SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday joined the launching of the Malasakit Center at the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center in Pagadian City, ensuring easier access to better healthcare services to Zambosurians and residents of nearby provinces.
The Malasakit Center is the 42nd in the country, 11th in Mindanao and fourth in the Zamboanga Peninsula, where similar centers are also located in the cities of Zamboanga, Dapitan and Dipolog.
In his message, Go said the Duterte administration hoped to launch more centers nationwide in the succeeding months to provide millions of Filipinos better access to government medical and financial assistance.
The launch was led by Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, 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.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where representatives of different government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DoH), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Department of Social Welfare and Development, are gathered under one roof.
In these centers, applicants seeking financial assistance for their medical concerns need to fill out one form only and need not queue to different government offices. The centers also have special express lanes for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Go has earlier pointed out that the Malasakit Center initiative is just one of the ways government give back the taxpayers’ money to the Filipinos.
The lawmaker has filed Senate Bill 199 or the “Malasakit Center Act of 2019” to institutionalize these centers in the country’s healthcare system. This will also pave the way for the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all DoH-run hospitals.