Bong Go

Bong Go vows continuous efforts to strengthen healthcare system

March 20, 2022 People's Journal 221 views

Bong GoBong GoSENATOR and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go pledged to keep on pushing for more measures that would ensure better healthcare services across the country, particularly in rural areas where improvements in medical facilities are urgently needed to adequately cater to the needs of many Filipino patients.

The senator made the remarks on Thursday, March 17, at the New Capitol Building in Palo, Leyte wherein he personally witnessed the ceremonial turnover of financial assistance from the Office of the President (OP) for the development of the health sector in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.

“Ako po sa Senado, ipinaglalaban ko po ang increasing bed capacities ninyo, lahat ng mga hospital bills… Naintindihan ko na mahalaga talaga ang establishing new hospitals dahil may mga lugar talaga na malayo, mahirap. Tulad sa Davao Occidental, 200 kilometers away from Regional Hospital. Ang layo no’n, maghihingalo na ang pasyente bago nila magamot. So the more na we should invest right sa ating healthcare system. Ako bilang inyong Committee Chair sa Senado, patuloy ko pong ipaglalaban,” Go stressed.

“Bahala na pong magdebate kami ng isang linggo, isang buwan diyan (sa Senado)… hindi naman po importante na manalo ka sa debate, importante kung ano ang nasa puso mo. Kung talagang desidido ka talagang tumulong lalung-lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan,” he added.

The assistance, amounting to a total of PhP792.5 million, was sourced from the OP’s Socio-Civic Projects Fund and includes budget to support the health development projects of two hospitals in Leyte, namely, the Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez General Hospital and Schistosomiasis Center in Palo, and the Eastern Visayas Medical Center in Tacloban City.

Eight other provincial hospitals will also benefit from the said support, three of which are in the province of Leyte, including Leyte Provincial Hospital in Palo, Immaculate Concepcion Hospital in Baybay City, and Ormoc District Hospital in Ormoc City.

Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital in Maasin City, Southern Leyte; Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital in Borongan City; Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman; Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City; and Biliran Provincial Hospital in Naval, Biliran will likewise received assistance.

Apart from the development of the said healthcare facilities, the financial aid from OP will also be utilized to procure medical equipment, such as computerized tomography (CT) scan machine, ultrasound machine, and laboratory equipment for various localities in Leyte, including the towns of Mahaplag, Bato and Javier, and the city of Baybay.

There will also be funds allocated to help address the immediate needs of the people in Biliran who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, the government of Eastern Samar will likewise receive financial assistance to aid Typhoon Odette victims.

Go then commended all the medical frontliners for their tireless dedication and their immeasurable sacrifices amid the global health crisis.

In line with his dedication to provide poor and indigent patients the service they deserve, Go also reiterated his appeal to the next leaders to continue expanding the Malasakit Centers nationwide, emphasizing how the centers have already helped more than three million Filipinos with their medical expenses.

“Mayroon na tayong 151 na Malasakit Center sa buong Pilipinas na handang tumulong po sa inyo. Batas na po ito and I’m hoping na sana po’y kung sino man po ang susunod na administrasyon, ipagpatuloy niyo lang po. Kung sa tingin ninyo may kailangang i-improve, dagdagan, dagdagan niyo po. Alam naman po natin na nakakatulong ito sa mga mahihirap,” Go urged.

“Ako po ay nakikiusap sa mga doctor natin na unahin niyo po ang mga mahihirap. Ubusin niyo… sa mga mahihirap. Ganun si Presidente, ‘ibalik mo sa mga tao (dahil) pera naman nila ‘yan. Itong Malasakit, wala po itong pinili. Basta Pilipino ka, poor and indigent patients karapatan mong lumapit sa Malasakit Center,” explained Go who is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.

Meanwhile, the senator expressed his confidence that the country will soon return to normalcy as the government’s pandemic efforts are showing positive outcomes, saying, “Maganda na po so far ang takbo. So far, mayroon na tayong 233 million na doses of vaccines na dumating sa ating bansa. At patuloy naman po ang pagpapabakuna natin. Libre naman po ito, please encourage na lang po ‘yung mga kababayan natin lalung-lalo na po sa far-flung areas na ayaw pa talagang magpabakuna.”

“It’s been two years already. I think to be exact, March 15 po nag-first mag-lockdown tayo. Today is March 17, two years pinaghirapan na natin. Huwag natin sayangin na bumalik tayo sa zero. Magtulungan po tayo. Sino lang bang magtutulungan kung ‘di tayo lang po mga kapwa nating Pilipino,” he emphasized.

Concluding his message, Go thanked the local officials for putting the interest of their constituents first especially during these challenging times. The senator then appealed to them to remain steadfast in serving their respective communities.

“I think good for one year po ‘yang support sa hospital, bago ma-expire ‘yung pondo. Gamitin niyo lang, ubusin niyo po para sa mga mahihirap,” said Go.

“Ako, I’m here to support you po sa abot ng aking makakaya. Bagama’t hindi na siguro katulad dati na siyempre nandidiyan si Presidente, kung ordinaryong senador ka na lang baka iba na po. Tulungan niyo na lang po na… sa abot ng ating makakaya mabigay pa rin natin ‘yung serbisyo sa mga mahihirap,” he ended.

On that same day, Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte in the inauguration of Tacloban City Bypass Road and the new Leyte Provincial Capitol in the municipality of Palo. Go also witnessed President Duterte lead the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) to representatives of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).