President Rodrigo R. Duterte committed PHP50 million for the Malasakit Center at the Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and the hospital’s expansion efforts.
The Malasakit Center is one of the three presidential initiatives of the President that will amplify the administration’s advocacy of streamlining government processes, especially the services needed for the poor.
The Center will be serving indigent patients from the province of Cebu and the neighboring provinces of Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino designed the facility.
Dino said that in the two-week dry run of the Malasakit Center at the VSMMC they discovered that most of the requests for financial assistance are for medication, diagnostic examinations, and payment for hospital bills for the patient’s discharge.
The dry-run was carried out two weeks prior to the Chief Executive visit here.
After the dry-run, other stakeholders like the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, are conferring the possibility of a unified requirement system and a single-window application form.
On the hospital expansion, the President urged VSMMC hospital authorities to work on the paper works for possible funding support in next year’s budget.
Alexander Balotan, General Manager of PCSO, said his agency’s PHP700,000 allocation for the medical assistance program can be increased to PHP1 million in order to provide more for Cebu and neighboring provinces.
Balotan said they will be partnering with six hospitals – four in Cebu and two in Bohol for the Malasakit program.
“We will support these hospitals so that the indigents will go directly to these hospitals. We will bring closer the Malasakit Center to the people. Ilalapit natin ang services sa kanila (We will bring the services closer to them),” Balotan said.
The President also witnessed the turnover of computer units donated by some BPO companies, including Accenture and Mahindra Technologies, to seven public schools in Cebu.
Duterte also received 20 Mitsubishi Montero patrol vehicles from Dr. Hiroto Izumi, special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda in a ceremony at the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).
The 20 units will be distributed to Cebu City Police Office (10 units), Mandaue City Police Office (five units) and Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (five units).
The patrol units are to improve police services and enhance counter-terrorism and public security capabilities. (With reports from Levirose Caballero/PNA)