As his team assists San Fernando City, Pampanga indigents
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go is pushing for the institutionalization of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital and Diagnostic Center in San Fernando City, Pampanga as he filed Senate Bill No. 2297.
Through his filed bill, the senator aims to provide crucial healthcare services and support to the modern-day heroes, who have tirelessly upheld the Filipino spirit abroad.
In a video message during his team’s relief efforts at the Heroes Hall in San Fernando City on Wednesday, July 19, Go acknowledged the growing number of Filipinos seeking opportunities overseas. He said the OFWs play an indispensable role in bolstering the economy through remittances and fostering goodwill by exemplifying the Filipino work ethic and values.
“Their unwavering dedication to their families and the nation makes them an integral part of the country’s progress. However, their journey often entails enduring countless challenges and personal sacrifices,” said Go.
The bill, filed on July 12, aims to improve the healthcare services for OFWs and their families by strengthening the existing OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center. One of the salient provisions of SBN 2297 is the allocation of necessary funds for the maintenance and operation of the OFW Hospital, reflecting the government’s commitment to prioritize the healthcare needs of OFWs and their families.
“Ang pagkakaroon ng iisang departamento para sa mga Pilipinong itinuturing nating mga bagong bayani nasaan man sila sa mundo, at ang pagpapatayo ng OFW hospital para sa kanila at kanilang mga pamilya na mayroong Malasakit Center ay iilan lamang sa mga patunay na kapag magtulungan tayo, ang mga pangarap noon ay kayang maisakatuparan na ngayon,” Go said who authored and co-sponsored the law creating the Department of Migrant Workers.
“Ngunit hindi dito natatapos ang ating hangaring mapabuti ang serbisyo para sa kanila. Kaya naman ako ay nagsumite ng Senate Bill No. 2297 na naglalayong i-institutionalize ang OFW Hospital na ito upang magkaroon ng sapat na personnel, kagamitan at pondo para masiguro ang patuloy at pangmatagalang operasyon nito,” he explained.
The hospital, which was a donation from the provincial government of Pampanga, commenced its operations in May 2022. Located on a 1.5-hectare land, the facility consists of six floors and can accommodate 100 beds, primarily intended for the use of OFWs and their eligible dependents.
During the same month, Go accompanied former President Rodrigo Duterte in conducting an inspection of the hospital.
As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go also mentioned that there is a Malasakit Center inside the OFW Hospital where there are medical assistance programs that will assist poor and indigent patients with their medical-related expenses.
“Ano ang qualification sa Malasakit Center? Basta Pilipino ka poor and indigent patient ka qualified ka sa Malasakit. Lapitan niyo ang Malasakit Center para ‘yan sa mga Pilipino. Pinakamababang billing po ang target ng Malasakit Center, hanapin niyo lang po ang Malasakit Center diyan po sa inyong lugar. Para po ‘yan sa mga poor and indigent patients, para po ‘yan sa mga Pilipino,” said Go.
There is another Malasakit Center in the city located at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital. Other Malasakit Centers in the province are located Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center in Angeles City and Diosdado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital in Guagua.
Go’s team, with the support of Mayor Vilma Caluag, distributed masks and snacks to 16 residents. Several residents were also given shoes, balls for basketball and volleyball, and shirts.
Department of Social Welfare and Development representatives also provided financial assistance to the residents.
As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has supported several projects in the province including the funding of new equipment for hospitals in San Fernando City and the towns of Arayat, Bacolor, Floridablanca, Guagua, Lubao, Mabalacat, Porac and San Luis. He also supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Arayat, Floridablanca, Santa Monica, Magalang and Masantol, among others. He was also instrumental in the construction of a slope protection project along Sapangbato River in Brgy. Margot in Angeles City.
Last January 26, Go was honored by the provincial government of Pampanga for advancing the province’s well-being and interests through Resolution No. 7643-A. On that same day, former President Rodrigo Duterte was declared the province’s “adopted son” by virtue of Resolution No. 7643, in recognition of his significant contributions to Pampanga’s growth and prosperity during his presidency from 2016 to 2022.
Last June 30, Go’s team was also in the city where they distributed relief to more indigents.