‘Malasakit para sa lahat:’ Go conducts monitoring visit to MalasakitCenter in Tuguegarao City

‘Malasakit para sa lahat:’ Go conducts monitoring visit to Malasakit
Center in Tuguegarao City

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Following his visit to the Typhoon Maring victims in Buguey
and Santa Teresita, Cagayan province, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go
visited the Malasakit Center in Cagayan Valley Medical Center in
Tuguegarao City on Monday, October 18, as part of his commitment of
ensuring that Filipinos have access to quality health care services.

“Wala pong pinipili ang Malasakit Center. Ang Malasakit Center po’y
para sa Pilipino na handang tumulong sa inyo hanggang maging zero
balance ang inyong billing. Iyan po ang layunin ng Malasakit Center –
tulungan po ‘yung mga mahihirap at huwag na po silang pahirapan pa.
Ibigay sa kanila ‘yung mabilis na serbisyo,” said Go in an interview.

In his speech, Go recognized medical frontliners for their sacrifices.
He also vowed to protect the welfare of health workers by pushing for
a bill he authored and co-sponsored, Senate Bill No. 2421, which shall
provide continuing and more inclusive COVID-19 benefits and allowances
to public and private health workers during the state of public health
emergency.

“Kung mayroon man tayong pasasalamatan sa panahon po ngayon, sa lahat
po ng ating mga doctors, nurses, frontliners, maraming maraming
salamat po sa inyong sakripisyo sa panahon ngayon. Mula sa amin ni
Pangulong Duterte, sa mga frontliners, kasama na po ‘yung utility
workers, security guards, lahat ng mga frontliners, maraming salamat
po sa inyong serbisyo,” Go began.

“Kaya nga po ako, bilang Committee Chair on Health ninyo sa Senado,
ipaglalaban ko po lahat ang kapakanan ninyo – ang SRA ninyo, lahat ng
incentives dapat ibigay po sa inyo,” he continued.

The measure provides a COVID-19 Risk Allowance in lieu of the special
risk allowance; active hazard duty pay; life insurance; and meals,
accommodations, and transportation (MAT) allowance under Bayanihan 2.
The allowance will be given for every month served depending on the
risk exposure of the healthcare workers.

Go was also instrumental in the passage of Republic Act No. 11466 or
the Salary Standardization Law 5, which he also authored and
co-sponsored. This law gives civilian government employees, including
nurses, their fifth round of salary increases broken down in tranches.

In addition, Go mentioned that his office is always available to
address the concerns of medical frontliners, saying, “Huwag ho kayong
mag-atubiling lumapit sa akin. Kung may mga kailangan po kayo, may
reklamo kayo, bilang inyong Senador, ako po’y magiging tulay ninyo kay
Pangulo sa reklamo ninyo.”

For the hospital, Go also said that he will support the provision of a
dialysis machine as requested by Medical Center Chief Dr. Glenn
Matthew Baggao, and the increase of bed capacity in the hospital —
among other efforts to improve its facilities and capabilities.

“Full support po kami sa ospital ninyo, ako po’y pinaglaban ko rin po
‘yung inyong upgrading ng inyong hospital beds, hindi po ako titigil.
Aminado ako na wala akong laban kung makipag-debate ako sa mga 23
years, 24 years na diyan sa Senado. Pero kahit isang linggo kaming
mag-debate, hindi po ako titigil na hangga’t hindi po mapasa ito at
mapirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go emphasized.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go also sponsored and
pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 11498 which increases the
bed capacity of Cagayan Valley Medical Center from 500 to 1,000 beds.
The law was signed by President Duterte on November 13, 2020.

“Ipaglalaban ko po ‘yung mga public hospitals natin dahil ang
makikinabang po dito ‘yung mga mahihirap po. Ubusin niyo po ‘yung
pera… para po sa mga mahihirap nating pasyente,” he continued.

During the visit, Go’s team handed out meals, masks, face shields, and
vitamins to 700 patients and 2,560 frontliners. The senator also gave
new pairs of shoes, computer tablets, and bicycles to some recipients.

In a separate distribution, staff from the Department of Social
Welfare and Development extended financial assistance to patients and
frontliners.

Earlier that day, Go distributed assistance to 600 Typhoon Maring
victims in Buguey and Santa Teresita, Cagayan. The activities were
held in compliance with health and safety protocols as Go also took
the opportunity to raise awareness and build confidence on the
government’s vaccination efforts against COVID-19.

“Mga kababayan ko dito po sa Cagayan, kung gusto niyo pong tulungan
ang ating mga healthcare workers, magpabakuna na po kayo. Nasa datos
naman po, napatunayan naman po natin ‘pag bakunado po kayo mas
maiiwasan ‘yung pagkagrabe o pagkasakit ng COVID-19,” Go appealed.

“Ang bakuna po ang tanging susi o solusyon para unti-unti na tayong
makabalik sa ating normal na pamumuhay,” he added.

In an interview on the same day, Go expressed hope that the next
the administration will pursue the “continuity” of the programs that
resulted in the positive change that President Rodrigo Duterte has
started, especially those that benefit the neediest such as
indigents needing medical care.

“Pakiusap ko lang po sa susunod na magiging pangulo o susunod na
administrasyon, kung ano po ‘yung mga programang magaganda at
nakakatulong naman po sa mga kababayan natin, sana po ay ipagpatuloy
ninyo lalung-lalo na po sa mga nakakatulong sa mga mahihirap po,” said
Go in an interview.

“Kung ano po ‘yung nakakatulong ay ipagpatuloy natin at dagdagan pa po
natin ng mga programang makakatulong sa mga mahihirap po. ‘Yon ang
pinakaimportante – ‘yung mga mahihirap, ‘yung mga helpless at mga
hopeless, ‘yung mga walang matakbuhan po na mga kababayan natin,” he
added.

Go explained that despite his vice presidential bid, he remains
focused on his duties as a senator and public servant, especially in
assisting the government and the general public in combating the
COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ako naman po gaya ng pangako ko sa inyo, mula Apari hanggang Jolo
pupuntahan ko po kayo basta kaya lang po ng aking katawan.
Makapagbigay ng kaunting tulong, makabigay ng solusyon sa inyong mga
problema, at makapag-iwan po ng kaunting ngiti sa panahon ng inyong
pagdadalamhati,” Go expressed during the interview.

“Hindi po ako napapagod na magserbisyo po sa inyo dahil sabi ko nga
noon, ang bisyo ko po ay magserbisyo,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)

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