GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 January) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the opening before the end of February of the province’s first Malasakit Center at the provincial hospital in Koronadal City.
South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said they are currently waiting for the release of the final approval from concerned national government agencies for the establishment of the facility.
He said they already allotted a space inside the provincial hospital that will host the Malasakit Center.
“The approval was just delayed but we were told that it is now being fast tracked,” the governor said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The provincial government submitted a request to the Office of the President in August last year for the establishment of the Malasakit Center, which was already institutionalized through Republic Act (RA) 11463 of the Malasakit Center Law.
RA 11463, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last Dec. 3, mandates the opening of a Malasakit Center in all government hospitals and it will be managed by the Department of Health (DOH).
A Malasakit Center is a one-stop-shop manned by personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, DOH, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
Patients or their watchers needing medical assistance need not go to the offices of the said agencies because they are available at the Malasakit Center.
Tamayo said they will start in the next few days the renovation of the allotted space for the center and targeting its completion by the third week of February.
He said they expect that the Office of the President will then download the initial PHP5 funding for the hospitalization grants.
“We were advised that the Malasakit Center may automatically open if these are already in place,” he said. (MindaNews)