Go assures focus on health needs of Filipinos, front-liners

COTABATO CITY – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has assured the people and health front-liners in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that the government is always ready to attend to their needs in the face of the pandemic.

Go, in a monitoring visit here Friday afternoon (Sept. 24), also assured the workers of the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC), who are themselves battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), that he is working hard on the passage of bills that ensure allowances and benefits to health care workers.

“All health care workers on duty are considered exposed to Covid-19. We cannot see this virus and it is hard to separate those who are directly exposed from those who are not,” he told officials of the CRMC here. “All health workers in both private and government facilities are included in the proposed Senate bill on special risk allowance that I had filed.”

Go also led two groundbreaking ceremonies for vital health facilities – a new building intended for the 16th Malasakit Center he inaugurated on Nov. 19, 2018, and a 100-bed capacity Covid-19 isolation and treatment facility in the BARMM – both at the CRMC compound.

The CRMC is the Covid-19 referral hospital in Soccsksargen and the BARMM in Central Mindanao.

“We all know that once you are inside the hospital, you cannot say you are not exposed to the virus,” he added.

Go said the new Malasakit building alone, once completed, would enhance the services it renders to the poor.

“The Malasakit Center is for the poor and the indigents, for the hapless and helpless that have nowhere to go for their medical needs,” he said in his speech, noting that it serves as a one-stop shop for the poor, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities, where they could avail of free access to medical services by the government.

Under the program, poor patients are assisted in availing of services and financial assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, among others.

“These agencies will help the poor avail of zero bills for their patients in hospitals,” Go said, adding that 141 Malasakit centers are functioning across the country.