Senator Bong Go expressed his appreciation for the commitment and dedication exhibited by the Batangas provincial government in advancing healthcare services in the province during the groundbreaking of the Batangas Provincial Medical Center in Tuy town recenly.
Go commended the relentless efforts of Batangas officials including Governor Dodo Mandanas, Vice Governor Mark Leviste, Congressmen Eric Buhain and Ray Reyes, Tuy Mayor Jose Jecerell Cerrado, San Luis Mayor Oscar Lito Hernandez and Vice Mayor Maan de Gracia, and Lian Vice Mayor Ronin Leviste, among others who were present.
In his speech, the legislator said that the ceremony marked a significant milestone in the ongoing endeavor to bolster the country’s health sector, which is a top priority for the senator as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
The lawmaker emphasized that the eventual completion of the Batangas Provincial Medical Center would provide access to quality medical care for the residents of Batangas and neighboring areas, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of the country’s healthcare system.
“Suportado ko po sila kung ano po ang makakatulong sa pag-improve pa ng ating healthcare system.”
“Congratulations po sa local government ng Batangas headed by your hardworking Governor Dodo Mandanas, isa sa pinakamagaling na gobernador sa buong Pilipinas, and of course, ang ating equally masipag na Vice Governor Mark Leviste, sa mga inisyatibong tulad nito. Ako po ang chairman ng Senate Committee on Health, kaya suportado ko po sila kung ano po ang makakatulong sa pag-improve pa ng ating healthcare system. Natutuwa ako na napili nila rito sa bayan ng Tuy, para po mas lumaki (pa ang hospital),” the senator said in an interview.
“Ibig sabihin kung gustong i-expand ni Governor pagdating ng panahon, may lugar pa po. And as chair ng Committee on Health sa abot ng aking makakaya ay tutulong po ako dahil advocacy ko po ang health. Alam n’yo mga kababayan ko the more we should invest in our healthcare system. Nabigla tayo sa panahon ng pandemya, napakahirap mabigla na hindi natin inaasahan tinamaan tayo ng pandemya,” he said.
The Batangas Provincial Medical Center, once fully operational, will focus on modernizing healthcare services and increasing medical capacity. It is expected to cater to a broader range of medical needs, including specialized treatments and procedures.
“Mas mabuti na handa tayo, mayroon tayong maayos na ospital. Kaya full support po ako sa pagtatayo ng bagong ospital in my own small capacity as chairman ng Committee on Health. Ttulong po ako sa abot ng aking makakaya para mas mapa-improve ang ating ospital dito sa Batangas,” Go stressed.
His support for the healthcare sector has been unwavering throughout his tenure, advocating for increased funding and resources to address the nation’s healthcare challenges.
Go reiterated his commitment to working closely with local governments to prioritize health-related initiatives and create opportunities for more significant advancements in medical infrastructure.
He then highlighted his brainchild, the Malasakit Centers program, which has brought immense benefits to the Filipino people. Go reiterated that his initiative has positively impacted the lives of over seven million Filipinos, as reported by the Department of Health (DOH).
“Mayroon na po tayong 158 na Malasakit Center sa buong Pilipinas. Batas na po ito na isinulong ko noon, pinirmahan ni dating pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte. It’s a one stop shop, nasa loob na po ng ospital ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno, Philhealth, PCSO, DOH, DSWD,” Go explained who is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act.
“Para po ‘yan sa poor and indigent patients at meron po kayong dalawang Malasakit Center dito po sa Batangas Medical Center sa Batangas City at sa Lemery, ‘yung provincial hospital. ‘Yun po ang plano ni Governor na ilipat ang Malasakit Center kapag natapos na po itong provincial hospital ninyo,” he added.
Go also said that the government has allocated necessary funds for the establishment of Super Health Centers (SHCs) in the province. Under the 2022 national budget, SHCs in Batangas were funded in San Pascual, Agoncillo, Calatagan, Lipa City, Malvar, and Taysan, aside from the one in Ibaan. In 2023, more centers were identified to be established in the towns of San Juan, Tingloy, Lian and San Jose. In addition, two more SHCs were funded in Lipa City.
The SHC is an improved version of a rural health center, and offers basic health services such as database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation center and telemedicine, through which remote diagnosis and treatment of patients is made possible.
“Kapag nagamot na po diyan sa mga Super Health Center hindi na kailangang dalahin pa sa mga ospital.”
“Pangalawang prayoridad ko po ito pong Super Health center. It’s a medium type of a polyclinic. Pwede diyan ang panganganak, dental, laboratory, xray. Konsulta na po diyan, early detection, primary care para makakatulong itong maka-decongest sa mga ospital dahil kapag nagamot na po diyan sa mga Super Health Center hindi na kailangang dalahin pa sa mga ospital,” he explained.
After the groundbreaking, Go aided 1,700 fellow Batangueños. The adopted son of CALABARZON who has familial roots in Batangas distributed essentials grocery packs, masks, vitamins, and snacks to all while bicycles, mobile phones, shoes, watches, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office provided financial assistance.
Apart from the health initiatives, he also supported several projects in the province as vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance. Among the projects are the construction and rehabilitation of a multipurpose building and the road concretion of a farm-to-market road.