Bong Go sends assistance to indigents in Dingalan, Aurora; highlights Malasakit Centers to help with medical expenses

More disadvantaged communities were given assistance by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go as he sent his team to provide assistance to struggling residents in Dingalan, Aurora on Friday, May 5.

In his video message, Go, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, advised those with health concerns to visit Aurora Memorial Hospital in Baler where there is a Malasakit Center available.

A one-stop shop where particularly poor and indigent patients may avail of medical assistance from the government, the Malasakit Center was initiated by Go in 2018 and was later institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463 in 2019, which he principally authored and sponsored.

The Malasakit Center houses concerned agencies, such as Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, to ensure medical assistance programs are within the public’s reach.

The center aims to reduce to the lowest amount possible the hospital bills of those who seek medical assistance. It covers patient services and expenses, such as laboratories, medicines, surgeries and operations. According to DOH, the Malasakit Centers program has helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide.

“Ang target po ng Malasakit Center ay maging zero balance po ang inyong billing. Kaya huwag po kayong mahihiyang lumapit sa Malasakit Center dahil para po yan sa inyo, mga kababayan kong Pilipino. At ngayon po, meron na po tayong 157 na Malasakit Centers sa buong Pilipinas na handang tumulong po sa inyo,” explained Go.

“Mga kababayan ko, nais ko rin po kayong hikayatin na magpabakuna na po kayo. Kung hindi pa po kayo bakunado at eligible naman po kayo, magpabakuna na po kayo dahil ito ang ating susi sa ngayon upang makabalik sa normal na pamumuhay,” he added.

Mounted at Dingalan municipal gymnasium, Go’s team provided snacks, vitamins, masks, and shirts to the 150 residents while they also gave away a pair of shoes and one mobile phone to select recipients.

Apart from the assistance provided by Go, representatives from DSWD granted the residents financial assistance.

The senator, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported the construction of Reserva-Ipil Road in Baler and Dipaculao, and acquisition of garbage trucks and water system improvement in San Luis, among others.

Together with the DOH, Go also supported the construction of a Super Health Center in Dipaculao.

Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the DOH for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.

“Mga kababayan ko, ako po ang inyong Kuya Bong Go, ang bisyo ko po ay magserbisyo. Bukas po lagi ang aking tanggapan at handa po akong magserbisyo po sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya,” said Go.

“Kami po ni (dating) pangulong Duterte ay naririto lang po na handang magserbisyo po sa inyong lahat, sa kapwa naming Pilipino. Magseserbisyo po kami sa inyong lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya. Magtulungan lang po tayo, magbayanihan at magmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino,” he ended.

Last April 29, the team of Go provided similar assistance to more poor communities in Baler, Casiguran, and Maria Aurora.