Thursday, November 26, 2020

Bong Go Defends Malasakit Center Bill During Senate Interpellations; Says Centers Open To Serve All Filipinos

Bong Go Defends Malasakit Center Bill During Senate Interpellations; Says Centers Open To Serve All Filipinos

Spotlight

Legislators Take Steps To End Child Marriage In The Philippines

Because of the increasing cases of child marriage in the last 6 months, Philippine legislators have recently united to end child marriage in the country.

Tanza Receives School Building From SM

SM Prime, through SM Foundation, formally turned over a two-story, four-classroom school building to Punta Elementary School (PES) in Tanza, Cavite on November 20, 2020

Amid Rising Suicides, A Province Acts To Bolster Mental, Emotional Health

Iloilo province’s “Isip Kalasag” initiative aims to combat the rising cases of suicide in Iloilo by “developing, training and capacitating mental health warriors."

World Vision Relief Ops To Cagayan And Isabela Underway

World Vision continues its various relief efforts for communities in Cagayan and Isabela province that have been severely affected the recent typhoons.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go emphasized that the Malasakit Center program is open to serve all Filipinos during the interpellation period for Senate Bill No. 199, or the “Malasakit Center Act of 2019”, sponsored by the Senator, on Tuesday, October 1.

Go answered questions from Senators Frank Drilon and Risa Hontiveros during the interpellations.

“Hindi po ba magbabago ang proseso sa bill na ito ang pagbibigay ng tulong ng aking opisina sa mga nangangailangan?” Drilon asked during his inquiry.

“Hindi po,” Go answered. “Walang po itong pipiliin. Basta Pilipino ka, qualified ka. Kahit ang mga humihingi ng tulong sa opisina ni Senator Drilon, Hontiveros, Pangilinan, pwede po kahit sino. Wala po itong pinipili.”

Asked on whether patients can still directly go to the offices of concerned agencies despite the existence of Malasakit Centers, Go said they can.

However, the senator also pointed out that it might be more convenient for patients to seek assistance in Malasakit Centers since they are already inside the hospitals.

“Kaya lang itong bill nila sa loob ng hospital, nandoon na po. Hindi na nila kailangan mamasahe. Bakit pa sila pupunta diyan sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) kung nandiyan na ang opisina,” Go said.

During the interpellations, Go said that, currently, there are eighteen Department of Health (DOH)-run hospitals with Malasakit Centers and the remaining 24 hospitals with existing Malasakit Centers are locally-run, meaning LGU, provincial and city hospitals-run. Drilon, then, clarified if the 24 locally-run hospitals are covered by the provisions of the bill.

Go responded, saying that the 72 DOH-run hospitals will be prioritized but a criteria will be set for LGUs that want to set-up their own Malasakit Centers to ensure that these will be consistent, sustainable and fully operational.

“Sa ngayon, uunahin muna ang 72 DOH-run hospitals. We will set criteria para doon sa mga LGUs if those said hospitals meet the standards and criteria,” Go answered. “If they will not follow the standards, they cannot use the name ‘Malasakit Center’.”

Responding to Drilon’s request, Go also detailed the process of availing services in the centers, saying that he also plans to establish a similar office in the Senate’s Public Assistance Center.

“Plano rin po nating maglagay ng Malasakit Center sa Public Assistance Center ng Senate. Halimbawa, nandyan na ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno. Same process, walang pipiliin. Ang target po natin dito, zero balance,” said Go.

Drilon also sought clarifications regarding Section 5 of the proposed measure that seeks to establish a Malasakit Center Program office in the DOH by “augmenting, reclassifying and strengthening the Public Assistance Unit of the DOH.”

According to Go, the said unit of the DOH needs to be converted as it has limited personnel.

“Currently, the Public Assistance Unit of the DOH only has three plantilla positions. It is just apt to convert the unit of the office,” said Go.

He also said that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has expressed support for the creation of the office in the DOH.

“It will also oversee the operations of the Malasakit Centers. This will require additional personnel. I have talked to the DBM and they have submitted a position paper indicating support for the creation of the office. Mag-hire lang tayo ng bagong social workers para magbigay ng serbisyo,” Go said.

