Press Release
June 28, 2023

Citing important role of pharmacists, Bong Go commends new officers and trustees of the Philippine Pharmacists Association, Inc.

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, personally witnessed the oath taking ceremony of the new officers and trustees of the Philippine Pharmacists Association, Inc. (PPhA) at the Shangri-La The Fort, Manila in Taguig City on Sunday, June 25.

Showing his support for the advancement of the pharmacy profession in the country, Go highlighted in his speech the crucial role of the association in ensuring that Filipino pharmacists are given opportunities for growth and development in their careers.

"Today, we gather to witness the induction of the dedicated individuals who will lead this esteemed organization and I am honored to address you all on this auspicious occasion. The Philippine Pharmacists Association Inc. holds a significant place in our nation's history. 'Ika nga, since 1920 (pa)," remarked Go.

"With its impressive network, the PPhA has become a unifying force for pharmacists from all walks of life. It serves as a platform for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and professional development, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie among its members," he cited.

The PPhA, established in the middle of the 1920s, has been at the forefront of promoting the pharmacy profession in the Philippines. The association has actively engaged in various initiatives such as educational campaigns, research endeavors, and advocacy programs to elevate the standards of pharmacy practice in the country.

The oath taking ceremony saw the formal induction of the newly elected officers and trustees who will lead the PPHA in its mission to promote excellence in pharmaceutical care and strengthen the role of pharmacists in the healthcare system.

Continuing his message, Go commended the association for its dedication to upholding the highest standards of pharmacy practice in the country. He emphasized the crucial role pharmacists play in delivering quality healthcare services to the Filipino people, particularly in the midst of the ongoing challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Today, we celebrate not only the accomplishments of the Philippine Pharmacists Association but also the indomitable spirit of its members. Your unwavering commitment to improving healthcare services, promoting patient safety, and ensuring access to quality pharmaceutical care is truly commendable," Go underscored.

"As you assume your respective roles, I have no doubt that you will lead with integrity, innovation, and a deep sense of purpose. To the members of the association, I encourage you to continue your pursuit of excellence. Your collective efforts and collaboration are instrumental in shaping the future of pharmacy in our country," he highlighted.

The senator reiterated his full support for the health sector, acknowledging the need for continuous professional development and training to enhance the competencies of medical professionals including pharmacists.

He also reiterated the importance of a collaborative approach among the government, healthcare professionals, and the private sector to ensure the provision of quality and affordable healthcare to all Filipinos.

"Once again, congratulations to the PPhA on this momentous occasion. May your installation ceremony mark the beginning of a new chapter filled with remarkable achievements and continued success," Go stressed.

"Together, let us embrace new technologies, adapt to emerging trends, and champion the highest standards of patient care... Maraming salamat. Congratulations po, Pharmacist Association. Ingat po kayong lahat. Mahal na mahal ko po kayo," he ended.

Partylist Representative Anthony Rolando Golez, Jr. also joined the event and led the oath-taking of new officers and trustees.

In recognition of the contributions of various professions related to health care, Go had also earlier attended the 2nd National Department of Health Employees Association (NADEA) Convention at the Manila Hotel in Manila City last May, and the 3rd National Summit of the Philippine Society of Medical Laboratory Scientists Inc. (PSMLS) in Sta. Cruz, Manila City last June 21.

The senator has consistently reassured during these engagements that his priority is to bring public health services closer to those in need especially for the poor. Among these initiatives he championed are the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers, the expansion of Super Health Centers in strategic locations as identified by the Department of Health, and the continuing operations of Malasakit Centers nationwide.

Go is an author and the principal sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2212 or the proposed Regional Specialty Centers Act. On May 31, both houses of Congress ratified the Bicameral Conference Report on the said measure. If the bill is signed into law by the President, the DOH shall be mandated to establish specialty centers in designated DOH-hospitals in every region within a span of five years.

Moreover, Go has been supporting efforts to establish Super Health Centers in various parts of the country to provide better access to basic medical services to the poor, particularly in remote areas. Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. The DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.

Furthermore, Go has been actively monitoring the provision of medical assistance to indigent patients provided by Malasakit Centers. Go is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019. To date, there are already 158 centers nationwide which has benefitted more than seven million Filipinos so far, according to DOH data.

Recognizing the crucial role of medical professionals in delivering quality care to patients, Go has also been actively advocating for measures to improve the working conditions, benefits, and opportunities for professional development of healthcare workers.

Go has authored and co-sponsored Republic Act No. 11712 to ensure that both public and private healthcare workers receive necessary ongoing benefits and allowances during times of public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, the lawmaker cited his active involvement as an author and co-sponsor of the Salary Standardization 5, which was enacted in the 18th Congress to provide civilian government employees, including nurses and other medical professionals in government, another round of salary increases broken down in tranches.

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