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Go’s Malasakit Center bill hurdles House

House OKs Malasakit center bill on 2nd reading

Entrance to a Malasakit Center (Photo from an RTVM video)

MANILA, Philippines — The bill institutionalizing Malasakit Centers in all Department of Health (DOH) hospitals and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), a pet bill of pro-administration Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, has hurdled the House of Representatives.

The House on Monday approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 5477 with 185 affirmative votes and one negative vote and seven abstentions.

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Only Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman expressed opposition to the bill.

Lagman earlier claimed that the House measure, which was only a substitute bill, is a “carbon copy” of Senator Go’s version in the Senate.

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He slammed the alleged “railroaded” second reading approval of the bill, claiming that the measure was approved with only a “handful” legislators present in the plenary.

The Albay lawmaker also claimed that House members were not given “adequate” opportunity to scrutinize the measure.

READ: Lagman hits ‘railroaded’ House approval of Malasakit Center bill

Lagman also claimed that the bill was different from the version the committee approved under Committee Report No. 76, and the lawmakers debated on during second reading approval.

The Senate approved its version of the measure, Senate Bill No. 1076, which was authored by Senator Go, last week Monday, Nov. 11.

If enacted into law, Malasakit Centers would be formally included in the programs of DOH to complement the universal health care program.

All hospitals run by DOH will be required to put up Malasakit Centers, which would serve as one-stop shops to indigent patients. They would be able to access medical and financial aid from the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Office of the President in one place.

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Edited by JE

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