Press Release
November 20, 2023

Malasakit Center program initiated by Bong Go plays important role in a college instructor's triumph over Chronic Kidney Disease

Mackenly Pernia, a mechanical engineer and college instructor from Nueva Ecija, shared his journey of overcoming Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) with the crucial assistance of the Malasakit Centers, a program championed by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go.

"Okay na po ako kasi po isa po akong post-transplant patient," Mackenly said, narrating his ordeal since discovering he had CKD Stage 5 in July last year. Symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and hypertension were early signs that led to a life-changing diagnosis.

The rapid progression of his condition led to urgent medical decisions. Faced with the daunting prospects of dialysis and transplant, Mackenly and his family grappled with emotional and financial uncertainties. The only solutions were dialysis or a transplant, and fortunately, his brother volunteered to be a donor.

During his treatment, Mackenly encountered the Malasakit Center, an initiative conceptualized by Go aimed at providing financial medical assistance to Filipinos. He vividly recalled how the Center played a pivotal role in his treatment at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City.

"Na-confine po ako dito sa NKTI. Ano po kasi, ang condition ko po noon, eh, lumalala po. Nandiyan po 'yung dumudura po ako ng dugo, nagkaroon po ako ng tubig sa baga, nahihirapan po akong huminga. So natulungan po ako ng Malasakit Center when it comes to bills," he said.

"Lumapit po si papa sa Malasakit Center at doon po kami natulungan ng Malasakit Center na bawasan po ang bill po namin which is napakalaking tulong po. Kasi po ang laki po ng naitulong ng Malasakit Center po sa amin," he added.

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

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.

As of now, 159 Malasakit Centers are operational across the country, poised to assist with patients' medical expenses. The DOH reported that the Malasakit Center program has already provided aid to more than ten million Filipinos as of October 2023.

Thanks to the support provided by the Malasakit Center, Mackenly successfully underwent a kidney transplant surgery in January of this year.

During the 3rd National Convention of the Pambansang Samahan ng Inhenyero Mekanikal Inc. (PSIM) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on September 28, where Go was a guest speaker, Mackenly seized the opportunity to express his gratitude.

"During PSIM, nag-guest speaker po kasi doon si Senator Bong Go tapos ginawa ko po siyang chance para magpasalamat po. Hindi lang po sa akin kundi sa lahat po ng mga pasyenteng natutulungan po ng Malasakit sa pagiging chair ng Senate Committee on Health," he said.

"Nagpapasalamat po ako kay Senator Bong Go kasi sobrang effective po niya as chair ng Senate Committee on Health," he added.

As a post-transplant patient, Mackenly's story does not end with the surgery. The Malasakit Center continues to be a part of his journey, offering ongoing support.

"Ngayon pong magaling na po ako, sobrang thankful po ako sa Malasakit kasi patuloy po silang tumutulong," he acknowledged.

Mackenly's message to Go resonates with sincerity and deep gratitude. "Senator Bong Go, Kuya Bong Go, maraming salamat po sa patuloy na pagtulong po sa mamamayang Pilipino. Napakagaling n'yo po at sobrang naa-appreciate ko po ang lahat ng ginagawa ninyo sa amin," he said.

"Kaya po ako naglakas-loob ako na lumapit sa inyo. Gusto ko pong iparating sa inyo na hindi lang po ako ang nagpapasalamat sa inyo kundi lahat po ng natutulungan ng Malasakit Center. Maraming salamat po, Senator Bong Go," he added.

Meanwhile, Go highlighted that the stories of resilience and recovery shared by beneficiaries of the program inspire him to persistently and wholeheartedly serve the public.

"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 at tumulong sa inyong lahat sa abot ng aking makakaya," 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," he concluded.

News Latest News Feed