Straight from his attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony for the housing construction project for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tanauan, Leyte and candle lighting ceremony commemorating the tragedy, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” went immediately to Tacloban City on Friday, November 8, to assist victims who lost their homes in a fire incident recently.
Go brought groceries, food packs and financial assistance, and distributed them to the 49 families affected by the fire incident that occurred in Brgy. 37 of Seawall Area in Tacloban City on November 2.
“Pangako ko noon na papasukin ko at pupuntahan ang bawat iskinita at sulok ng bansa hanggang sa makakaya ko para malaman ko ang inyong hinaing at makapagpadala ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan,” Go told fire victims.
The senator also told the crowd that he will help provide uniforms and school supplies for students who were affected by the fire.
Representatives from the different government agencies were also present to provide additional assistance to the fire victims. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) representatives offered livelihood assistance while the National Housing Authority (NHA) extended housing assistance to the qualified victims.
Go also encouraged those who need medical assistance to go to the nearest Malasakit Center to seek government aid. While another Malasakit Center is set to be established in Leyte, Go encouraged the residents to utilize the first one built at Eastern Visayas Medical Center where they can avail of medical assistance from government agencies, like Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and PhilHealth.
“Sa mga nasaktan sa sunog o maysakit, pumunta po kayo sa pinakamalapit na Malasakit Center dito sa Tacloban. Makakatulong po ang Malasakit Center sa inyo dahil hindi kayo pababayaan sa pag-assist na makakuha ng financial medical assistance,” Go said.
“Walang pinipili dito… Basta Pilipino ka, pwede kang humingi ng tulong dito,” he added.
Go also said that the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 is nearing approval in the Senate and will hopefully become a law soon to institutionalize it and serve more Filipinos in need of medical assistance.
“Sa ngayon, pumasa na po sa second reading (sa Senado). And hopefully po sa Kongreso with the help of the majority floor leader, maipasa na rin (sa lower house),” Go explained, referring to the support committed by House Majority Floor Leader and Tacloban City representative Martin Romualdez who was also present to provide assistance to his fellow Taclobanons.
Go said that he seeks to institutionalize and set criteria for the establishment of Malasakit Centers to ensure that these centers are properly staffed so that concerned agencies are represented and are functioning properly to help every Filipino in need of medical assistance even beyond the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Gusto natin magkaroon ng criteria para sundin… Gusto nating kumpleto ung serbisyo. Isang one-stop shop po itong Malasakit Center para di na sila kailangan pumunta pa sa iba’t ibang opisina ng gobyerno para lang humingi ng tulong mula sa perang kanila naman po talaga,” Go said.
Based on the current version of the proposed measure, Go is pushing for the establishment of more Malasakit Centers, prioritizing first all 73 DOH-run hospitals nationwide. “Unahin muna ito. And ung mga LGUs naman, may criteria, dapat sila may bahay, may kwarto para dun sa apat na ahensya,” the senator emphasized.
The centers will serve as one-stop shops for medical and financial assistance to indigent and poor patients, putting in one center all government agencies presently involved in giving these medical assistances. Malasakit Centers will also serve as health care processing centers for patient assistance and referral to provide much needed system support for patient navigation under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.
“Pera niyo po ito. Ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal para sa lahat ng Pilipino,” Go added.