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‘Continue Malasakit Centers program, prioritize healthcare’ — Bong Go appeals during groundbreaking of new hospital building in Valenzuela Medical Center

PASAY CITY -- In keeping with his commitment to bolster the country’s healthcare system, Chair of Senate Committee on Health and Demography Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, on Friday, May 20, personally conducted a monitoring visit of the Malasakit Center at the Valenzuela Medical Center (VMC) in Valenzuela City. He also attended the groundbreaking of a four-story building in the hospital.

The VMC houses the 142nd Malasakit Center in the country and the second in the city, following the opening of the Malasakit Center at Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital.

In his remarks during the monitoring visit, Go acknowledged all of the medical frontliners for their sacrifices and untiring service as they continue to spearhead the battle against the pandemic.

He then vowed to continue pushing for legislation that would help strengthen the capacity of the healthcare system in the country.

“On behalf of the President, nagpapasalamat po kami sa lahat ng frontliners na nagsakripisyo ngayon. Maganda na po ang takbo ng ating COVID-19 response (at) dahil po ‘yan sa sakripisyo ng mga frontliners natin,” Go said.

“Rest assured, (bilang) inyong Committee on Health Chairman po, ipaglalaban ko po kayo kahit na anong mangyari... ipaglalaban ko po ang inyong karapatan,” he reassured.

As he consistently promotes the welfare and interests of the nation’s healthcare workers, Go authored and co-sponsored Republic Act No. 11712 which grants mandatory continuing benefits and allowances to public and private healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies.

Under the law, the healthcare workers will be receiving separate compensation if they contract COVID-19 while on duty. For those with mild to moderate symptoms, they will receive PhP 15,000 while individuals with severe symptoms or under a critical state will receive PhP 100,000.

Meanwhile, for those who unfortunately succumb to the virus, the government will be giving PhP 1,000,000 to the families they left behind.

Go also witnessed the turnover of financial support amounting to PhP50 million from the Office of the President to the VMC to further improve the services of its Malasakit Center.

“Ang target po ng Malasakit Center (ay) zero balance po, para wala na pong babayaran ang inyong mga pasyente… kasama dito ang full support ng city government ng Valenzuela. Target talaga ng Valenzuela government ay zero balance po ang mga pasyente natin,” Go said.

Continuing his remarks, Go appealed to the next administration to continue supporting the Malasakit Centers program, highlighting how the 151 operational centers have significantly helped more than three million Filipinos nationwide. Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act.

“Pakiusap ko lang po sa mga susunod na opisyal, kung sa tingin niyo po ay nakakatulong po ang programa ng Malasakit Center, sana po ay tulungan niyo (at) dagdagan niyo pa. Dahil ito po ay malaking ginhawa po sa mga kababayan natin,” the senator emphasized.

“Noong unang panahon po, wala pong Malasakit Center… Ubos po yung panahon, ubos pa ‘yung pamasahe sa kakapila lang po para humingi ng tulong. Ngayon po, meron ng Malasakit Center. Para po ito sa poor and indigent patients,” he reiterated.

During the visit, Go and his team also provided grocery packs, masks, shirts, vitamins and meals to 133 patients and 884 frontliners. In addition, the senator gave phablets, bicycles, shoes, watches, basketballs and volleyballs to select individuals.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development separately distributed financial aid to the patients and 409 rank-and-file hospital employees.

Meanwhile, Congressman Eric Martinez expressed his appreciation to President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Go for staying true to their commitment to help improve the delivery of public service for the city.

“Tatay Digong, maraming-maraming salamat po on behalf of the people of Valenzuela, sa inyong pinangako na tinupad para sa amin. And may your legacy live on and perhaps, history will be kind to you as the greatest president of this country has ever had,” said Martinez.

Congressman Wes Gatchalian, in turn, shared his gratitude to the Duterte Administration for uplifting the lives of the city’s informal settlers, saying, “Maraming salamat po sa tulong na ibinigay niyo sa akin at kay Congressman Eric at sa buong grupo ho namin. We really appreciate it. And hopefully po sa pagtutulungan nating lahat ay madadala pa natin ang Valenzuela sa mas mataas pa na lugar.”

After the groundbreaking and monitoring visit, Go proceeded to attend the inauguration of Bahay ni Jawo Basketball Court in Barangay Parada. (OSBG)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Central Office

Information Officer III under the Office of the Deputy Director-General-Digital Development Communications Unit of Philippine Information Agency. 

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