MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the first hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) is set to begin following the signing of a memorandum of agreement for the project between the government and private donors, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Friday.
In a statement, DOLE said the deal which signals the commencement of the project construction was signed in a ceremony held last week in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III led the signing of the agreement with representatives from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Health, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), other officials from the local government and the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation.
Under the agreement, Pagcor will donate P200 million for the acquisition and installation of equipment and facilities for the hospital, while Bloomberry Cultural Foundation will shoulder the cost of construction amounting to P400 million.
The local government of Pampanga has donated a two-hectare property in Barangay Sindalan for the project.
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Bello lauded the signatories’ commitment to building the first and only hospital in the Philippines that will provide free medical services to the country’s modern-day heroes.
“This hospital is going to be built to recognize the heroism of our OFWs who continue to power economic growth in the country,” Bello said.
“It’s a fitting tribute to Filipino workers who, through their valuable remittances, have kept the economy afloat during many challenging times,” he added.
DOLE said the hospital is expected to be completed in May 2021.
Once completed, the hospital will render free services when OFWs are securing medical certificates covering laboratory exams and other requirements for their overseas deployment.
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