Malasakit Center initiative helps deaf child hear again

May 18, 2024 People's Journal 114 views

MAAN Anthonette Ronquillo vividly recalls the moment she learned that her two-year-old daughter, Sian Alessandria, was diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss.

The reality that her daughter was deaf and unable to speak crushed Maan.

The only hope for Sian was a costly cochlear implant, a procedure that seemed out of reach for the Ronquillo family.

“Nawalan po ako ng pag-asa kasi… hindi po biro ‘yung presyo po para po sa implant po ng anak ko,” Maan said.

In July 2023, Maan had the opportunity to meet Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, father of the Malasakit Center Program. Go has long been at the forefront of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos. These initiatives have touched countless lives. This time, Sian was to become one of them.

“Unang-una po talaga nasa isip ko ang paglapit kay Senator (Go) kasi alam ko po siya po ‘yung unang-unang makakatulong po para sa anak ko. Kaya sa kanya po talaga kami lumapit. At ‘di po ako nagkamali kasi po talagang malaki po ‘yung naitulong n’ya,” she added.

Through the support of the Malasakit Center at the hospital, Ma-an’s daughter underwent a life-changing operation.

“Kayo po ‘yung naging daan para po mapabago niyo po ‘yung buhay ng baby ko at mabigyan po siya ng magandang future. Dahil po sa tulong ninyo, makakarinig na po ‘yung anak ko. Maraming maraming salamat po Senator Bong Go,” Ma-an expressed.

Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.