DATU ABDULLAH SANGKI, Maguindanao, August 20, 2018 — A Malasakit Center may soon rise in Maguindanao to help its residents avail themselves of government health services at no cost.
In an interview today during the celebration of the 14th founding anniversary of this municipality and 4th Kagalawan Festival, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he will assess the government provincial hospital to see if a Malasakit Center could be put up there.
“Ito po yung programa namin na mas mapadali ang tulong na medical tulad ng zero balance bill. It’s a one-stop shop po na iguguide natin sila sa DSWD, sa PhilHealth, sa DOH, sa PCSO, hanggang bumaba ang bill nila. Maging zero,” he said.
(This is our program that makes it easier to get medical services like zero balance bill. It’s a one-stop shop that guides patients to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, PhilHealth, Department of Health, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office so that their medical bills would be reduced until they reach zero.)
In his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte highlighted the key role Go played in establishing Malasakit Centers in the Visayas — one each in Tacloban, Iloilo, and Cebu.
“Dun po tutulong yung Malasakit Center kasi importante po ito lalo na sa mga pasyente. Huwag natin sila pahirapan. Ito yung mga panahon na malayo yung iniisip nila so tulungan natin sila,” Go said.
(This is where the Malasakit can help the patients. Let’s not make things more difficult for them. When they are sick their minds are focused on other things, so we have to help them.)
In his speech, Go praised the local government of Datu Abdullah Sangki for giving priority to the health and social welfare of its citizens as wheelchairs were given away to select senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the same event.
Moreover, Go said government has many plans for Maguindanao, including the building of seaports, improvements to the Cotabato airport, free wifi internet connection, and farm-to-market roads.
“And of course, itong security and peace and order. Ito naman talaga ang pangunahin pangako niya, to improve the peace and order. Nasa martial law pa po tayo ngunit wala naman tayong nakikitang mga abuses ng militar dito,” he said.
(And of course peace and order. This was really the President’s primary promise. We are under martial law but we have not seen abuses committed by the military.)
After his visit to the municipality of Datu Abdullah Sangki, Go proceeded to the municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao to also join its 71st founding anniversary festivities.
In a separate interview, he committed to look into the possible improvements of the Pollok International Port as well as other projects being undertaken by the Duterte government that will benefit the people of Maguindanao.
“Lahat po ng mga pending projects na nakalaan dito (all pending projects for this area), I will make a follow-up… And I will talk to your mayor, congressmen, and other LGU officials to see how we can help,” he said.
Go reiterated the commitment of the Duterte administration to make sure that the development of Mindanao, especially in the poorest provinces, is given equal priority.
“Kaya ang Presidente, pantay pantay ang kanyang pagtanaw sa mga rehiyon. Sisiguraduhin namin na walang lugar na mapapabayaan. Lahat dapat ay makaramdam ng progreso ng bansa,” he said.
(The President will give equal attention to all regions. We will make sure no area is neglected. Every Filipino should feel the progress that is happening in the country)
According to Go, more opportunities will be given to the people of Maguindanao through the various infrastructure projects being built.
“Mas maraming oportunidad ang naghihintay sa lugar lalo na sa pagpapagawa ng Mindanao Railway Project na kokonekta sa iba’t ibang mga lungsod at probinsya ng Mindanao at magpapabuti sa daloy ng produkto, serbisyo at mga tao sa rehiyon,” he said.
(More opportunities will be given as we build the Mindanao railway project that will connect various areas in Mindanao and will improve the flow of products, services and people in the whole region.)