CATARMAN, Northern Samar — A Malasakit Center was launched for the Nortehanon and unveiled at the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital on March 18.

This is the 31st in the country and first in Samar island, with 40 more opening soon.

Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas,  said, in 2001, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte initiated the Lingap Para sa Mahihirap to provide medical and financial assistance to his constituents. The concept was adjusted by then Special Assistant to the President Bong Go as the champion in establishing the Malasakit Center nationwide.

“The idea is to simplify the process and performance of agencies that are extending medical and financial assistance to the poor Filipinos,” Dino further said.

“Today, Malasakit Center is serving over a hundred thousand patients with medical, financial assistance or worth more than P300 million every month in all 30 centers for the poor and under privileged Filipinos,” informed Dino.

He added that President Duterte will give a monthly Malasakit fund to the hospital to augment the services of various agencies and also to carry out the zero-balance billing.

 “There is no need for memo, indorsement or note from any politician to avail of the program. As long you are a Filipino, you are qualified to avail, “ Dino stressed.

Before the program ended, Secretary Dino, turned over a check of P5 million pesos, the first of the series, to Governor Jose L. Ong, Jr. (NBQ/AND/PIA-Northern Samar)