More and more Malasakit Centers open in Caraga region to improve the access to public health services for the public, especially those who are residing in far-flung areas. For the month of July, there are already two (2) newly established Malasakit Centers in the region that have started its operation.
The bill authored by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Committee on Health and Demography chair, is now a law, and has since established more than 150 centers in the country, including one (1) Malasakit Center in Dapa, Siargao, Surigao Del Norte last July 3, 2021 and another in Lianga, Surigao del Sur last July 10 this year.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that aims to reduce the hospital bills of poor and indigent patients to the lowest amount possible. To do so, it brings together the various national agencies, which offer medical assistance, namely the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The program was institutionalized under Republic Act 11463, or the “Malasakit Centers Act of 2019”, which Go principally authored and sponsored. Among those present during the launching in Dapa, Surigao del Norte were: Presidential Communications Operations Officer (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Micheal Lloyd Dino, DSWD’s Undersecretary Aimee S. Torrefranca-Neri, DSWD’s Assistant Secretary (ASEC) Victor Neri, , Department of Agriculture (DA) ASEC. Kristine Y. Evangelista, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ASEC. Reveree Niño C. Contreras, and the DSWD Field Office Caraga OIC Regional Director Ramel F. Jamen, DSWD FO Caraga’s Protective Services Division (PSD) Chief, Jessie Catherine Aranas.
Meanwhile, Go together with Dino virtually joined the launching of the Malasakit Center in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Further, Sec. Andanar as well as Aranas was present on the launching site.
With the Center’s primary objective to reduce hospital bill of patients to the lowest possible amount by covering various patient services and expenses, Go added that the residents residing near the center will no longer experience difficulty in availing medical assistance.
To date, there are already four (4) Malasakit Centers in the region, including those in Butuan and Surigao City, along with this, there are also two (2) more centers that are yet to be launched in Tandag City and Patin-ay, Agusan del Sur.