Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go gave a speech on Sunday where he emphasized the focus of the Duterte administration on providing better healthcare for Filipinos. Go’s delivered his speech while attending a medical and dental mission organized for victims of the recent Typhoon ‘Ompong’, held at Balin Sambali Hotel in Iba, Zambales.
“For some of us, it is a normal thing to go to the doctor or a healthcare provider whenever we are ill or in need of medical treatment. But for many Filipinos all over the country, access to healthcare is not even an option,” Go said.
Poverty stands in the way of many Filipinos, blocking their access to proper medical attention and limiting their rights to full and healthy lives. The abundance of hospitals even in the country’s capital region does not mean proper treatment and attention is actually accessible, as the cost of care exceeds the capabilities of many.
“May ibang mga pamilya po na kailangan pang mag-ipon ng pera ng ilang buwan o taon para lamang makapagpa-tingin sa doktor (There are some families who need to save up money for months or even years just to have a medical check up),” said Go.
SAP Bong Go has been heavily involved with the Duterte administration’s efforts to extend the current network of affordable healthcare clinics, particularly with the expansion of the Malasakit Center program.
During his speech, Go announced the plans to put up a Malasakit Center in the city to provide easier, more efficient, and constant health assistance to the public of Iba and it’s surrounding communities.
“May maganda po akong balita, plano pong maglagay ng Malasakit Center dito sa inyong government hospital. It’s a one-stop shop para matulungan po natin ang ating mga pasyente and huwag po sila mahirapan sa mga panahon na nalilito sila saan sila lalapit (I have good news. There is a plan to put up a Malasakit Center here in your government hospital. It is a one-stop-shop to help patients to avoid times when they don’t know who or where to seek health assistance),” Go said.
The Malasakit Center program is an initiative of the Duterte administration which serves to hasten the delivery of medical services, and to give poor patients access to free medicine. The Centers have fast lanes which prioritize senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD). The program is a collaboration between the the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), with these agencies sponsoring the services and financial assistance needed by patients, in order to lift the burden of medical bills off the shoulders of the individual.
Go also took time to speak about the many public works programs for Zambales, including the Subic-Clark railway project, the Bagac Mariveles, and the CAPAS-Botolan roads, and the PHP10 billion tourism project in Candelaria, Zambales, among others.
Before leaving, Go committed to personally follow up on the status of these projects with their respective agencies, and to report on the progress to the President and to the people of Zambales.