Press Release
September 11, 2023

Bong Go's Malasakit Center transforms lives in Barangay Arkong Bato, Valenzuela City

Barangay Arkong Bato in Valenzuela City has confronted a series of adversities, ranging from catastrophic fires to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic. In response to these challenges, the office of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has consistently rendered aid to the community.

In the previous year, the senator's office extended essential support to victims of a residential fire. This year, the office has sustained its commitment to the residents of Brgy. Arkong Bato, not merely through ongoing support but also through initiatives like the Malasakit Centers, a program spearheaded by Go himself.

Manilyn Sarmiento is one such resident who has felt the impact of this sustained assistance. Last year, she was not only a victim of a house fire but also faced the challenges of pregnancy. The Malasakit Center came to her rescue, covering her hospital bills and allowing her to focus on her newborn.

"Dahil sa Malasakit Center, wala akong binayaran sa aking billing sa ospital," Manilyn says, her voice tinged with gratitude.

She continues, "Nagpapasalamat po ako kay Senator Bong Go. Sa kanyang programa, maraming natutulungan na kagaya ko na mahirap."

PJ Opana Oral is another individual who has experienced the positive impact of Go's efforts. Last year, he received support after his home was destroyed in a fire. More recently, when he fell ill with tetanus, the Malasakit Center stepped in to cover his medical needs.

"Malaking bagay po sa amin ang Malasakit Center," says PJ, emphasizing the center's significant role in their recovery.

Erlinda Baby Natividad Morelos, a senior citizen, also lost her home in a fire last year and has since been a recipient of sustained assistance from Go's office.

"'Di niya kami nakakalimutan na bigyan ng tulong," Erlinda notes, highlighting the senator's enduring commitment to the community.

Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

In Valenzuela City, Malasakit Centers are located at the Valenzuela Medical Center and Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.

To date, 158 operational centers have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

Beyond healthcare, Go's office has spearheaded a relief operation for fire victims, distributing essential items and even mobile phones and balls on September 5. The National Housing Authority (NHA) has also rolled out the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), offering another layer of support for families in need.

"Bukod sa ating tulong, nakakuha rin sila ng ayuda mula sa programa ng National Housing Authority na ating isinulong noon upang mabigyan ng pambili ng yero, pako at iba pang materyales pampaayos ng bahay ang mga biktima ng sakuna," Go explained.

Go thanked the community for the sustained support and trust he has received. He emphasized that the narratives of resilience and hope from the residents serve as his inspiration for continuous and dedicated public service.

"Gusto ko pong iparating ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyong patuloy na suporta at tiwala. Ang inyong mga kwento ng pagbangon at pag-asa ang nagbibigay inspirasyon sa akin na patuloy na maglingkod ng buong puso," said Go.

"Ang Malasakit Centers ay para sa inyo, para sa bawat Pilipinong nangangailangan ng tulong at suporta mula sa gobyerno. Magtulungan tayo sa agarang pagbangon mula sa mga trahedyang ating hinaharap. Maraming salamat po at asahan niyo ang aking patuloy na serbisyo sa abot ng aking makakaya," he concluded.

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