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Duterte orders establishment of OFW Hospital in Pampanga

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday directed the establishment of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Duterte’s directive is contained in Executive Order 154, which also creates the Inter-Agency Committee on the OFW Hospital (ICOH), chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment and co-chaired by the Secretary of Health.

Its members include the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, chiefs of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, as well as two representatives of land-based and sea based-OFWs.

The funding for the establishment and initial operation of the hospital shall be charged against the budget of the Labor department. The hospital will cater primarily to the healthcare needs of the OFWs and qualified dependents.

“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,” acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said.

Millions of Filipinos work abroad, but at least 800,000 have already returned home since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year, according to government data. — VBL, GMA News