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102nd Malasakit Center opens in Angeles City

(The Philippine Star) - March 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Go, chair of the committee on health, attended the launch of the country’s 102nd Malasakit Center at the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC) in Angeles City, Pampanga the other day.

This is the second Malasakit Center established in Pampanga and the 10th in Central Luzon.

The center is a one-stop shop where Filipino patients can conveniently apply for medical assistance from the relevant government agencies, specifically the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Under Republic Act 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, all hospitals run by the DOH are mandated to establish their own branch, including the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. Other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided they comply with a set of criteria to ensure sustainability of operations.

In his speech, the senator recognized the country’s medical frontliners for their crucial role in ensuring the success of the government’s COVID-19 response efforts – from caring for the sick, educating the public on disease prevention to helping end the pandemic through the vaccination program.

“To the doctors, nurses and other frontliners, we thank you for your sacrifices in these trying times,” Go said. “As frontliners, you are the first to receive the vaccines.”

The senator announced the arrival of 487,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and assured frontliners that they will be able to choose which vaccine they would like to receive for as long as supplies are available.

He explained that should the vaccine rollout proceed as planned, quarantine restrictions will be lifted gradually so everyone can return to their normal lives.

Go, however, made it clear that the President will be carefully studying the matter with the help of medical experts in order to ensure the health and safety of every Filipino, especially the youngest and most vulnerable children.

The senator went on to thank the individuals who extended their support to the Malasakit Center program and continue to fulfill their respective mandates to serve the people. Among those who attended the event were Vice Gov. Lilia Pineda, Rep. Carmelo Lazatin II, Mayor Carmelo Lazatin, Vice Mayor Ma. Vicenta Vega and RLMMC medical director Lorina Villanueva.

Outside the hospital, Go met an indigent mother whose baby was diagnosed with liver complications. The senator immediately instructed his staff to coordinate with the family and the hospital to extend all necessary support possible, including assistance for her hospital bills and needed medication.

The staff of Go also provided frontliners with new pairs of shoes or bicycles so they can commute to work with ease while public transportation remains limited. Others were given computer tablets which their children can use to better participate in the blended learning activities implemented by their schools.

Later that day, the senator and his team proceeded to the Chevalier School where they extended the same aid to 1,500 indigent residents. All activities were conducted in strict observance of the health and safety protocols against COVID-19.

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