DOLE and OWWA work on finalizing creation of OFW Hospital
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) introduced the first-ever OFW Hospital during its Labor Day celebration in San Fernando, Pampanga. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III led the groundbreaking ceremony, together with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda.
However, Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac states that they are still finalizing a memorandum of understanding before the start of the hospital’s construction. OWWA is coordinating with concerned government agencies and stakeholders in the construction of the hospital for OFWs.
“The details are not yet final and even the bed capacity, the level of medical care, such as primary, secondary and tertiary, the plantilla staffing and the budget, but we hope to construct the hospital within one and a half a year, within the Duterte Administration,” Cacdac said on Sunday.
NGO, PAGCOR send funding for DOLE’s project
According to Bello, the construction of the OFW hospital will cost an estimated total of P550 million and will have state-of-the-art medical facilities provided by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). The gaming company will donate and install P150 million worth of medical equipment to designated facilities inside the hospital.
The Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Incorporated (BCFI), a non-government organization, will finance the hospital’s construction cost of P400 million.
The construction of the OFW Hospital was first announced days before the celebration of Labor Day on May 1. An initiative of Secretary Bello, it is aimed to provide free healthcare services to migrant workers and their families.
“This hospital is in recognition of the valuable contribution of our modern-day heroes, the overseas Filipino workers, in the growth of our economy. This will serve as among the legacies that President Duterte can leave behind for our OFWs,” Bello said last Sunday.
This healthcare facility will provide medical services and administer the subsidy programs of OWWA for OFWs and their families. The Department of Health (DOH) will oversee the hospital’s operations after its completion in 2020.