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RIANO THANKS DUTERTE, GO FOR MALASAKIT CENTER

Governor Jose Riano of Romblon has expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go for the Malasakit Center initiative as it continues to serve Filipinos through its 146 locations nationwide including in his home province.

“Salamat sa Malasakit, President Rodrigo Duterte at Senator Bong Go,” Riano stated in a Facebook post.

The Malasakit Center, which intends to close gaps in health care access, brings together the offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under one roof to ease access to government medical assistance, particularly to poor and indigent patients.

“Simula ng magkaroon ng Malasakit Center sa Romblon Provincial Hospital noong July 2020 at sa Romblon District Hospital noong September 2021 ay umabot na sa 7,447 na mga kababayan natin ang natulungan na katumbas ng halos P35.6 million, as of October 2021,” he added.

Senator Go attended the virtual launch of the country’s 73rd Malasakit Center at Romblon Provincial Hospital in Odiongan town last July 7, 2020. The provincial government of Romblon was subsequently permitted to open an extension Malasakit Center inside the Romblon District Hospital in the capital town of Romblon.

Riano emphasized the importance of Malasakit Centers in assisting Filipinos in need of medical help, particularly during the pandemic.

“Sa panahon ng pandemya, naging malaking tulong ang Malasakit Center lalo na sa mga indigent nating mga kababayan upang makakuha ng medical assistance sa mga babayaran sa ospital,” he said.

“Sa halip na problemahin ang hospital bills ay halos libre o zero balance nalang ang natitira,” he added.

Many of the centers’ beneficiaries, according to Riano, have expressed their gratitude for the significant assistance they have received through the initiative.

“Ako po’y lubos na natutuwa lalo na sa mga pasasalamat na inyong pinaparating kapag nirereport sa akin ng mga officials natin sa field na sobrang naging malaking tulong ang medical assistance na inyong natanggap,” said Riano.

“Kaya lubus-lubos din ang aking pasasalamat kina President Rodrigo Duterte at Senator Bong Go sa lahat ng medical assistance na ating natanggap mula sa Malasakit Center,” he added.

The one-stop shop aims to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest amount possible by covering various patient services and expenses, pursuant to Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which Go principally authored and sponsored in the Senate.

Go’s experience working under then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte exposed him to the stressful and difficult process Filipinos go through just 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.

“Sa twenty-three years kong pagsisilbi sa ilalim ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, nakita ko araw-araw ‘yung mga problema ng bansa. Maraming mahihirap ang pumupunta ng Davao noon para humingi ng tulong sa kanilang pampa-ospital. Ubos na panahon nila, ubos pa pera nila sa pamasahe,” Go said.

“Sabi ko, bakit ba natin pinapahirapan ang mga Pilipino kung pera naman nila ‘yan. Kaya nung naging senador ako, itinulak ko ang Malasakit Centers Act. Target nito ay ‘zero balance’ para wala ng babayaran ang mga poor at indigent,” he explained. 

The Malasakit Center, which intends to close gaps in health care access, brings together the offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under one roof to ease access to government medical assistance, particularly to poor and indigent patients.

The one-stop shop aims to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest amount possible by covering various patient services and expenses, pursuant to Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which Go principally authored and sponsored in the Senate.

More than 3 million patients have benefitted since the Malasakit Center program was initiated in 2018.

On October 25, the 145th Malasakit Center opened at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Quezon City; and the 146th on October 27 at the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center in Las Piñas City.

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