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Go vows to further boost health care system capacity

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — In keeping with his commitment to bolster the country’s health care system, Sen. Bong Go personally conducted a visit to the Malasakit Center at the Valenzuela Medical Center (VMC) last Friday.

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 health care system in the country.

“Rest assured, as your committee on health chairman, I will fight for you whatever happens, I will fight for your rights,” he said in Filipino.

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

Under the law, HCWs will be receiving separate compensation if they contract COVID-19 while on duty. Those with mild to moderate symptoms will receive P15,000 while individuals with severe symptoms or under a critical state will receive P100,000.

Meanwhile, for those who unfortunately succumb to the virus, the government will be giving P1,000,000 to the families they left behind.

Go also witnessed the turnover of financial support amounting to P50 million from the Office of the President to the VMC to further improve the services of its Malasakit Center.

“The target of Malasakit Center is zero balance, so patients don’t pay anything… with the full support of the city government of Valenzuela. The Valenzuela government’s target is zero balance for patients,” Go said.

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.

“Before, without Malasakit Centers… People waste time and money for transportation, lining up to ask for help. Now we have the Malasakit Center for 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 Duterte and Go for staying true to their commitment to help improve the delivery of public service for the city.

“May your legacy live on and perhaps, history will be kind to you as the greatest president of this country has ever had,” Martinez added.

Rep. Wes Gatchalian, in turn, shared his gratitude to the Duterte administration for uplifting the lives of the city’s informal settlers, saying, “Thank you for all the help you gave me and Congressman Eric and our whole group. We really appreciate it. And hopefully, with everyone’s help, Valenzuela will reach greater heights.”

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

BONG GO

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