Press Release
November 30, 2023

Legacy Award of Excellence in Public Service bestowed on Bong Go during Philippine Legacy Gala 2023

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go was given the Legacy Award of Excellence in Public Service during the Philippine Legacy Gala 2023 Awarding Ceremonies on Monday, November 27 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City, Manila.

The Legacy Award of Excellence in Public Service is a testament to Go's commitment and immeasurable contributions to help impoverished Filipinos particularly in terms of improved access to healthcare such as the implementation of the Malasakit Centers program.

In return, Go expressed his gratitude for the recognition and reiterated his commitment to help the poor and his steadfast support for the continued operations of the Malasakit Centers program.

"With or without an award or recognition, I will continue to serve my fellow Filipinos. Tutulong ako sa abot ng aking makakaya lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan. Tulad ng inyong organisasyon, sama-sama nating ipagpatuloy ang pagseserbisyo at pagmamalasakit sa ating mga kapwa na nangangailangan," he expressed further.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, emphasized the importance of prioritizing health initiatives that uplift the well-being of the most vulnerable Filipinos.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank the Philippine Missionari Della Fondazione di Carita, Inc., (Philmissionari) for recognizing our achievements with the Legacy Award of Excellence in Public Service. This honor is not just for me but for all those who tirelessly work for the betterment of our nation," expressed Go in a video message.

"The Malasakit Center Program, which we spearheaded, is not just a program but a commitment that we will not neglect anyone, especially those in need. For every Filipino helped by this program, there is a story of hope and resilience that we should be proud of," he continued.

A brainchild of Go, the Malasakit Centers program was institutionalized under Republic Act 11463, where poor and indigent patients can more conveniently get medical assistance from the government.

The Malasakit Centers program provides for one-stop shops that bring together under one roof the agencies from which patients may seek medical assistance, namely the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 mandates DOH-run hospitals, plus the Philippine General Hospital, to provide necessary assistance to indigent patients by covering various patient services and fees.

Meanwhile, other hospitals run by local government units and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided that they meet a standard set of criteria and guarantee the sustainability of the operation of their centers, including maintenance, personnel, and staff training, among others.

To date, there are 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide. According to DOH, the program has successfully helped more than ten million patients nationwide.

"Cooperation and unity are extremely important. If there is one thing the previous pandemic has proven, it is that we will face any challenge together. On this occasion, I want to honor all the awardees tonight. To each of you, thank you for your dedication and compassion," Go expressed.

"As this evening continues, may it serve as a reminder that each of us plays a vital role in shaping our society. With every small step, we can make a bigger change. Maraming salamat po," he concluded.

The main highlight of the Gala was the charity fashion show by world-renowned Filipino designer Michael Cinco, titled "Michael Cinco: The Impalpable Dream of España." The event served as a platform for Cinco to give back to the community, with the proceeds benefiting the Philmissionari and the Gusi Peace Prize Foundation.

The Philmissionari currently runs initiatives in impoverished areas such as support and volunteer work, education, livelihood and employment, health, nutrition, and emergency relief.

Meanwhile, the Gusi Peace Prize functions as a charitable foundation, and its primary mission is to acknowledge outstanding individuals or groups globally by presenting awards in recognition of their excellence and distinction. Cinco was one of the Gusi Peace Prize awardees last year.

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