Hontiveros suggests to rename “Malasakit Centers,” Go reacts

  • Senator Risa Hontiveros suggested that it’s best to rename Malasakit Centers and include the term “Kalusugan”
  • Senator Bong Go acknowledged the suggestion but said the name shows the government’s “compassion” towards its people
  • During President Rodrigo Duterte’s election campaign, his slogan was “Tapang at Malasakit”

Minority Sen. Risa Hontiveros has suggested to change the name of Malasakit Centers.

Image by Malasakit Center Philippines via Facebook

Malasakit Center has been a pet project of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, providing financial assistance to Filipinos in need. It is a one-stop shop that houses representatives from various government agencies such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. Currently, we have at least 41 Malasakit Centers around the country.

Go filed a bill seeking to institutionalize Malasakit Centers. During the interpellations of Go’s bill, Hontiveros suggested that the term “Kalusugan” be added to the name.

She explained, “Given the enhanced functions of the center, which now go beyond medical and financial assistance… would the sponsor, again at the proper time, be amenable to including the word ‘kalusugan’ as in ‘Kalusugan at Malasakit Center?”

Go replied that he is open to the idea but explained that the term “Malasakit” represented the government’s “compassion” for its people.

He said, “We use ‘malasakit’ (compassion) because in the centers we show ‘malasakit’ to patients and families needing assistance. Tulad nga nung unang panahon, Masagana 99.”

Image by Malasakit Center Philippines via Facebook

The senator was referring to former President Ferdinand Marcos’s rice program.

Meanwhile, “Masalakit” was taken from President Rodrigo Duterte’s election campaign slogan, “Tapang at Malasakit.”

Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman had come to odds with Go over Malasakit Centers funding. He described Malasakit Centers as a “partisan tool” whose creation has no legal basis.

Go came on the defense and said the Centers were established to efficiently provide medical services to indigent patients. He denied Centers are being used for “partisan or political considerations.”