By Liza Agoot
LUNA, Apayao — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday assured Apayao residents that the province would have its own Malasakit Center where they can seek help for their medical needs.
In his message delivered by Isabela Rep. Faustino Dy V during the “Say-am” festival on Thursday coinciding with the 25th foundation day of this province, Go said: “Like what was established in Baguio City, we will also set up a Malasakit Center here in Apayao.”
Apayao is celebrating its silver anniversary independent of Kalinga province after both provinces were split in 1995 by virtue of Republic Act 7878.
Say-am is an Isnag word which means festivity and celebrating culture.
Malasakit Centers are usually manned by a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Go said aside from the government offices that provide assistance, the Office of the President also allots funds for the center to achieve a “zero balance billing” for patients, the center paying for the bills of the patients, especially the indigents, upon discharge.
The center eases the burden being experienced by relatives of patients who have to go to several offices to ask for financial assistance to settle hospital bills since it is set up in government-operated hospitals.
The first Malasakit Center in the Cordillera region is located in Baguio City, the 50th center nationwide. (PNA)