By Analou De Vera
Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go led the launch of the 19th ‘Malasakit Center’ on Monday at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop of various government agencies which offer financial assistance related to hospitalizations. Among them are the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The initiative is aimed at reducing the waiting time, queues and paper works that patients had to undergo just to avail financial assistance services from the said agencies.
The former presidential aide said the establishment of Malasakit Centers is a “continuing program,” as one of the priorities of the administration is to “improve medical services around the country.”
Go reiterated that those who will avail the services in Malasakit Center do not have to bring any identification cards or other requirements.
“Basta Filipino qualified po kayo. Wala nang ibang requirements na hinihingi. Pera po ito ng gobyerno at ibinabalik lang sa inyo [If you are a Filipino, you are qualified. No more other requirements needed. These are government funds which are just being returned to all of you] ,” he said.
Other Malasakit Centers have been established in Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, Dumaguete City, Bacolod City, Tagbilaran City, Davao City, Butuan, Cagayan De Oro City, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City.
Also present during the launch were Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Diño, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, and former Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson among others.