On Sunday, May 28, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go visited Sariaya, Quezon province to inspect the progress of the construction of the Super Health Center there. The facility, which is currently 30% complete, aims to provide basic healthcare services to the community.
Additionally, during his visit, Go personally extended assistance to the residents of the town who are facing difficulties.
In his speech, Go said that the establishment of Super Health Centers across the country, particularly in rural areas, can greatly enhance the provision of public health services at the grassroots level.
“Iyan po’y isang medium type of a polyclinic. Pwede po diyan ‘yung panganganak, pwede diyan ang dental, laboratory at iba pang pangunahing serbisyong medikal mula gobyerno,” shared Go.
“Magkakaroon po ng 307 na Super Health Center sa buong Pilipinas sa taong 2022 at 322 na Super Health Center sa taong 2023 sa tulong po ng mga kasamahan ko sa Kongreso, mga lokal na opisyal, at ng Department of Health.
Kasama na po diyan ang 15 dito po sa probinsya ng Quezon at kasama na diyan ang Sariaya Super Health Center,” he added.
The Super Health Center is an enhanced version of the rural health unit, offering a wide range of health services such as database management, outpatient care, birthing facilities, isolation areas, diagnostic services (including laboratory tests, X-rays, and ultrasounds), pharmacy services, and ambulatory surgical units.
Additionally, these centers provide services such as eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) care, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine, which enables remote diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Apart from Sariaya Super Health Center, DOH has also identified several other locations for the Super Health Centers in the province, such as Agdangan, Alabat, Atimonan, Candelaria, Dolores, Gumaca, Infanta, Lopez, Mauban, Quezon, Tagkawayan, Tiaong, Catanauan and Perez.
Go then commended the collaborative efforts of local officials, particularly Quezon province 2nd District Representative David Suarez, Governor Dra. Helen Tan, Vice Governor Third Alcala, Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta, and others, for their valuable support in the construction of the new center and in bringing public services closer to communities in need.
After conducting the inspection, the senator led a relief activity at Sariaya New Agri Trade Center where they extended assistance to 1,000 underprivileged residents, including pregnant women. Accompanied by his team, the senator personally led the distribution of essential goods such as grocery packs, masks, vitamins, snacks, and shirts.
Furthermore, they also provided bicycles, cellular phones, shoes, watches, umbrellas, and basketball balls to select beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided financial assistance to qualified individuals.
Go, during the event, addressed the residents, expressing his gratitude and offering his support to the community. Go particularly extended his support to the students, urging them to study hard as they are the future of the nation.
“Nakikiusap ako sa mga estudyante, mag-aral kayo ng mabuti. Kayo ang kinabukasan ng bayang ito. Diba masaya si nanay at tatay kapag nakapagtapos kayo ng pag-aaral?” said Go.
Aside from Super Health Centers, Go had also earlier initiated the Malasakit Centers program that continues to provide easy access to medical assistance for particularly poor and indigent patients nationwide.
Principally authored and sponsored by Go, Republic Act No. 11463 mandates the establishment of Malasakit Centers in hospitals administered or managed by the DOH, and in the Philippine General Hospital. Hospitals run by local government units and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Center provided they meet a standard set of criteria to guarantee the sustainability of the center’s operations.
“For five years, the Malasakit Center, which serves as a one-stop shop for medical assistance programs, has been instrumental in helping seven million Filipinos with its 157 operational centers nationwide, according to the DOH,” he cited.
Malasakit Centers in the province are located at Quezon Medical Center in Lucena City and at Maria L. Eleazar General Hospital in Tagkawayan.
Go urged the residents not to be afraid of medical expenses and emphasized the importance of prioritizing their health and well-being, saying, “Nalulungkot po ako tuwing naririnig ko ‘yung mga kababayan nating mahihirap na ayaw magpa-checkup dahil takot po sa babayaran sa ospital. Huwag po kayong gano’n. Magtulungan po tayo.”
“Sino ba namang magtutulungan kung ‘di tayo lang po kapwa natin Pilipino? Nandirito po ako na handang magserbisyo sa inyong lahat, mga kababayan ko,” he added.
To contribute to the economic progress of Sariaya, Go, who is an adopted son of CALABARZON and Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, has likewise supported the funding for various infrastructure projects. These include the construction of slope protection systems along the Lagnas River, the establishment of the Sariaya Bypass, the rehabilitation of a bridge on the provincial road, the implementation of a potable water system, and the concreting of roads at the New Local Government Complex.
Within the province, Go has also supported initiatives such as the restoration of the Old Quezon Capitol building and the enhancement of the Quezon Eco Tourism Road in Lucena City.