Go lauds Koronadal’s progress, transformation into regional hub


Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go lauded on Monday this city’s progress and development in the past decades into one of the key agri-industrial and economic centers in Mindanao.

In his message during the opening of the city’s 80th foundation anniversary celebration and 20th Hinugyaw Festival, Go said the city has achieved so much since its establishment as a settlement and eventually becoming a municipality and component city of South Cotabato province.

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He cited its rise into the regional administrative center and the socio-economic hub of Soccsksargen or Region 12.

Go credited the city’s emergence into one of the most competitive and business-friendly cities in the country to its “industrious, resilient and peace-loving people.”    

“You were able to build a booming regional center out of an ordinary land. I’m sure you will be able to achieve so much more in the coming decades,” he said in his message delivered by Deputy House Speaker for Mindanao and South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez.

He challenged residents to “continue to live in harmony with our Muslim and Lumad brothers and sisters and continue to be an example to the rest of the region and Mindanao.”

Go also rallied residents to continually support the national government’s initiatives, especially in its fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption.

He said many localities were able to develop further due to the emergence of more peaceful and orderly communities during the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The senator said these have also resulted to the increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product and the decline in poverty and unemployment rates.

Go assured that his office is always open and he is ready to extend help to residents who are in need, especially the victims of various disasters.

He said he has been going around the country to personally see the situation of the people and directly hear their grievances and concerns “so that I can be a true voice of the people in the Senate.”   

The senator also promised to continue working and representing the people in the Senate as well as push for the passage of vital legislations.

Among the senator’s key accomplishments so far is the passage of the Malasakit Center Act, a law that institutionalizes the Malasakit Centers in government hospitals in the country.

The Malasakit Center, which is targeted to open at the South Cotabato provincial hospital here this year, is a one-stop-shop where indigent patients can access assistance from government agencies such as the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Several activities for city’s foundation anniversary celebration and Hinugyaw Festival already started late last week, such as the Reina Marbelena, Lakambini ng Koronadal 2020 pageant, motocross, Hinugyaw Bazaar and Food Fair, Star Village Enterprise and Inter-Faith Thanksgiving.

The other lined up activities until Jan. 10 for the city’s 80th anniversary are the Farmer’s Festival, Celebrity Night, Mixed Martial Arts, Settler’s Fellowship Night, Indigenous Peoples Day, Mega Job Fair , Mindanao’s Best Dance Crew Varsity Hip-Hop Competition, Tamiya Racing, Grand Parada and Pyesta Kalon Datal civic-military parade, Handurawan Grand Production Showcase, grand fireworks display and rave party. (PNA)   


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Senator Christopher “Bong” Go  welcomes the support and assistance of the United States in the country’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Go said he is open to the government accepting assistance from any person, party, or country willing to help in the campaign against illegal drugs.

Para sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte, kapakanan ng Pilipino, interes ng Pilipino, yun ang unahin natin. Magtulungan po tayo para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino (For President Rodrigo Duterte and me, the welfare and interest of the Filipino people should be put first. We should help one another for the benefit of every Filipino people),” Go was quoted as saying in a news statement issued on Friday.

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Go welcomed the support and assistance of the United States in the country’s anti-illegal drugs campaign after Vice President Leni Robredo’s meeting with a delegation from the US embassy on Wednesday.
“Kung makakatulong po ang US sa kanilang intelligence gathering or sa research (If the US could help us with their intelligence gathering or research), why not?” Go said.
Robredo has accepted the position of co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD).
The senator has expressed support to the newly-appointed anti-drug czar’s request for an additional budget in the fight against drugs.
Ako, as a legislator, sabi ko full support ako kung ano ang makatutulong, basta ang hangarin ay masugpo ang droga (As a legislator, I give my full support to anything that could help the goal of combatting the drug problem),” Go said.
“Ngayon 82 percent ang sang-ayon sa war on drugs Malay mo maging 90 percent, 100 percent. Tutulong po kami. Basta interes ng Pilipino at wala nang dadagdag pa sa mga bikitima ng droga (Currently, 82 percent are satisfied with the war on drugs. Probably, it could still go up to 90 or 100 percent. We would help achieve that. As long as it is in the interest of the Filipinos and there would no longer be additional victims of drugs),” he added. (PNA)

Senate passes Malasakit Center bill on final reading


The Senate on Monday, November 11,  passed on third and final reading a proposed measure seeking to institutionalize the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all Department of Health (DOH) hospitals nationwide and at the Philippine General Hospital.

