The Malasakit Centers are a continuing program of President Duterte—a project which Go started while he was still the President’s special assistant—with the purpose of being a one-stop shop assistance center where all agencies that give financial and medical help to poor and indigent patients, are gathered together under one office.
Malasakit center FB Page/File
Bong Go: Malasakit centers not partisan tool
(The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Go has clarified the purpose of the Malasakit center, amid questions raised by Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman who called the centers, meant to streamline health services to the public, an alleged “partisan tool.”

The Malasakit Centers are a continuing program of President Duterte—a project which Go started while he was still the President’s special assistant—with the purpose of being a one-stop shop assistance center where all agencies that give financial and medical help to poor and indigent patients, are gathered together under one office.

Lagman raised the issue yesterday during the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)’s 2020 budget hearing, where the House appropriations committee also asked the agency why it was channeling funds to the centers. The Bicol lawmaker revealed that he has received dozens of complaints from hospital patients, saying that agency representatives at the centers were not present to help them with their needs. 

Go responded that the Malasakit centers are meant to provide fast and proper medical services to all Filipinos, with no political or partisan agenda.

“This is the Duterte administration’s solution to the thousands of Filipinos asking the government for medical help. This is your money, given back to you,” he said.

The PCSO is just one of the agencies in the Malasakit Center providing medical assistance. Other agencies include PhilHealth, Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Go clarified that the PCSO does not provide funds in the establishment of Malasakit Centers. “All these agencies retain their medical assistance programs, with their separate funds, even if they are part of the Malasakit Center,” he said.

The senator added, “The Malasakit Center is just a streamlining mechanism to speed up the distribution of medical and financial services to poor patients.”

Go said that any patient that goes to the center for help still goes through the process from each agency like the PCSO. “It is not the Malasakit Center that chooses who to give help to. It is the agencies like the PCSO that would assess how much financial assistance to give,” he said.

Go asserts that the PCSO medical assistance program has been in place prior to the Malasakit Center. He claims that there has been an improvement in the agency’s service delivery in view of the one-stop shop concept, making indigents’ availment of their and other agencies’ assistance programs easy and accessible.

“If they want to investigate this, I have no objection,” he said. “This is for the people, and if they want to know how this is helping, they are welcome to look at the operation of the Malasakit Center.”

BONG GO MALASAKIT CENTER
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