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Bong Go joins launch of 147th Malasakit Center in Culion
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go personally attended the launch of the country’s 147th Malasakit Center at the Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital (CSGH) in Culion, Palawan.
This is the second Malasakit Center in Palawan following that at the Ospital ng Palawan in Puerto Princesa City. It is also the 81st in Luzon and the sixth in Region IV-B. Another Malasakit Center is scheduled to be launched in Brooke’s Point Palawan on November 4.
As Chair of Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go reassured that he will continue to push for improved access to healthcare services, especially amid the ongoing national health crisis, particularly in far-flung communities.
Go cited the challenges faced by many public hospitals and struggles of low-income Filipinos that led him to initiate the establishment of the first Malasakit Center in 2018. After being elected as senator in 2019, Go principally authored and sponsored the measure that became Republic Act No. 11463, also known as the Malasakit Centers Act.
“Sabi ko, bakit natin pahirapan ‘yung mga kababayan natin na pwede naman natin ilagay sa isang kwarto ‘yung apat na ahensya ng gobyerno. Ang DSWD, PCSO, DOH, at PhilHealth,” Go shared.
“Hindi pa ako senador nailagay na namin sa Cebu noong 2018. Noong naging senador po ako, nadagdagan po. Ngayon mandated by law included all DOH hospital magkakaroon ho ng Malasakit Center, isa na po ito sa mga huling DOH hospital na lalagyan po ng Malasakit Center,” he added.
Go then mentioned that he will continue to fight for the provision of necessary resources to further enhance the capabilities and facilities of CSGH and other public hospitals nationwide.
“Sa lahat po ng mga healthcare workers, mga frontliners, mula sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte, maraming salamat po sa inyong serbisyo sa panahon ngayon. Hindi po nababayaran ng kahit anuman po ang inyong sakripisyo sa panahon ngayon,” Go said.
“Kung ano pong pwede kong maitulong sa inyong ospital ay handa po akong tumulong at ipaglalaban ko po kayo. Ako po ay nag-file po ng Salary Standardization Law at ‘yung salary disparity po… pinaglaban rin po natin na maayos,” he added.
He then encouraged the public to help the government and all health workers in the fight against COVID-19 by participating in the national vaccination program and complying with necessary health protocols.
“Kapag mayroon na hong bakuna diyan sa harapan niyo, huwag na kayong mag-atubiling magpabakuna. Ngayon po mahigit 50% pa lang sa mga senior citizens. Wala naman po itong pilitan pero sa mga senior citizens, kayo po ‘yung vulnerable. Kung gusto niyo pong tulungan ang ating mga health workers, magpabakuna na ho kayo,” Go appealed.
Go’s team then distributed meals, grocery packs, masks and vitamins to 107 patients and 423 medical frontliners after the launch. They also gave computer tablets, bicycles, and new pairs of shoes to selected beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided financial assistance to the patients and 279 rank-and-file CSGH employees.
During the event, President Rodrigo Duterte gave a short virtual message expressing his gratitude to the residents of Culion for their continuing support, saying, “Ang Malasakit Center, para iyan sa inyo. Iyan lang ang maibigay natin ngayon at kung ano pa ang kayang ibigay, eh ibibigay ko sa inyo. Maraming salamat po.”
As it is hours away from Puerto Princesa City and considered to be one of the most remote islands in the country, the municipality of Culion gave recognition to Go for being the first senator who visited and extended help to their small island.
“Kahit na nasa dulo sila ng island po ng Palawan, ipinaabot pa rin po natin ang tulong ninyo sa kanila para hindi na sila kailangang maglakbay papuntang Puerto Princesa dahil napakalayo po.
Isang araw ang paglakbay nitong mula Culion papunta ho ng Puerto Princesa. Nagpapasalamat po ang lahat ng mga pasyente rito, Mr. President,” Go expressed.
After visiting Culion, Go then conducted a monitoring visit at the Malasakit Center in Ospital ng Palawan, Puerto Princesa City. He provided meals, food packs, vitamins and masks to 145 patients and 713 frontliners, separate from what DSWD has provided, as well as new pairs of shoes, bicycles, and computer tablets to select recipients.
He then reaffirmed that he will continue to push for the enactment of Senate Bill No. 2421 which grants COVID-19 benefits and allowances to public and private health workers during the state of public health emergency. He also vowed to support the provision of necessary funds to improve the capacity of the hospital to serve the community.
“Hindi po ako titigil makipaglaban. Talo po ako sa debate diyan po sa Senado pero sabi ko na kahit na isang linggo tayong mag-debate dito pero kung karapatan po ng mahihirap po, ipaglalaban ko po kayong lahat,” Go expressed.
“Ang puhunan ko naman po dito ay kasipagan. Mag-serbisyo po, ‘yun po ang mas kailangan ng tao ngayon,” he continued.
Despite joining the vice-presidential race, Go said that he remains focused on public service by helping Filipinos recover from the pandemic.
“Sa mga taga-Palawan, mahalaga po kayo sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte. Kung kailangan niyo po ng supply ng bakuna, magre-request po tayo sa IATF para po mabilis ang inyong vaccination roll-out dito sa inyong probinsiya… salamat po sa inyong kooperasyon,” Go expressed.
Go expressed his gratitude towards Governor Jose Alvarez, Culion Mayor Ma. Virginia De Vera, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, CSGH Chief of Hospital Dr. Arturo Cunanan, ONP Chief of Hospital Dr. Sonia Ulanday, and other local officials.
In July 2020, Go was declared an “adopted son of Puerto Princesa” by the City Council in recognition of his efforts to assist residents impacted by previous calamities.
On the same day, Go and his team conducted relief efforts for thousands of vulnerable residents in Culion, Busuanga and Puerto Princesa City. All activities were conducted in small batches, in compliance with necessary health and safety protocols.