SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go personally attended the launch of the country’s 95th Malasakit Center at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City. This is the first of its kind in the city.
In his speech as the event’s special guest, Go expressed his appreciation to all the medical frontliners and hospital employees, particularly those involved in the 95 Malasakit Centers around the country, who are fulfilling their duties to save lives of Filipinos and protect the rights of citizens to conveniently access quality health care services from the government.
As chair of the Senate committee on health and demography, he gave his word that he would continue to fight for the rights and welfare of all healthcare workers as they dedicate their lives to fight this pandemic and take care of the sick.
“Sa lahat ng (nagtatrabaho sa mga) Malasakit Centers, maraming salamat sa inyo. Huwag natin pabayaan ang ating mga kababayan. Ako naman, bilang committee chair on health sa Senado, kung ano ang kailangan niyo, ipaglalaban namin ‘yan, tulad ng risk allowance niyo,” said Go.
The senator revealed that he had personally brought the issue of the delayed release of the COVID-19 hazard pay and special risk allowance to President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary of Health Francisco Duque III during a recent meeting so their immediate release may be acted upon.
“Basta pag ang concern medical personnel, magsabi lang kayo. Kung kailangan niyo ng tulong, magsabi lang kayo….Rest assured poprotektahan namin kayo,” he continued.
The senator, as vice chairperson of the Senate committee on finance, had fought for the inclusion of additional funds in the 2020 budget to provide for the salary increase of public nurses in Nurse I and II positions.
He also authored the Salary Standardization Law 5 which raised the salary of all civilian government employees, including nurses and teachers, from 2020 to 2023.
Go once again voiced his appreciation for the honest employees in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and encouraged them to join the fight against corruption to weed out erring officials from their ranks.
“Ang kampanya namin ni Pangulo Duterte laban sa korapsyon ay tuloy tuloy. Alam ko mas marami ang matitino [sa PhilHealth], iilan lang diyan ang talagang may kalokohan. Hindi kami titigil sa pagsuspinde kung sino ang may kasalanan,” he pledged.
“Tulungan niyo kaming malinis ang PhilHealth at mabalik sa tao ang pera nila….Kung mayroon kayong gustong isumbong na magnanakaw sa gobyerno, magsabi lang kayo. Huwag kayo matakot dahil poprotektahan namin kayo,” he added.
In his speech, the senator recognized the officials who attended and extended their support for the program, such as Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), who helped then special assistant to the President and now Senator Go to establish the pioneering Malasakit Centers; OPAV Assistant Secretary Girlie E. Veloso; Marikina City Mayor Marcelino R. Teodoro; Councilor Manuel E. Sarmiento; and Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr.
Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019. The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where poor and indigent poor patients may conveniently apply for medical assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, PhilHealth and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
After the event, the DSWD provided 180 of the hospital’s patients from the indigent category with financial assistance. Go’s staff also distributed meals, food packs and vitamins.
Furthermore, selected members of the hospital staff were given with bicycles so they can commute to and from work with ease. Others received tablets so their children can participate in the online educational activities under the blended learning approach.
While in Marikina City, the senator and his team had also distributed aid to 2,298 typhoon victims and 1,443 market vendors who are still reeling from the loss of their homes and livelihoods.
“Kung anong kabutihan ang pwede nating gawin para sa ating kapwa tao, gawin na natin dahil hindi na tayo babalik sa mundong ito. Patuloy kami ni Pangulo Duterte na magseserbisyo sa inyo dahil para sa amin ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos,” ended Go.