buhay ng kapwa tao. ‘Wag kayong mamroblema sa inyong babayaran
dahil kami na ang bahala, pati pamasahe ninyo kami na ang tutulong sa
pagpapaospital niyo,” he added.

Meanwhile, Go cited that through the joint efforts of the DOH and his
office, Doña Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital will be provided
additional resources that would support and further improve its

“Kung anuman ang maitutulong ko, sisikapin ko na makatulong sa inyong
hospital. ‘Yung Dialysis Center ninyo, pagsisikapan ko para hindi niyo
na kailangan magbiyahe. Hahanapan ko ng paraan. Ang importante,
makatulong tayo sa mga kapatid natin na hindi na kailangan maghirap,”
Go said.

He then lauded medical frontliners for their hard work and commitment
to serve Filipinos during the ongoing national health crisis.

“Sa lahat ng frontliner dito sa ospital, maraming salamat sa inyong
sakripisyo ngayong panahon. Palakpakan natin ang mga frontliners,
kasali na dyan ang security, utility. Alam niyo, hindi ganun kadali
ang magserbisyo lalo na sa laban natin sa COVID-19,” Go expressed.

Go reaffirmed that he will continue to push for initiatives that will
further improve and enhance the capabilities of the country’s health
care system.

“Huwag muna nating pag-usapan ang pulitika ngayon. Naghihirap ang
ating mga kababayan, unahin sana natin na malampasan itong pandemya
dahil baka wala na tayong pulitika na pag-uusapan ‘pag hindi natin ito
malampasan,” Go said.

“Importante po sa akin, bigyan natin ng komportableng buhay ang mga
kababayan natin, lalong lalo na po ‘yung mahihirap po at mga walang
matakbuhan, ‘yun po ang importante para sa akin,” he continued.

Ending his speech, Go recognized various officials for their service,
including Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino,
Assistant Secretary Girlie Veloso, Representative Diego Ty, Governor
Philip Tan, Vice Governor Aurora Virginia Almonte, Tangub City Mayor
Jennifer Tan, Chief of Hospital Dr. Janice Castolo-Biete, Committee on
Health of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Chair Tata Paylaga-Lim, and other
local officials.

After the launch, Go’s team provided meals, masks, face shields, and
vitamins to 70 patients and 270 frontliners. The DSWD, in turn, gave
financial assistance to the indigent patients and 250 rank-and-file
hospital employees.

Meanwhile, Go also gave computer tablets, bicycles, and new pairs of
shoes to select recipients.

“Marami na po tayong tinulungan na mga indigents dito… kung ano pa
ang makatulong para sa inyo, tutulong po ako sa abot ng aking makakaya
para po maiahon ang mga kababayan natin sa kahirapan dulot ng
COVID-19,” Go reassured.

As Vice Chair of Senate Committee on Finance, Go supported the
rehabilitation of Doña Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital and the
construction of multi-purpose buildings in Brgy. Lorenzo Tan and
Governor Alfonso D. Tan College.

Following the event, Senator Go led two distribution activities for
various sectoral groups conducted at Sinanduloy Cultural Center in
Tangub City, and Medina Gymnasium in Ozamiz City.

On the same day, Go also checked on the Malasakit Center in Mayor
Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center which was recently improved
through RA 11563 that he sponsored in the Senate to increase its bed
capacity from 500 to 1,000 beds. The measure was signed into law by
President Duterte last June 24, 2021. (ai/mtvn)

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