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Press Release - A tale of resilience in Antipolo City: Bong Go's Malasakit Center initiative aids a family in need

Nida de Leon Ocampo, a street food vendor from Antipolo City, shared her experience with Malasakit Centers, a program initiated by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, highlighting their significant impact on offering Filipinos medical and financial support. Her account is one of many that underscore the essential services provided by these centers to those in need.

Nida's son, Danilo de Leon Ocampo, a 38-year-old tricycle driver, suffered a life-altering accident on his birthday, leaving him paralyzed due to a severe spinal cord injury. The family's already precarious financial situation worsened as Danilo's condition required continuous medical attention and rehabilitation, which they could hardly afford.

In an emotional recount, Nida described the ordeal of her son's accident and the subsequent challenges. "Nadale po 'yung spinal cord niya. Hindi na po siya nakakatayo. Nakahiga lang po siya mula noong May 16 hanggang ngayon, hindi po siya nakakatayo," she shared, her voice heavy with concern and helplessness.

Facing a staggering hospital bill of P79,000 at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, (more popularly known as "Labor Hospital") and the urgent need for a brace for Danilo, Nida was at her wit's end. At this critical juncture, the Malasakit Center in the hospital emerged as a lifeline.

Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. As of now, 159 Malasakit Centers are operational across the country, poised to assist with patients' medical expenses. The DOH reported that the Malasakit Center program has already provided aid to more or less ten million Filipinos.

The Malasakit Center significantly alleviated the financial burden on Nida's family. "Nagkaroon po kami ng P79,000 po