Palace order green-lights dedicated hospital for OFWs

Published December 7, 2021, 7:42 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte has signed a directive paving the way for the establishment of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital.

President Rodrigo Duterte (right) signs a document as Senator Bong Go watches him (Photo from PCOO Facebook)

Executive Order (EO) No.154 was signed on Tuesday, Dec. 7, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles revealed in a statement on Tuesday night.

“We consider the establishment of this specialty hospital devoted to OFWs as a long overdue recognition of the valuable contribution of Filipino migrant workers to the economy and to the nation,” Nograles said.

A copy of EO No.154 was subsequently sent to Malacañang reporters.

“Subject to limitations under existing laws, rules and regulations, the national government shall establish the OFW Hospital, to be located in San Fernando City, Pampanga, to cater primarily to the health care needs of OFWs and qualified dependents,” it read.

The same EO likewise creates the Inter-Agency Committee on the OFW Hospital (ICOH) chaired by the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) serves as the co-chair.

Among the tasks of the ICOH chairman is to establish a referral system within the OFW Hospital “to ensure efficient delivery of medical and health care services to OFWs and their qualified dependents, including the facilitation and conduct of pre-employment medical examinations of departing OFWs”.

Two representatives of land-based and sea-based OFWs must be made part of the panel, the EO said.

OFWs have long been considered by government as “unsung heroes” of the modern age, since their money remittances go a long way in keeping the Philippine economy afloat.