To provide better service to the Filipino people, especially the indigent and poor patients in need of medical assistance from the government, the Senate upgraded its Public Assistance Center.
The newly-renovated Public Assistance Center located near the main entrance gate was inaugurated Monday, 09 December 2019 with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Christopher Lawrence Go and Cynthia Villar as speakers.
Fr. Rosello Hernandez officiated the blessing of the renovated office, which is now fully air-conditioned that would give comfort to around more than 100 queueing patients.
The PAC has been the most visited office in the Senate, with patients from all over the country seeking medical assistance. Before, those seeking assistance waited for hours in a covered area with electric fans.
Aside from air-conditioned waiting area, Malasakit counters have also been added. There are separate counters for public referrals to the Department of Health, PhilHealth, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The inclusion of Malasakit counters, a one-stop shop for medical assistance for the general public, was the brainchild of Go while the renovation of the office completed with the help of Villar. A deed of donation of the PAC building was signed by Villar and Sotto.
Sotto, in his speech, thanked Drilon for the establishment of PAC.
The PAC was established on October 12, 2001 during the administration of Drilon. The office has been headed by Director Lino Ong.
“This indeed was a milestone as far as the Senate’s medical assistance is concerned, because you all know that the Senate’s mandate is mainly to legislate laws but there are people with such compassion as Senator Frank who have agreed to put up something like this, for so many reasons. Then again, the important thing is that we are able to extend our help to the people who seek and need the help of the Senate,” Sotto said.
Villar said she started her involvement in the renovation of PAC when Go delivered his speech on Malasakit Centers last October.
“Ito rin ay suporta natin sa isinulong na batas ni Senator Bong Go, ang Malasakit Center Act that will complement also the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Law (RA 11223) providing medical assistance to the public and making healthcare accessible to all Filipinos,” she said.