The country’s 77th Malasakit Center opened at the Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital in Guimaras. It is the fifth Malasakit Center in the Western Visayas region and the 20th in the Visayas.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, explained the Malasakit Center simplifies the process for individuals seeking medical and financial assistance from various government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), among others.
Go authored Republic Act (RA) 11463 mandating all hospitals run by the DOH and the Philippine General Hospital in Manila to establish Malasakit Centers.
The lawmaker narrated the concept started years back with the sick and elderly from nearby provinces visiting Davao City to seek financial assistance from then city mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“Hindi namin matiis na hindi tumulong. Hinanapan namin ng paraan. Kaya nung naging Presidente siya, sabi ko ano bang konsepto ang pwede nating gawin at dyan ko po napag-isipan itong Malasakit Center (We cannot afford not to help. We looked for ways and means. That’s why when he became President, I said what concept could we do to help more people and that’s the time that the Malasakit Center came to my mind),’’ Go said.
Due to its success, he decided to institutionalize it into a law when he was elected as Senator in 2019.
“Sinubukan namin sa Cebu. Ang dami po — mahigit 100,000 ang natulungan. Sinubukan natin sa Bacolod, sa Iloilo, sa Tacloban, at sa iba pang lugar hanggang dumami po ito. Kaya nung naging Senator po ako, sabi ko isabatas nalang natin ito para mas marami pang Pilipino ang matulungan (We tried it in Cebu. We were able to help more than 100 thousand people there. We also tried it in Bacolod, Iloilo and Tacloban and other places. When I became a senator, I said I want this legislated into law so we could help more Filipinos),’’ he pointed out.