Romblon guv thanks PRRD, Go as thousands in the island province benefit from Malasakit Center initiative

Romblon guv thanks PRRD, Go as thousands in the island province benefit from Malasakit Center initiative

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Governor Jose Riano of Romblon has expressed his gratitude
to President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go for the
Malasakit Center initiative as it continues to serve Filipinos through
its 146 locations nationwide including in his home province.

“Salamat sa Malasakit, President Rodrigo Duterte at Senator Bong Go,”
Riano stated in a Facebook post.

“Simula ng magkaroon ng Malasakit Center sa Romblon Provincial
Hospital noong July 2020 at sa Romblon District Hospital noong
September 2021 ay umabot na sa 7,447 na mga kababayan natin ang
natulungan na katumbas ng halos P35.6 million, as of October 2021,” he
added.

Senator Go attended the virtual launch of the country’s 73rd Malasakit
Center at Romblon Provincial Hospital in Odiongan town last July 7,

  1. The provincial government of Romblon was subsequently permitted
    to open an extension Malasakit Center inside the Romblon District
    Hospital in the capital town of Romblon.

Riano emphasized the importance of Malasakit Centers in assisting
Filipinos in need of medical help, particularly during the pandemic.

“Sa panahon ng pandemya, naging malaking tulong ang Malasakit Center
lalo na sa mga indigent nating mga kababayan upang makakuha ng medical
assistance sa mga babayaran sa ospital,” he said.

“Sa halip na problemahin ang hospital bills ay halos libre o zero
balance nalang ang natitira,” he added.

Many of the centers’ beneficiaries, according to Riano, have expressed
their gratitude for the significant assistance they have received
through the initiative.

“Ako po’y lubos na natutuwa lalo na sa mga pasasalamat na inyong
pinaparating kapag nirereport sa akin ng mga officials natin sa field
na sobrang naging malaking tulong ang medical assistance na inyong
natanggap,” said Riano.

“Kaya lubus-lubos din ang aking pasasalamat kina President Rodrigo
Duterte at Senator Bong Go sa lahat ng medical assistance na ating
natanggap mula sa Malasakit Center,” he added.

Go’s experience working under then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte
exposed him to the stressful and difficult process Filipinos go
through just to seek government aid for their medical bills. These
encounters moved him to conceptualize the one-stop shop which he
promised to push for during his senatorial campaign.

“Sa twenty-three years kong pagsisilbi sa ilalim ni Pangulong Rodrigo
Duterte, nakita ko araw-araw ‘yung mga problema ng bansa. Maraming
mahihirap ang pumupunta ng Davao noon para humingi ng tulong sa
kanilang pampa-ospital. Ubos na panahon nila, ubos pa pera nila sa
pamasahe,” Go said.

“Sabi ko, bakit ba natin pinapahirapan ang mga Pilipino kung pera
naman nila ‘yan. Kaya nung naging senador ako, itinulak ko ang
Malasakit Centers Act. Target nito ay ‘zero balance’ para wala ng
babayaran ang mga poor at indigent,” he explained.

The Malasakit Center, which intends to close gaps in health care
access brings together the offices of the Department of Social
Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health
Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under
one roof to ease access to government medical assistance, particularly
to poor and indigent patients.

The one-stop-shop aims to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest amount
possible by covering various patient services and expenses, pursuant
to Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which
Go principally authored and sponsored in the Senate.

More than three million patients have benefitted since the program was
initiated in 2018.

On October 25, the 145th Malasakit Center opened at the Philippine
National Police General Hospital in Quezon City; and the 146th on
October 27 at the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma
Center in Las Piñas City. (ai/mtvn)

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