‘Investing in health for a better tomorrow’ — Bong Go pursues healthcare accessibility for all during 41st Founding Anniversary of NKTI

‘Investing in health for a better tomorrow’ — Bong Go pursues healthcare accessibility for all during 41st Founding Anniversary of NKTI

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go personally attended the National Kidney and Transplant Institute’s (NKTI) 41st founding anniversary celebration in Quezon City on Friday, February 23, and thanked its leadership and personnel for four decades of service to the nation.

The senator, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, delivered a speech that not only celebrated the milestone but also underscored the importance that NKTI has played in promoting health and saving lives of countless Filipinos.

“As the National Kidney and Transplant Institute celebrates its 41st Founding Anniversary with the theme “Pagsiklab o Patuloy ang Gabay at Suporta sa Bawat Indibidwal Tungo sa Kasarinlang Larangan at Adbokasiya sa Bato” we are reminded of the crucial role this center plays in our healthcare system,” he said.

During the event, Go highlighted the crucial role of NKTI as one of the premier health facilities in the country. With the passage of RA 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Act where in Go was principal sponsor and one of its authors in the Senate, the expertise of NKTI will be instrumental in developing other specialty centers nationwide with similar specialties.

The new law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals to bring specialized medical care closer to communities.

Meanwhile, Go, often referred to as Mr. Malasakit due to his steadfast commitment to assisting the underprivileged, lauded the exceptional efforts and dedication of the NKTI’s staff, from its doctors and nurses to the diligent utility workers who ensure the hospital operates smoothly.

He emphasized that their untiring service and commitment to healthcare have been instrumental in upholding the institute’s reputation as a premier medical facility in the country.

“Gusto kong pasalamatan ang ating mga medical frontliners. Kayo po ang dapat pasalamatan. Kayo po ang hero ng pandemya. Kayo po ang nagsakripisyo upang masalba ang buhay ng mga may sakit. Hindi natin mararating itong kinaroroonan natin kung hindi po dahil sa inyong sakripisyo,” he highlighted.

Go is one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act No. 11712, which provides benefits and allowances to healthcare workers amid public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the lifting of the state of public health emergency, Go has persistently urged concerned agencies to disburse the outstanding health emergency allowances (HEA) owed to eligible healthcare professionals.

“Noong panahon ng pandemya, nakipaglaban po kami para sa inyo. Hindi ako pumayag noong sabi nila yung health allowance na ibibigay lang ‘pag pumasok ka (sa hospital). Eh sabi ko dapat pantay-pantay dahil sa pagganap palang ng trabaho ninyo bilang health workers, nanganganib na ang buhay niyo lalo na noong panahon ng pandemya. Ang ilan sa inyo nagkasakit, ang ilan po sa inyo nagbuwis ng buhay,” cited Go.

“Yung sakripisyo niyo po sa ating mga kababayan ay hindi po matatawaran ng anuman… (iyang HEA ay) maliit na bagay po yan, kaya dapat lang na ibigay sa ating mga health worker ang para sa kanila,” he stressed.

He also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2504, aimed at increasing the salary schedule of civilian personnel in the Philippine government. If enacted into law, the bill, known as “Salary Standardization Law VI,” seeks to amend and improve the provisions outlined in Republic Act No. 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5. In 2019, Go played a key role in the passage of SSL 5 as one of its authors and co-sponsors in the Senate.

The event was attended by NKTI Executive Director Dr. Rose Marie Rosete–Liquete, Deputy Executive Director of Medical Services Dr. Romina Danguilan, Deputy Executive Director of Hospital Support Services Ms. Maribel Estrella, Deputy Executive Director of Nursing Services Dr. Nerissa Gerial, Acting Deputy Executive Director of Education, Training and Research Dr. Consesa C. Casasola, Malasakit Center Head Redis Basada, Dr. Jade Jamias, and Dr. Rene Bautista, among others.

Highlighting the Malasakit Center within the NKTI, Senator Go pointed out this pivotal initiative as a source of hope for poor and indigent patients seeking medical assistance. As the Malasakit Center in NKTI celebrates its 4th year on February 24, Go also took time to personally check its operations on the same day and provide meals and other forms of support to patients and frontliners there.

The Malasakit Centers program, a hallmark initiative of Senator Go which was institutionalized through RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019 that he principally authored and sponsored, is designed to streamline access to medical assistance from various government agencies, making healthcare more accessible to the underprivileged.

In a gesture of his continued commitment to the healthcare sector, Senator Go pledged unwavering support to the NKTI, promising to utilize his capacity to ensure the institution receives the necessary support and resources to further its mission.

“Hinding-hindi ko po sasayangin yung ibinigay ninyong pagkakataon. Magtatrabaho po ako para sa Pilipino sa abot ng aking makakaya,” Go remarked.

“Mga kababayan ko minsan lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa ay gawin na po natin ngayon dahil hindi na po tayo babalik sa mundong ito. Ako po ang inyong Senator kuya Bong Go, patuloy na magseserbisyo sa inyong lahat. Dahil bisyo ko ang magserbisyo at ako po ay naniniwala na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo po yan sa Diyos,” he ended.

On the same day, Go was in Carmona City, Cavite to join the celebrations for its first year of cityhood and to also inspect the Super Health Center there.

Go championed the establishment of more Super Health Centers nationwide to bring primary healthcare services closer to communities, emphasizing early disease detection by providing medical consultations and basic healthcare services, especially in areas needing adequate medical facilities.

Through the collective efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) led by Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, LGU, and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated under the DOH for the construction of over 700 Super Health Centers nationwide.


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