SHCs to benefit indigent –Bong Go
JAVIER JOE ISMAEL
The Manila Times
SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go personally attended on Saturday, January 21, the groundbreaking of the Super Health Center (SHC) in Tangalan, Aklan, furthering his advocacy to improve the health sector of the country and establish more health facilities that would significantly benefit Filipinos, especially those who belong in vulnerable sectors and rural communities. In his message delivered during the event, Go said he is optimistic that the strategically placed SHCs will allow more indigent Filipinos access to essential health care services, especially in rural places. Four SHCs in Western Visayas had their groundbreaking on the same day with Senator Go as guest together with respective local officials. “In going around the country, I have seen myself what more we can do to improve our health facilities. Strengthening our health care system is really important because not all of our countrymen can easily access this,” expressed Go. “This is the reason why I pushed for the establishment of Super Health Centers nationwide, especially in rural areas, so our countrymen can easily attend to their basic health service needs. After this, it will be managed and it will be turned over to the local government unit,” he said. The senator was instrumental in pushing for the budget for the Tangalan Super Health Center and hundreds more of such centers nationwide. He likewise committed his continued support for the establishment of more Super Health Centers in the country as he had earlier successfully pushed for adequate funds for more SHCs in the 2023 health budget. “As your chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, I am calling for the continuity of the provision of better health care access to our countrymen, especially the poor. Those who have no one to run to for help, they should be prioritized,” he underscored. Super Health Centers offer health services including database management, outpatient, birthing, isolation, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: X-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done. The senator then expressed his gratitude towards the local officials led by Gov. Joen Miraflores, First District Rep. Carlito Marquez, Second District Rep. Nonong Haresco, Tangalan Mayor Gary Fuentes and Vice Mayor Gene Fuentes for extending necessary support to their constituents and to the establishment of SHCs. Apart from Tangalan, Super Health Centers will also be established in Ibajay, Balete, Batan, Malay, New Washington, Numancia and Kalibo in Aklan. After the groundbreaking, Go and his team held a relief operation at the Tangalan Sports Complex where they gave away meals, food packs, masks and vitamins to 1,900 farmers in the town. Some lucky recipients also received bicycles, shoes, computer tablets, basketballs and volleyballs. Representatives from the Department of Agriculture, through its Rice Farmers Financial Assistance program, also extended aid to the farmers. Go himself has been a persistent voice in calling for improved agricultural support systems and infrastructure, emphasizing the vital role farmers play in securing food security. He was one of the authors of the measure that became Republic Act (RA) 11901, expanding the agriculture, fisheries, and rural development financing system. He has also been advocating for other programs to support farmers and fisherfolk in the country, such as the enhancement of the irrigation of farmlands and expansion of the National Rice Program. The senator, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, then offered additional help to those who are struggling with medical issues. He also suggested they go to the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo where a Malasakit Center is housed should they require medical and financial assistance. Go principally authored and sponsored RA 11463, otherwise known as the “Malasakit Centers Act of 2019,” to ensure that particularly poor and indigent patients have easier access to quality health care services. Currently, there are 154 Malasakit Centers nationwide. “The Malasakit Center po is ready to serve you. That is for the poor and the indigent patients. Its target is zero balance. That is a one-stop shop. Just go to the Malasakit Center in your area,” said Go. The senator then expressed his gratitude towards the local officials for extending necessary support to help hasten the recovery of their community. To help boost economic opportunities in the province, Go, who also serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, has likewise supported the installation of streetlights in Tangalan, construction of local roads in Makato, construction of an evacuation center in Numancia, and the construction of a two-story building for the Ibajay District Hospital and the rehabilitation of the Ibajay Municipal Park. He also supported the construction of roads in Balete and Makato, riverbank protection structures along the Tigayon-Kalibo and Minalezo sections of the Kalibo River, and a multipurpose building for monitoring emerging and reemerging infectious diseases and a multipurpose building in Balete. He was also instrumental in the rehabilitation of the Altavas and Libacao public parks. Earlier that day, Go was in Iloilo province where he participated in the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City, witnessed the groundbreaking of the SHCs in Maasin, and personally led a relief effort for Oton tornado victims. He also assisted various sectors in Numancia and Kalibo, Aklan after attending the groundbreaking ceremonies for their respective SHCs. Finally, at Ibajay, Aklan, Go attended the Ati-Atihan Coronation Night.