MANILA The signing of Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Center Act is meant to complement the existing Universal Health Care Program, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said Wednesday.
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's signing of the law that will establish Malasakit Centers in all hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH) nationwide.
We welcome President Duterte's signing of the Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Center Act as it will help Filipinos get speedy assistance in government hospitals especially the indigent citizens that often seek financial aids due to medical needs, Andanar said in a statement.
We see this law as a progress in our provision of health services, one that complements and promotes our existing laws that give medical assistance to Filipinos, particularly the Universal Health Care (UHC) Program, he added.
The UHC Program automatically enrolls all Filipinos under the government's health insurance program which will have a coverage expanded to include free consultation fees, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic services.
Andanar pointed out that the signing of the new law also shows that the Duterte administration is "truly dedicated in providing efficient health and social services to all Filipinos.
These health and social services will afford convenience to those who are in need of financial medical assistance from different government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), through Malasakit Centers in all public hospitals.
He further described the legislation as a clear evidence of the administration's commitment to do more in providing "accessible assistance and quality health care to all Filipinos in need.
Meanwhile, he also acknowledged the role played by Duterte's former aide, Senator Christopher Bong Go as the measure's main author and sponsor.
We acknowledge as well Senator Bong Go's authorship of the Act in the Senate, which demonstrates his longtime advocacy and efforts in its promotion even before it became a law.
We are with Senator Go in seeing the expansion and the importance of such initiative to the general public's interests, he added.
In his third State of the Nation Address on July 23, 2018, the President recognized Go for his instrumental role in establishing Malasakit Centers.
Duterte described Go as one of the persons whom I trust and whose advice I value.
Under the law, a Malasakit Center serves as one-stop shop for easy access to medical and financial assistance
The Senate approved Senate Bill 1076 on third and final reading with a vote of 18-0 with no abstentions on November 11.
On the other hand, the House of Representatives passed their version of the bill on third and final reading on Nov. 18 with 185 affirmative votes, one negative vote, and seven abstentions.
There are over 50 Malasakit Centers nationwide. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency