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Davao City, Philippines

Go calls Lagman ‘anti-poor’ for questioning Malasakit Centers

August 24, 2019 - Saturday 5:08 PM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image Senator Christopher Lawrence Go makes his way to Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya in Davao City to visit victims of a fire that hit the area recently. Arjoy M. Ceniza

DAVAO CITY -- Senator Christopher Lawrence Go described Albay 5th District Rep. Edcel Lagman as “anti-poor” for questioning the operation of the Malasakit Centers which the senator had initiated.

Go made the statement on Friday evening as he visited the victims of a recent fire in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya here.

During the congressional deliberations on the proposed 2020 budget last week, Lagman called for a probe of the operations of Malasakit Centers, saying there must be legal basis for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to fund the centers.

Lagman also said the Malasakit Centers are a “partisan tool” rather than medical outlets.

Go, however, said the PCSO does not provide funds for the establishment of Malasakit Centers and merely provides assistance to those in need. He also said all the agencies involved in the centers retain their medical assistance programs with their separate funds.

“PCSO is just one of the agencies in the Malasakit Center providing medical assistance. The centers are just a one-stop shop inside public hospitals  so the patients do not need to waste their time lining up in different government agencies just to seek help,” Go said.

“Ito si congressman Lagman, ikaw ang anti-poor, ikaw ang nakikisali sa politika,” he added.

(Congressman Lagman, you are the one who is anti-poor, you are the one politicizing things.)

Go said the Malasakit Center project was established to provide fast, efficient, and reliable medical assistance to all Filipinos.

He also assured the public that there are no partisan or political considerations, no selective assistance, and no need for any endorsement letter of Identification card from politicians.

“Sabi ko noon, basta Pilipino, matanda o bata, babae o lalaki, kakampi sa politika o hindi, it does not matter. Basta nangangailangan ay pwede humingi ng tulong sa mga Malasakit Centers saan man sa bansa,”  he said.

(I’ve already said, all Filipinos, young or old, female or male, political ally or not, it does not matter. Anyone in need can ask for help in the Malasakit Centers anywhere in the country.)

The center is staffed by representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and other government agencies.

“Malasakit Center becomes the processing center or the one-stop-shop found in public hospitals so that patients do not need to waste their time lining up in different government agencies just to seek help," Go said.

Go also expressed readiness to Lagman's call for an investigation into the operations of Malasakit Centers, noting that the very first Malasakit Center that was established in Albay is operating successfully.

“Isa sa mga nalagyan ng Malasakit Center ay yong mismong lugar mo at dumalo pa mismo ang anak mong vice governor ng Albay. Isa siya sa pumunta at sumusuporta sa Malasakit Center,” he said.

(One of the first places to have a Malasakit Center is your province, and your own son, who is the vice governor of Albay, attended the opening. He was one of those who gave support to the Malasakit Center.)