Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) and 2019 senatorial candidate Bong Go said part of his advocacy is to improve access to quality healthcare and help promote the welfare of midwives and enhance their capabilities to serve the people.
Go made the commitment in his message at the 20th National General Assembly of the Philippine League of Government and Private Midwives, Inc. (PLGPM) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
In pushing for improved health services, the former presidential aide lamented that many public hospitals and health institutions are usually overflowing with patients that it is not unusual for three or more patients to share beds, while some even have to stay in the corridors.
“Papano po sila gagaling kung ganun ang kalagayan nila? Kung may pera po naman tayo sa gobyerno, uunahin ko talaga ang health services, pati po ang kapakanan ng midwives po,” the former palace official said.
He noted that leaders of the PLGPM have already told him they intend to push a law for the benefit of the country’s midwives.
“Sabi ko, asahan nyo po papakinggan ko po ang mga midwives, isusulong ko po ang inyong kapakanan. Tutulong po ako sa inyo,” Go said.
As part of his health agenda, he had called for increased funding for health services not only to improve the bed capacity of public health institutions but also to hike the salary of nurses and provide regular pay for barangay health workers who are at the forefront in the delivery of health programs.
The United Nations Population Fund had noted that midwives play a critical role in making a health system functional because they are at the frontline of providing essential maternal and newborn health care in communities.
In addition, Go said an important component of his health agenda is the establishment of the Malasakit Center.
“An important component of my health agenda is the establishment of Malasakit Center.”
A program of the Duterte administration based on his agenda, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned government agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Philhealth.
“Experimental pa po lamang ito pero gusto kong isabatas ito,” said Go, adding that through the enactment of a law, Malasakit Centers can be established in more provinces and key urban centers of the country and allow the program to continue even after the term of President Rodrigo Duterte has ended.
At present there are already 29 Malasakit Centers operating all over the country.
He also told the midwives of his commitment to support the program and policies of the Duterte administration, particularly the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
“Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go assured the midwives.
A neophyte in politics, he said he would rather not make any campaign promises, stressing he would serve the country consistent with what he learned about service from the President.
“I would rather not make any campaign promises.”
“Hintayin nyo na lang po ang resulta ng serbisyong tatak Duterte. Ang bisyo ko po magserbisyo,” Go said.
“Sa abot po ng aking makakaya (tutulong ako). Basta trabaho lang po kami at marami po akong natutunan sa ating Pangulo. Ang sabi po niya sa akin hindi ka magkakamali basta unahin mo ang ating mga kapatid na Pilipino,” he added.
Aside from health, Go’s legislative agenda also include programs for agriculture, education, housing, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, creation of a Department of overseas Filipino workers, barangay welfare and improved benefits for senior citizens.