SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said there are no “partisan or political considerations” in the creation of Malasakit Centers, which provide medical assistance to all poor Filipinos.
Go made the statement following Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman’s call for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to investigate the operations of Malasakit Centers because these are being used as a “partisan tool rather than a medical outlet.”
“Ginawa ang Malasakit Center initiative para mabigyan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal ang lahat ng Pilipino,” Go said.
“Walang partisan o political considerations, walang pinipili na tutulungan, hindi kailangan ng anumang endorsement letter o ID mula sa pulitiko. Ito po ay isang solusyon ng Duterte administration para sa libu-libong Pilipino na humihingi ng tulong sa gobyerno para lang magpagamot. Pera niyo po ito, ibinabalik lang sa inyo,” Go added.
The Malasakit Center program, initiated by Go under the President Rodrigo Duterte administration, is a one-stop-shop unit established in public hospitals to hasten the delivery of free medical services to indigent patients.
The center is staffed by representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and other government agencies.
“Malasakit Center becomes the processing center or the one-stop-shop found in public hospitals so that patients do not need to waste their time lining up in different government agencies just to seek help,” Go said.
Go clarified that the PCSO does not provide funds for the establishment of Malasakit Centers, noting that all the agencies involved retain their medical assistance programs with their separate funds.
“MC is just a streamlining mechanism para mapabilis ang pagbigay ng serbisyo medical at pinansyal sa mga mahihirap na mga pasyente (to hasten the delivery of financial and medical service for our indigent patients),” he added.
The senator said he is also open to Lagman’s call for an investigation into the operations of Malasakit Centers, noting that the very first Malasakit Center that was established in Albay is operating successfully.
“If they want to investigate this, I have no objection. Para po ito sa tao kaya kung gusto nila malaman paano ito nakakatulong, welcome po sila na silipin ang operasyon ng Malasakit Center,” he said.
“Wala pong pinipili ito, para po ito sa bawat Pilipinong nangangailangan. Do not be anti-poor. Huwag po natin ipagkait ang tulong at pagmamalasakit natin sa ating mga kababayan,” the senator stressed.
Moreover, Go reminded Albay Congressman Lagman that a Malasakit Center was launched at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City, Albay last October 2018, with Vice Governor Edcel Greco Lagman, son of the representative himself, witnessing and supporting its launch.
Currently, there are 41 successfully established and fully operational Malasakit Centers in the country, including two in Bicol region.