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Bello: OFW Hospital in Pampanga to start operations May 1

The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital, which was established in Pampanga's San Fernando City, would be operational on May 1-Labor Day, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Saturday.

"[A]ll OFWs, kung mayroon silang sakit kasama ang kanilang legal dependents (if they or their legal dependents are ill), will be treated in this hospital for free," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said at the Laging Handa briefing.

Executive Order 154, which directed the establishment of the OFW Hospital, also created the Inter-Agency Committee on the OFW Hospital.

ICOH would be chaired by the DOLE Secretary and co-chaired by the Secretary of Health. Its members included the Department of Budget and Management Secretary, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chiefs, as well as two representatives of land-based and sea-based-OFWs.

The funding for the establishment and initial operation of the hospital would be charged against the budget of the Labor Department. The hospital will cater primarily to the healthcare needs of the OFWs and qualified dependents. — DVM, GMA News