Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday belied misinformation circulating on social media about Malasakit Centers, clarifying that no donations are accepted or distributed in these centers.
“There are no donations in Malasakit Centers. First of all, Malasakit Centers are simply intended as one-stop shops for poor and indigent patients where relevant government agencies with medical and financial assistance programs are gathered under one roof,” he said In a radio interview.
He said his office continues to help constituents by bridging private entities who wish to give donations to their intended beneficiaries.
“Wala pong PPEs o medical equipment na dinadala o pinapamigay sa Malasakit Centers. Wala rin po ditong pondo. Isa lang po itong referral center sa loob ng ospital kung saan nandoon ang PhilHealth, Department of Health, DSWD at PCSO na handang tumulong para mabayaran ang hospital bills ng mga pasyenteng walang pambayad (No PPEs nor medical equipment are brought there. It is just a referral center within a hospital where there are PhilHealth, Department of Health, DSWD and PCSO),” he added.
Amid the current health crisis, he added that there are private donors who seek help in their distribution of food packs, PPEs and medical equipment for front-liners, hospitals, and community leaders.
This is the reason that his office is acting as a conduit and help private donors find the right beneficiaries and vice versa, he said.
Urging government detractors to cooperate rather than criticize, Go said President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration want nothing but to protect the country from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.
“To those undermining the government, we appeal that we just help each other. The President is 75 years old and he has no other intention but the whole country gets over this pandemic,” he said in Filipino
The President, he said, cannot take it sitting down and is just fulfilling the mandate of his Office during this time of Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, he assured the public that Malasakit Centers remain functional and responsive to the needs of Filipinos despite the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Go said the 71 existing Malasakit Centers all over the country continue to assist those who need medical and financial assistance from the government, especially poor and indigent patients.
“Mayroon pa rin pong staff sa loob ng Malasakit Centers, hindi ko lang po masabi kung ‘yung iba ay nagkasakit din po o kumpleto sila ngayon. Pero bukas po ang mga Malasakit Center sa mga ospital na mayroon nito (There are still staff working at Malasakit centers. I am just not sure if all are reporting for work but those housed in hospitals are open),” Go said.
“Patuloy po itong tumutulong sa mga nangangailangan (They still continue to provide help to the needy),” he added.
Go reiterated that all efforts to help should be welcomed and must be commended, regardless of political color. Even critics are encouraged to provide solutions instead of simply complaining.
He also thanked the Filipinos for staying at home and cooperating with the government amid the pandemic.
“Maraming salamat sa mga kapatid kong Pilipino. Stay at home lang po kayo. Nandito ang inyong gobyerno na handang magserbisyo para sa inyo (Thank you fellow Filipinos. Your government is ready to serve you),” he said. (PNA)