Sen. Bong Go opens PH’s 162nd Malasakit Center

Sen. Bong Go opens PH’s 162nd Malasakit Center in Misamis Oriental

/ 11:20 PM April 13, 2024

To show his appreciation, Sen. Bong Go provided grocery packs to the health workers who attended the opening of the 162nd Malasakit Center located in First Misamis Oriental General Hospital in Medina, Misamis Oriental.

MEDINA, MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Philippines — On Friday, April 12, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, father of the Malasakit Centers program and chairperson of the Senate committee on health and demography, led the opening of the country’s 162nd Malasakit Center located at the First Misamis Oriental General Hospital in Medina, Misamis Oriental.

The launch marks a milestone in the nationwide rollout of Malasakit Centers, which aim to streamline the provision of medical assistance especially to indigent Filipinos. It was attended by key officials, including Rep. Christian Unabia, Mayor Donato Chan, Vice Mayor Paulo Magallanes, Department of Health officials, hospital chief Dr. Napoleon Ray Talines, as well as other local officials and hospital personnel.


The country currently has 162 Malasakit Centers nationwide, with 90 in Luzon, 30 in Visayas, and 42 in Mindanao. There are nine in Northern Mindanao, including the newly opened in Medina town; the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, and JR Borja General Hospital, both in Cagayan de Oro City.


READ: Bong Go vows continued access to quality healthcare; Malasakit Centers expand in Northern Mindanao


In his address, Go reflected on the inception of the Malasakit Centers program in 2018, inspired by the challenges he observed among the poor seeking governmental medical assistance. The program was a response to the cumbersome process indigent Filipinos had to endure, often involving traveling to multiple offices and waiting in long lines to receive the necessary support.

“Nagsimula itong Malasakit Center nung nakita ko ’yung problema diyan sa baba. Sa tagal kong nagtrabaho kay President Duterte, maraming lumalapit sa kaniya sa Davao City Hall, mga hindi residente sa Davao. Minsan taga Misamis, taga Zamboanga, pumupunta sa Davao dahil nandoon ang hospital,” Go lamented.

“Ang importante po rito, makasalba man lang tayo ng buhay ng ating kapwa Pilipino. ’Yon po pinaka-importante diyan. Tulungan po natin ’yung mga kababayan nating mahihirap, ’yung mga hopeless, mga helpless, ’yung walang matakbuhan po. Sila po ang ating uunahin,” he stressed.

The Malasakit Centers program is a one-stop shop where essential agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) are centralized to provide more accessible aid from their respective medical assistance programs.

This initiative has significantly simplified the procedure for obtaining medical assistance, reducing the need for long travel and wait times.


“Sabi ko nga, bakit pa natin kailangan mas pahirapan ang mga mahihirap na humihingi ng tulong sa gobyerno? Pera naman nila ’yan, dapat lang na ibalik sa kanila sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maginhawang serbisyo at tulong lalo na pagdating sa kalusugan,” Go said earlier.

READ: Go lauds opening of Malasakit Centers in all 6 provinces of Western Visayas

RA 11463

This program was institutionalized with the passage of Republic Act No. 11463, which Go principally authored and sponsored. The Act mandates the creation of a Malasakit Center in every hospital managed by the DOH and the Philippine General Hospital. Other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers based on the guidelines of DOH as provided by the law.

“Basta Pilipino ka, poor and indigent patient ka, qualified ka sa Malasakit Center. Lapitan niyo lang po ang Malasakit Center diyan po sa inyong lugar at tutulungan po kayo sa inyong hospital billing,” he encouraged.

During the event, Go also expressed his deep gratitude toward the health workers for their dedication and sacrifice, which was especially highlighted during the pandemic. To show his appreciation, the senator provided grocery packs to the health workers in attendance.

The senator also gave away rice packs and snacks to some patients. The health workers and the patients received masks, vitamins, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball, while there was a select bicycle recipient.

Super Health Centers

To further help bridge the gap between healthcare and Filipinos in need, Go also advocated establishing more Super Health Centers nationwide to bring primary care, consultations, and early disease detection closer to communities.

“Patuloy po akong tutulong sa pagpaparami ng Super Health Centers sa bansa sa abot po ng aking makakaya. Sa mga itinayo ng Super Health Centers, nakita namin kung gaano kalaki ang naitutulong nito sa komunidad lalo na sa rural areas. ’Yun po ang layunin ng mga Super Health Centers, ang ilapit sa mamamayan ang serbisyong medikal ng gobyerno,” underscored Go.

Through the concerted efforts of Go, fellow lawmakers, the DOH, led by Sec. Teodoro Herbosa, and local government units, adequate funding was allocated for more than 700 Super Health Centers nationwide, including 13 in the province with six in Cagayan De Oro City. Go even attended the groundbreaking of one in Tagoloan (a town 30 km east of Cagayan de Oro) later that day.

Moreover, Go is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of Republic Act 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Act. The law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals to bring specialized medical services to all regions.

Northern Mindanao Medical Centers

Northern Mindanao Medical Centers currently houses several specialty centers, including cardiovascular care, lung care, orthopedic center, mental health, neonatal care, infectious disease, and tropical medicine. It also plans to have a renal care and transplant center, physical rehabilitation medicine, toxicology, cancer care, burn care, trauma care, geriatric care, and eye care.

Concluding his speech, Go cited that his ongoing commitment to improving healthcare accessibility in the country remains a key focus of his legislative agenda, “The opening of the new Malasakit Center in Medina is just the latest step in ensuring that all Filipinos have equitable access to medical services.”

After the Malasakit Center launch, Go assisted displaced workers in Medina and Villanueva. He also attended the blessing and inauguration ceremony of the Northeastern Misamis General Hospital located in Villanueva. Go also attended the Misamis Oriental’s Farmer and Fisherfolks Forum in Gingoog City that day.

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“Ilapit natin ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa mga taong nangangailangan nito. Bilang inyong Mr. Malasakit, patuloy akong magseserbisyo sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya dahil ang tangi kong bisyo ay magserbisyo at naniniwala ako na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo yan sa Diyos,” Go said.

TAGS: Bong Go, Malasakit Center, Misamis Oriental

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