Municipal mayors in Cebu province have lauded the Malasakit Center project of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte as it brings government services closer to the poor and the marginalized, League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter president Tuburan Mayor Aljun Diamante said.
Diamante said the mayors in Cebu commended former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go for championing the said project.
“The Malasakit Center is a perfect project of former SAP Bong Go,” Diamante said, adding that many people from different municipalities have benefited from the various services they availed at the Malasakit Center.
He noted that poor patients in government hospitals usually receive financial aid from the mayor’s office, but assistance is usually limited due to the scarcity of funds from the local government units.
“With the Malasakit Center, our constituents go home smiling because they have spent nothing when they discharged their patients out of government hospitals,” Diamante said.
“With the Malasakit Center, our constituents go home smiling because they have spent nothing when they discharged their patients out of government hospitals.”
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop located in hospitals run by government, most of them are retained by the Department of Health. In the center, a patient can process financial assistance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The program is envisioned to provide poor patients with zero-balance billing, Malasakit Center officer-in-charge Girlie Veloso emphasized.
He said the mayors in Cebu are hoping that the former special assistant of President Rodrigo Duterte would further strengthen the Malasakit Center program if he gets elected to the Senate in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Go was the guest of honor of LMP-Cebu Chapter’s year-end evaluation and Christmas party. All 44 mayors from the municipalities in Cebu province attended the event held in Marco Polo Hotel in Cebu City.
In the said event, the former presidential aide lauded the dedication to public service of 18 of 44 mayors in Cebu province who are currently serving their third and last term.
He thanked the mayors for their long and committed service to the public. “I’m sure that you have a good service record and that has become the reason why you stay long in the service to the people.”
Go said some of the local chief executives might rest or some of them might continue to run in another position “but regardless of position and label, I hope my message would also inspire all of you to unceasingly be of service to the nation.”
He emphasized the value of selfless service. “Public service is a huge sacrifice. Personal interests have to be set aside because your priority will always be the people. But when done right, its effects will always be remembered,” he said.
The former special assistant to the president also cited President Duterte as a prime example of a leader who has dedicated his life to serving the public.
“Wala nang ibang gusto si Pangulong Duterte kundi makatulong sa kapwa at magbigay serbisyo na tapat at may malasakit (President Duterte has no other intention except to help others and to give a kind of service that is with honesty and compassion),” Go added.
He told the mayors that included in his legislative agenda is to continue to support the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, crimes, and corruption.
“Corruption is the poison that destroys a society,” he said. “The people must know where their money is going and that projects must definitely benefit the larger community.”
“Corruption is the poison that destroys a society. The people must know where their money is going and that projects must definitely benefit the larger community.”
Go also vowed to help lessen red tape through a review of the Government Procurement Law in order to make government funds readily available to benefit the constituencies of local government units.
Likewise, he told the mayors that he is advocating for additional healthcare programs that would cater to the needs of the poor, like the institutionalization of the Malasakit Centers.
Duterte launched the pilot Malasakit Center at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City last February.
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