Senate Bill 1076 was approved with a vote of 18-0 with no abstentions.
The bill aims to consolidate the assistance provided by the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under one roof so patients would no longer have to endure long lines in different agencies to ask for aid.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, the main author and sponsor of the bill, thanked his colleagues for fully supporting the immediate passage of SB 1076.
The neophyte senator said the Malasakit Center is one of the solutions the Duterte administration has developed to provide quick and quality access to health care to all Filipinos regardless of their age, sex, ethnic background, religion, and political affiliation.
“With the Malasakit Center act in place to complement the Universal Health Care law, we are a step closer towards making quality health care more accessible and affordable for all Filipinos, especially the indigent and poor patients in need of medical assistance from the government,” he said.
Pera niyo po ito, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maasahang serbisyong medikal para sa lahat ng Pilipino (This is your money that is just being returned by means of speedy, orderly and dependable medical service for all Filipinos),” Go said.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto also lauded the speedy approval of SB 1076, saying the Malasakit concept is commendable for bringing financial and medical help to the people instead of the people chasing after them.
“The creation of Malasakit Centers in a DOH-run hospitals and at the PGH is one step in helping our people raise the financial resources for the medical care of their loved ones,” he said.
“Malasakit Centers will not totally do away with out of pocket medical expenses but these gateways to assistance tell the people that their government is here to help,” Recto added.
Besides institutionalizing the establishment of Malasakit Centers in DOH-run hospitals and in the PGH, SB 1076 also provides that hospitals run by Local Government Unites (LGUs) and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers.
Patients who would be admitted to LGU and other public hospitals but are eligible for medical and financial assistance could also seek assistance from the Malasakit Centers in DOH-run hospitals. (PNA)

Malasakit Centers to give better access to health care: Andanar

50th ‘Malasakit’ Center launched in Baguio

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go launched in Baguio City  on Thursday, November 7, the 50th “Malasakit” center in the country.

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50TH MALASAKIT HUB. Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, (leftmost) together with Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino (2nd from left), leads the unveiling of the marker of the 50th Malasakit center established under the Duterte administration. Also in the photo are (L-R) hospital chief Dr. Ricardo Runez, Baguio Congressman Mark Go, Benguet Governor Dr. Melchor Diclas and vice Mayor Faustino Olowan (partly seen). (Photo courtesy of Redjie Melvic Cawis/ PIA-CAR)
The center will serve as a one-stop-shop for easy access to medical and financial assistance needed to receive health care services.
Go, together with Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino, turned over a check worth PHP5 million from the Office of the President (OP) and another PHP5 million check as additional medical assistance for indigent patients, or a total of PHP10 million initial fund of the center.
The fund will have to be liquidated by the center and will continuously be replenished to avoid its depletion.
This will be used to cover the amount that the indigent patients need after deducting the aid from the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
The four government agencies will be stationed at the center, Go said.
Wala ng silang iisipin pa na babayaran dahil gobyerno na ang bahala. Hindi na rin nila kailangan pang mag-ikot wa ibat-ibang opisina para ipang bayad sa ospital (They [indigent patients] do not have to worry anymore because the government will take care of it. They do not even have to waste their time begging from offices for money to settle the hospital bills. They will have a zero billing after),” Go said.
Go said the Senate bill institutionalizing the Malasakit center has been approved on second reading on Tuesday.
He hopes that it will be approved for the third and final reading next week, noting that a counterpart bill at the House of Representatives is on the second reading.
“Hopefully, this will be passed before the end of the year so that the center will be fully operationalized with continuity. The bill will provide for the criteria that need to be established before it will be opened in a local government unit-run hospital. For DOH-run, it will be automatic,” Go said.
The bill, when made into law, will practically protect the operation of the 50 Malasakit centers in the country.
He said he discussed with Benguet governor Melchor Diclas, a surgeon, the process of setting up a facility for the Malasakit center at Benguet General Hospital.
Sa Benguet malapit na rin matapos, siguro nakita nila governor na nakakatulong sa Pilipino. Isa lang aming layunin- mapabilis ang serbisyo medikal sa pasyente (The Benguet center is almost complete which they probably saw helps the Filipinos. This center has only one goal and that is to fast-track medical services for the patients),” Go said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ricardo Runez, medical center chief of BGHMC, said the hospital receives about 1,500 outpatients daily and an average of 40,000 in-patients annually.
The BGHMC is an 800-bed capacity tertiary hospital that caters to patients from the Cordillera Administrative Region and Regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley) and 3 (Central Luzon). The services of the Malasakit center will be received by any indigent patient regardless of whether they are from Baguio or any region in the country.
Runez said around 90 percent of BGHMC patients are indigents, who will benefit from the services of the Malasakit center.
Di na sila mag-iisp ng panggastos sa hospital, di na nila problema (They will no longer be concerned with the cost of hospitalization. It would no longer be their problem),” he said.
He, however, said the patient will be evaluated by a social worker to ensure that indigent patients are the ones who will benefit.
Runez said before, patients lose hope due to lack of money to cash-out for hospital bills, which will be addressed by the Malasakit center.
Basta indigent, kung ano ang hospital bill binabayaran ng Malasakit center (As long as they are indigents, their hospital bills will be settled by the Malasakit center),” Runez said. (PNA)