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Bohol vulnerable communities should take advantage of Malasakit Centers

Vulnerable communities in Bohol should take advantage of the Duterte administration’s Malasakit Center services, with Sen. Lawrence “Bong” Go urging them to prioritize their health needs.

Go made the call in a video message to communities in Dagohoy, Danao, Trinidad, Sagbayan, San Miguel, and Bien Unido in Bohol and urged residents to prioritize their health care needs amid the ongoing public health emergency. In addition, the Senator sent his team to the province to hand over aid to various sectoral groups.

“Mga kababayan ko, mayroon na ho tayong 138 na Malasakit Center sa buong Pilipinas. Ang Malasakit Center po ay batas na, isinulong ko po noon, pinirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go.

“Zero balance po ang target ng Malasakit Center para po sa mga poor and indigent patients ang Malasakit Center, para po ‘yan sa Pilipino. Lapitan niyo lang po ang Malasakit Center, handang tumulong po ‘yan sa ating kapwa Pilipino,” he added.

He told them to avail the Malasakit Center services in the province located in Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City and Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital in Ubay, Bohol.

The centers are one-stop shops where partnered agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, will provide timely assistance to indigent patients to help them reduce their hospital expenses by covering various patient services and fees.

Go’s experiences working under Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte exposed him to the stressful and challenging process Filipinos go through to seek government aid for their medical bills. These encounters moved him to conceptualize the one-stop-shop which he promised to push for during his senatorial campaign.

Republic Act No. 11463, or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, authored and sponsored by Go, was eventually signed by President Duterte in December 2019. The law mandates establishing the centers in every DOH-run hospital nationwide and the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.

Other public hospitals can also establish their Malasakit Centers provided they meet the standard set of criteria and guarantee the availability of funds for the center’s operation.

Meanwhile, the Senator asked the residents for their continuous cooperation to immediately overcome the pandemic.

“Mga kababayan ko, kaunting tiis lang po. Alam kong nahihirapan po kayo, kami rin po ni Pangulong Duterte nahihirapan din po kami. Subalit kayo po ang nagbibigay lakas sa amin para pa po makapagserbisyo, upang malampasan po natin itong krisis na ating kinakaharap,” said Go.

“Kailangan po namin ang tulong ninyo, hindi po namin kaya itong gawin mag-isa sa gobyerno. Kailangan po ng tulong, kailangan po ng kooperasyon, kailangan po ang disiplina ng bawat isa,” he added.

Go’s staff organized six different distribution activities at Cultural Center in Sagbayan; Municipal Gyms of Danao, San Miguel, Trinidad, Bien Unido; and Meeting Hall in Dagohoy, which aided a total of 526 residents.

The beneficiaries were grouped into smaller batches, and necessary safety and health protocols were strictly observed throughout the relief operations to prevent the further spread of the virus.

All the beneficiaries received meals, masks, face shields, and vitamins from Go. Select beneficiaries were also given new pairs of shoes and bicycles that they can use.

In addition, some beneficiaries received computer tablets to let their children participate more actively in class while pursuing education through the blended learning model.

Staff from several agencies were also present to provide additional assistance to the residents. The Department of Social Welfare and Development gave livelihood assistance grants to all beneficiaries, while the Department of Trade and Industry offered further livelihood support to qualified recipients.

Lastly, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority conducted their assessment wherein chosen individuals will receive scholarship grants.

Go also extended support to several infrastructure projects in each municipality to ensure economic growth and improved public service delivery. These include the concreting and upgrading farm to market roads in Bien Unido; concreting of a local access road in San Miguel; and repairing and improving the Sagbayan Public Market.

He also supported other development projects throughout the province, including the construction of a municipal slaughterhouse and improvement of a waterworks system in Inabanga; improvement of the road network and structure of roads in Talibon; installation of solar-powered street lights in Getafe; improvement of public market and provision of a mini-dump truck in Clarin; and construction of a multi-purpose building and concretion of several farm-to-market roads in Buenavista.

Other initiatives he supported are the construction of multi-purpose buildings in Dauis, Loay, Alicia, Anda, Balilihan, Batuan, Danao, Dimiao, Duero, Garcia-Hernandez, Guindulman, Loon, Valencia and Tagbilaran City; construction or improvement of evacuation centers in Panglao, Anda, Balilihan, Carmen, Corella, Garcia-Hernandez and Valencia; and improvement of existing roads in Baclayon and Loay, among others.

Go then thanked the local officials of Dagohoy, Danao, Trinidad, Sagbayan, San Miguel, and Bien Unido for providing tremendous service to their residents and ensuring that all essential support is provided.

“Mga kababayan, magtiwala lang kayo sa inyong gobyerno, magtiwala kayo sa bakuna at magtulungan lang tayo. Sino lang ba ang magtutulungan kung ‘di tayo lang din kapwa nating Pilipino,” Go appealed.

“Salamat sa inyong lahat, mag-ingat at magdasal tayo palagi. Mahal namin kayo ni Presidente Duterte, salamat sa inyong lahat,” he ended.

On 10 August, Go’s team distributed similar aid to 1,244 individuals from several sectors in Danao and Loboc. They also aided 1,433 essential workers in the towns of Talibon, Getafe, Buenavista, San Isidro, Inabanga, and Clarin on 1 September.

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