Bong Go cites need to bolster health services at grassroots level 

Senate Committee on Health Chair Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (right) leads the groundbreaking of the 7th Super Health Center inaugurated in Bulacan and one of the 14 health facilities to built in the province as he was joined with (From right to left) Cong. Tina Pancho of 2nd District, Mayor Jocell Vistan-Casaje, Movie/ Television actor Phillip Salvador, Crispin De Luna, representative of Gov. Daniel Fernando, and Engr.Eduardo Guanzon, chief admin officer of Central Luzon Center for Health and Development during ceremonial groundbreaking held in Barangay Sto. Niño, Plaridel, Bulacan on Wednesday, October 11, 2023. Photo by: FREDERICK SILVERIO
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography graced the groundbreaking of a Super Health Center in Barangay Sto Nino in Plaridel, Bulacan on Wednesday, October 11. 
In his speech, Go cited the importance of strengthening the country’s health sector, especially after the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nakita naman natin ang naging epekto ng pandemya sa ating bansa. Kaya mas mabuting maging handa tayo… The more that we need to invest in our healthcare system,” he said. 
The Super Health Center will serve as a hub for various primary healthcare services, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine. The centers can also be used as satellite vaccination sites for Filipinos who live far from the urban centers.
“It’s a medium type of a polyclinic, para mailapit po natin ang serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan. Hindi na nila kailangan mag biyahe pa ng ospital, ‘yung manganganak, mga dental, laboratory, x-ray, pwede na pong gawin dito ‘yung primary care, ‘yung konsulta. Malaking bagay po ito na hindi na nila kailangan magbiyahe pa sa mga ospital dahil dito na po sila magpapa-check up at magpapakonsulta at mayroon naman pong Konsulta package ang ating PhilHealth,” explained Go in an interview after the event. 
“Sa mga  buntis pwede na po kayong manganak dito. Kasi napansin ko sa kakaikot ko sa buong Pilipinas marami pong lugar na walang Health Center, ‘yung mga buntis nanganganak sa tricycle at jeepney dahil sa sobrang layo po ng ospital. Finally, meron na po tayong itatayong Super Health Center dito. At ang ikinaganda po nito itu-turn over na po ito sa ating LGUs at pwede nilang pagandahin pa, i-expand nila,” he cited further. 
Aside from Plaridel, Super Health Centers in Bulacan will also be initially established in Balagtas, Bulacan town, San Jose del Monte City, Meycauayan City, Pandi,  San Miguel, Angat, Baliuag City, Marilao, Obando, Paombong, San Ildefonso and San Rafael. 
Through the collective efforts of Go, the Department of Health (DOH) and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated for the establishment of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. 
“These will help decongest the hospitals. Pwede na pong gamutin dito — primary care, consultation, early detection of diseases — mas maganda po ‘yon para hindi na lumala ang sakit ng mga pasyente,” Go cited.  
After the groundbreaking, Go provided relief to 600 disadvantaged Bulakeños at the Barangay Santo Niño Covered Court. The senator and his team distributed grocery packs, snacks, and shirts to the beneficiaries. He also gave away a bicycle, phone, shoes, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients. 
During his visit, Go was joined by Vice Governor Alex Castro, Congresswoman Augustina “Tina” Pancho, former congressman Gavini “Apol” Pancho, Mayor Jocell Vistan and Vice Mayor Lorie Vinta, among others. 
“Siya ay dumalaw sa bayan ng Plaridel, bumalik at patuloy na bumabalik sa lalawigan ng Bulacan. Hindi mo na kailangan yayain, hindi na kailangan tawagin, kusang dumarating, at lagi tayong tinutulungan, ang senador na ang bisyo ay magserbisyo — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go,” Congresswoman Pancho said. 
“Hindi ito ang unang pagsisilbi niya (sa atin). COVID-19 pa lang, nagbibigay na po ng tulong at ng ayuda si Senator Bong Go,” the congresswoman continued. 
According to Mayor Vistan, the latest health facility will help the local medical services in the said town which will be the beginning of a better health care for the people of Plaridel.
In line with his commitment to safeguard the well-being of Filipinos, Go offered assistance to beneficiaries in need of medical attention. He encouraged them to visit any of the three Malasakit Centers in the province located at Bulacan Medical Center in Malolos City, Rogaciano M. Mercado Memorial Hospital in Sta. Maria, and Ospital ng Lungsod ng San Jose del Monte. 
There are now 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide. Principally authored and sponsored by Go under Republic Act No. 11463, each Malasakit Center acts as a one-stop shop for medical assistance programs where relevant agencies are housed under one roof to help reduce patients’ hospital expenses to the lowest possible amount.
Go also cited the enactment of RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act which he principally sponsored and is one of the authors in the Senate. The law mandates the establishment of regional specialty centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. It stands as a testament to the commitment of the government to uplift the nation’s health infrastructure and bring actual medical services closer to the Filipino people.
To further boost infrastructure development in the town, Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported the rehabilitation of a flood control structure along Angat River, construction of slope protection for Barangays Dampol and Banga, rehabilitation of roads in Barangay Bintog and San Jose, and the construction of a multipurpose building.