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40th Malasakit Center in the country launched

August 11, 2019 - Sunday 1:08 PM by MDM

Senator Christopher Lawrence Go speaks to a mother whose child is being treated at the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital.

Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Friday attended the launch of the 40th Malasakit Center in the country located at the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital, improving access to affordable and quality healthcare among the city's residents.

The event was led by Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino of the Office of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) and City Mayor Rex Gatchalian. OPAV was a partner of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President in establishing earlier Malasakit Centers when Go was still with the executive branch.

Last Friday’s launch marked a milestone in Go's Malasakit Center initiative as the one in Valenzuela City was the 40th in the country and 17th in Luzon.

In his speech, Go recounted how his vision of providing quick access to affordable quality healthcare to all Filipinos through Malasakit Centers came into fruition.

"Nagsimula po itong Malasakit Center noong Special Assistant to the President pa ang inyong Kuya Bong. Iminungkahi ko ito sa Pangulo dahil sa mahigit dalawampung taon kong paglilingkod sa kanya, nakita ko na napakalaking problema sa mga Pilipino kapag may miyembro ng pamilya na nagkakasakit," he said.

Go also shared how his experience as aide to President Rodrigo Duterte for more than two decades inspired him to pursue his advocacy on making public services, particularly healthcare, available and affordable to all Filipinos. 

"Para sa inyo ang opisinang ito dahil pera ng bayan ang ginagamit dito. Ibinabalik lang ng maayos ang ipinagkatiwala ninyo sa gobyerno," he added.

Aware that these one-stop-shop centers assist thousands of Filipinos every day, Go vowed to institutionalize them through his proposed Senate Bill No. 199, also known as the Malasakit Center Act of 2019, so that their operations will continue even beyond the Duterte Administration.

“The Malasakit Centers have helped thousands of Filipinos, and I will make sure that they will be able to help so many more," Go said.

"The first bill that I filed in the Senate aims to institutionalize Malasakit Centers. This means that if passed into law, the Malasakit Centers will have a bigger and regular budget every year and their operations will continue regardless of who is seated in Malacañang," he further said.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela City 1st District Representative Weslie Gatchalian, who was also present during the ceremony, said that he has filed a counterpart Malasakit Center bill in the lower house (HB 2309) which requires PhilHealth to establish, operate and maintain these offices in all public hospitals.

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