Press Release
December 16, 2023

Bong Go joins Christmas outreach to assist more indigents in Quezon City

On Saturday, December 16, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go's Malasakit Team, in a concerted effort with Councilor Mikey Belmonte, extended vital support to the underserved communities in Quezon City.

This endeavor was part of their ongoing holiday outreach program, aptly named "Pamaskong Handog." This particular initiative represents a continuation of their committed assistance efforts, which took place on December 6, 8, 9, and 11.

Go, in his remarks, highlighted the true essence and spirit of the holiday season. He emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in these initiatives, demonstrating how joint endeavors can significantly impact the lives of those less fortunate.

"Let us focus on keeping everyone healthy, especially during the Christmas season. I would like to reiterate that the best gift we can give ourselves and our fellow Filipinos is still the gift of good health," he said.

The senator also addressed the evolving health protocols, providing guidance in light of the current situation.

"Though hindi na po mandatory ang pagsusuot ng face mask sa ngayon, ako bilang chair po ng Committee on Health, iniengganyo ko pa rin po ang ating mga kababayan, kung hindi naman po sagabal sa inyo ay voluntarily magsuot pa rin ng mask, lalung-lalo na po 'yung mayroong comorbidities na maaaring mahawa," he advised.

During the distribution activities held at the covered courts of Barangays Silangan Proper, Commonwealth FIver, and Payatas Lower Jasmin, Belmonte gave away grocery packs to 850 residents, while there were select recipients of shirts and balls for basketball and volleyball from the senator. Many Muslim residents, including an Imam, joined the event and received holiday grocery packs.

Go mentioned that there are 11 Malasakit Centers in the city where medical assistance programs are available to help cover their medical expenses.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that brings together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to assist indigent patients in reducing their hospital expenses to the lowest possible amount.

"Andiyan na po sa loob ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno para sa mga available na medical assistance programs. Target po nito na ma-cover o pababain ang inyong hospital bill to the lowest amount possible," he explained.

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, 159 operational centers have helped more than ten million Filipinos nationwide, according to the DOH.

Malasakit Centers in Quezon City are located at the Lung Center of the Philippines, Novaliches District Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Children's Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Philippine Orthopedic Center, National Children's Hospital, Philippine National Police General Hospital, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.

Meanwhile, Go also supported the establishment of Super Health Centers nationwide. These health facilities offer a wide range of services, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation centers; and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.

Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, local government units, and the DOH, sufficient funds have been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed. In Quezon City, necessary funds have been allocated for the DOH to construct Super Health Centers in six different barangays.

Moreover, Go is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the recently passed RA 11959, or the Regional Specialty Centers Act. The said law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has supported several projects, including the construction of multipurpose buildings, rehabilitation of roads, improvement of drainages, and rehabilitation of flood control structures in several barangays.

He also supported the repair of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center Road Network, and the acquisition of an ambulance, a dump truck, and four multicabs. Lastly, he also helped secure funding for the vertical expansion of a new emergency building at the Philippine Heart Center and the rehabilitation building at the Philippine Orthopedic Center.

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