Press Release
December 1, 2023

Batting for more inclusive and accessible healthcare services in communities, Bong Go inspects Super Health Center in Candijay, Bohol

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, has remained steadfast in bringing essential public health services closer to more Filipinos down to the communities through the establishment of Super Health Centers.

Go emphasized the necessity for an inclusive strategy in strengthening the country's healthcare infrastructure during the site inspection of a Super Health Center in Candijay, Bohol, on Wednesday, November 29.

He highlighted the crucial role of Super Health Centers in effectively addressing health challenges and ensuring the well-being of the populace, especially those at the grassroots level.

"The more we should invest in our healthcare system. Hindi natin akalaing tamaan tayo ng pandemya. Mas mabuti nang handa tayo sa anumang pandemyang darating sa buhay natin," said Go.

"Patuloy po akong tutulong sa pagpaparami ng Super Health Centers sa bansa sa abot po ng aking makakaya. Sa mga itinayo nang Super Health Centers, nakita namin kung gaano kalaki ang naitutulong nito sa komunidad lalo na sa rural areas," he added.

Super Health Centers are strategically designed to deliver primary care, offering consultations, and enhancing the early detection of diseases at the grassroots level. They aim to bolster the country's healthcare sector, with a particular emphasis on rural communities.

Super Health Centers offer basic health services, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services in Super Health Centers are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation centers; and telemedicine.

Through the collaborative efforts of Go, his fellow lawmakers, local government units (LGUs), and the Department of Health (DOH), sufficient funds were allocated for 307 Super Health Centers nationwide in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, is tasked with identifying strategic areas for construction. There are a total of 13 Super Health Centers funded for construction in the whole of Bohol.

Meanwhile, Go also extended his profound gratitude to health workers for their service and sacrifices especially during the pandemic. He has been a consistent advocate for the welfare of health workers.

"Maraming salamat sa inyo, lalo na sa serbisyo ninyo noong panahon ng pandemya. Kayong mga health workers ay mga bayani, hindi natin mararating ito kung hindi dahil sa inyo," he acknowledged.

This is why he appealed to the Department of Health and the Department of Budget and Management for the swift release of Health Emergency Allowance (HEA) due to them in accordance with the law. He is one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act 11712, which grants benefits and allowances to public and private healthcare workers during public health emergencies.

"Ang HEA, nananawagan ako sa ating DBM, sa ating DOH na pakibilisan nyo po ang pag-release ng HEA," he urged.

Go also acknowledged the presence and contributions of local officials, including Congresswoman Kristine Alexie Tutor, Candijay Mayor Thamar Olaivar, and Councilor Arlene Cadlaawon, among others.

In her message, Tutor expressed immense gratitude to Go for his contributions to Bohol, referring to him as "Mr. Malasakit ng Pilipinas," a title reflecting his dedication to healthcare and social welfare in the country.

Tutor concluded her speech by expressing her gratitude to Go. "Maraming salamat talaga, Mr. Malasakit," acknowledging his contributions and the love he has shown to the Boholano people.

Go advised individuals seeking medical assistance to visit the Malasakit Centers at Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City and at Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital in Ubay, or any of the 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide.

Under Republic Act 11463, a law principally authored and sponsored by Go, the Malasakit Centers program brings all relevant agencies under one roof, including DOH, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, so that indigent patients can conveniently access medical assistance programs to cover their hospital-related expenses.

DOH reported that the Malasakit Center program has already benefitted around ten million Filipinos as of October 2023.

"Sa mga pasyente, lapitan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center dahil para 'to sa inyo. Kung may hospital bill kayo, nandiyan ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong para mabayaran ito," said Go.

Go also highlighted RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which he principally sponsored and is one of the authors in the Senate. The Regional Specialty Centers Act plays a pivotal role in the healthcare legislative agenda of the Marcos administration, as detailed in the Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028. The law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has also supported numerous initiatives focused on boosting economic growth and improving the quality of public service delivery in the province.

Among these are the construction of multipurpose buildings in Alburquerque, Alicia, Anda, Balilihan, Batuan, Buenavista, Corella, Danao, Dauis, Dimiao, Duero, Garcia Hernandez, Guindulman, Loay, Loon, Pilar, Tagbilaran City, and Valencia; improvement of evacuation centers in Panglao, Anda, Balilihan, Carmen, Corella, Garcia-Hernandez, Sikatuna, and Valencia; installation of a water system in Alicia, Antequera, Inabanga, and President Carlos P. Garcia; as well as the construction of slaughterhouses in Inabanga and Loay.

Furthermore, he also pushed for the improvements of public markets in Bilar, Calape, Clarin, Lila, Sagbayan, and Tagbilaran City; the acquisition of an ambulance and rescue vehicle in Trinidad and Catigbian; the installation of solar street lights in various towns of Bohol; as well as road rehabilitations throughout the province.

On the same day, Go also attended the 169th Foundation Day of Candijay and conducted a site inspection of the Candijay Sports Complex, a project that he supported together with fellow senators and local leaders.

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