99th Malasakit Center opens in Nueva Vizcaya

(The Philippine Star) - January 24, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Go recently attended the virtual launch of the country’s 99th Malasakit Center at the Region II Trauma and Medical Center in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

The center is the first in the province and the fourth in Cagayan Valley after the ones at Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City, Gov. Faustino N. Dy Sr. Memorial Hospital in Ilagan City and Southern Isabela Medical Center in Santiago City.

In a speech last Thursday, Go reassured Filipinos that he would continue fighting to ensure their continued access to quality and affordable health care services as the COVID-19 pandemic puts the jobs and livelihoods of many at risk.

He also expressed support for the deferment of the hike in contributions for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) as Filipinos continue to experience the adverse socio-economic effects of the pandemic as he urged the national government to help shoulder the needed cost in implementing the Universal Health Care Law.

“Many are asking for the deferment of the increase in the contributions to PhilHealth. I support this and have already talked with President Duterte about it. I really pity the poor,” Go said.

The senator vowed to fight for the agency which is an integral component of the NHIP and the Universal Health Care Act that seeks to provide equitable access to quality and affordable health care services to all Filipinos.

To expand access to health care in the country, Go authored and sponsored the passage of Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.

The Malasakit Center brings together in a single room the government agencies – Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PhilHealth and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office – from which Filipinos may seek medical assistance.

The one-stop shop aims to reduce to the lowest amount possible the balance of the hospital bills of those who seek its assistance. It covers patient services and expenses, such as laboratories, medicines, surgeries and operations.

Go thanked the individuals who extended their support to the Malasakit Centers program, including the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, OPAV Assistant Secretary Girlie Veloso, Gov. Carlos Padilla, Vice Gov. Jose Tomas, Bayombong Mayor Pablo Ralph Lantion, and Solano Mayor Eufemia Dacayo.

After the activity, the DSWD provided 164 indigent patients with financial assistance. The senator’s staff also distributed food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to the beneficiaries.

Pairs of shoes were given to selected members of the medical frontliners while others received bicycles so they can commute to work amid limited transportation options.

Those with children studying at home under the blended learning set-up received tablets.

From Jan. 21 to 22, the senator’s staff also conducted aid distribution activities for a total of 961 typhoon victims throughout the province of Nueva Vizcaya. All activities were carried out in strict compliance with health and safety protocols.

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