Asked on whether the PCSO will need to provide funds to the Malasakit Centers, Go said that the centers will not get money from the agency and the discretion of giving assistance to the patients will depend on the agencies themselves.

“The discretion of giving assistance to the patients, hindi na po dadaan sa Malasakit Center. It would be direct from the representative of the PCSO, depending on the availability of funds of the PCSO. Ito po ‘yung charity fund. Sila ang magde-determine sa assistance na ibibigay nila sa pasyente. Walang dadaan sa Malasakit Center or Malasakit Center Program kahit piso. They will be the one to determine their assistance to the patients,” Go clarified.

Go also said that he seeks to institutionalize Malasakit Centers because some offices still lack personnel.

“There are 18 Malasakit Centers in DOH-run hospitals. Per DOH, there are three personnel in each center. But some Malasakit Centers, including LGU-run are ‘bungi-bungi’. Kulang kulang ang personnel. That’s why we are pushing for the institutionalization of Malasakit Center,” said Go.

Meanwhile, Senator Hontiveros said during the interpellations that she “fully supports interventions that seek to reduce the out-of-pocket health expenditure of all Filipinos” but sought to clarify some things regarding the proposed measure, particularly if the PCSO still has sufficient funds to provide assistance.

Go said that there are charity funds still available for the programs of the PCSO despite the UHC Law mandating for the 40% of such fund to go to PhilHealth.

“Under the UHC, 40% of the charity fund of the PCSO will go to PhilHealth. There would still be 8% of the charity fund available for the PCSO and its charity programs,” said Go.

“Hindi po kukunin ang contribution ng PCSO to the UHC,” he clarified.

Asked by Hontiveros on whether the measure will, in any way, amend or supersede Section 37 of the UHC Law and reallocate what has already been appropriated in the said measure to fund Malasakit Centers, Go said that the Malasakit Center Act will not spend or reallocate any funds.

“No, walang gagalawin na pondo o kontribusyon ang Malasakit Center. The bill will not amend the UHC law. It will complement the law,” Go assured. (senate.gov.ph)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/BongGoPage

Latest News

The Spirit Of Sharing Love On Christmas Through Food Continues With Lemon Grass

Specializing in home-cooked meals, Lemon Grass offers gourmet-style Filipino favorites such as beef caldereta and pork barbeque that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

RCEF-Seed Program Continues To Help Typhoon-Affected Farmers

More than 100,000 rice farmers from Region 2 and CAR who were affected by the onslaught of the successive typhoons will benefit from the RCEF-Seed Program of the Department of Agriculture.

8 Best Practices While Working From Home

Challenging ba ang work-from-home setup? Check out these tips on how you can stay sane and continue working at your best!

ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Launches “Tulong-Tulong Sa Pag-Ahon” Campaign For Typhoon Victims

ABS-CBN hopes to inspire the nation to unite once again through its new public service campaign "Tulong-Tulong sa Pag-Ahon"

Christmas Gift Ideas For Multitasking Professionals

With a starting price of PHP 51,990, Lenovo's ThinkBook line is available in the Philippines in three variants: ThinkBook 13s, ThinkBook 14, and ThinkBook 15.

Several Countries Ready To Accept Pinoy Med Workers: POEA

Several countries in three continents are ready to accept Filipino medical workers after the government lifted the temporary deployment ban.

Palace To ‘Tiangges’: Observe Covid-19 Protocols Or Face Closure

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, maaring ipasara ang mga tiangge ngayong kapaskuhan kung hindi masusunod ang maayos na health and safety protocols.

Rey Valera Returns To “It’s Showtime” For “Tawag Ng Tanghalan’s”

Muling nagbabalik betaranong singer-songwriter na si Rey Valera sa “It’s Showtime!"

Obey Health Protocols To Avoid Post-Holiday Covid-19 Surge: PRRD

President Rodrigo Duterte urges the public to help the military and police stop the COVID-19 infection by staying inside their homes.

Introducing KinKo – Telling The Stories Of Pets And Their People

Let your pets support local too! Check out KinKo in Instagram and Facebook for 100% locally-crafted and sourced products!