Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go virtually attended the opening of the Malasakit Center at Occidental Mindoro Provincial Hospital in the capital town of Mamburao on July 24, Friday. The said Malasakit Center is the 75th in the country, 37th in Luzon and third in the MIMAROPA region.
“Congratulations po sa inyo sa Occidental Mindoro. Kayo po ‘yung 75th na Malasakit Center sa buong bansa,” Go said as he greeted the staff and administration of the hospital.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where Filipinos can ask financial and medical assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The Senator emphasized that the Malasakit Center has played an important role in helping Filipinos get the help they need in terms of their hospitalization, especially that the country is going through a health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
He said that while he was still assistant to then mayor of Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte, he has seen the plight of Filipinos queuing in front of government offices and spending so much time, effort and money just to get any financial help to pay their hospital bills.
“Nagkataon po ngayon, tingnan ninyo po ‘yung nangyari, nagkaroon ng pandemya. Paano mo aasahan ‘yung Pilipino na pipila dyan sa PCSO, PhilHealth, DOH, DSWD? Madaling araw pipila sila eh, magkakahawaan po ‘yun,” Go lamented.
“Kaya ngayon, mas mabuti na lang mayroon tayong Malasakit Center nasa loob na po ng ospital. Hindi na nila kailangan lumabas pa. Nandyan na po yung apat na ahensya ng gobyerno – PhilHealth, DOH, DSWD, PCSO. Mag-aambag-ambag po sila para po ang target nito zero billing,” the Senator explained.
Go noted that since the Malasakit Center is already a law through the Malasakit Center Act that was signed by the President late last year, all DOH-run hospitals in the country, plus the Philippine General Hospital, will have a Malasakit Center. In addition, other hospitals may also open their Malasakit Center subject to specific minimum requirements to ensure complete services.
Go then said that through the passage of the Salary Standardization Law signed earlier this year, government workers, including nurses, had their salaries increased. Recently, the Department of Budget and Management also issued a circular implementing the increase in salary grades of government nurses, pursuant to a Supreme Court decision. He also added that aside from the bills that have been passed into law, he continues to file more to help the country’s state of health care and services.
One of which he filed is Senate Bill 1226 or the proposed DOH Hospital Bed Capacity and Service Capability Rationalization Act of 2019. This bill aims to authorize DOH to increase the bed capacity and service capability of its retained hospitals and to allow it to promulgate evaluation and approval guidelines.
“Kung ano pa po pwede nating gawin sa ating kababayan para mapabilis ‘yung serbisyo magtulungan na lang po tayo, alam kong hirap na hirap kayo sa pandemyang ito, tayo tayo na lang ang dapat magtulungan para malampasan natin ito,” he added.