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 OWWA to put up hospitals for OFWs

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Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: OWWA to put up hospitals for OFWs   Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:42 pm



House Bill 6297
by Rep. Diosdado Arroyo

Senate Bill 421
by Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada"

Senate Bill 1867
by Senator Manuelito Lapid

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said Wednesday that it is already taking steps to create hospitals and hospital wings that would specifically cater to the medical needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their dependents.

“We always say that we are grateful to OFWs, this is a way of showing them," OWWA chief Carmelita Dimzon told GMANews.TV on Wednesday.

Dimzon said they plan to build either a whole hospital or just a wing in a government hospital, depending on the availability of areas in each of the 17 regions in the Philippines.

“Depende pa rin sa available space, sa Metro Manila mahirap (It depends on the available space, it’s hard to look for space in Metro Manila)," she said.

The OWWA chief said they are going to start first in the National Capital Region (NCR), specifically at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila where she said they plan to establish a wing for OFWs before the end of the year.

“We are in the process of planning the memorandum of agreement with the PGH, in fact we’re going to meet this afternoon," said Dimzon.

After NCR, she said they will begin their plans to establish a whole OFW hospital in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Dimzon said they will be tapping the OFW trust fund for the project.

But she said they have yet to finalize the guidelines for the medical services that would be provided by the OFW hospitals and hospital wings.

Old news?

Even before the OWWA announcement, several lawmakers have already filed bills that would establish similar facilities for OFWs and their dependents.

Rep. Diosdado “Dato" M. Arroyo (1st District, Camarines Sur) filed House Bill 6297 which seeks to create a special hospital that would be known as the Migrant Workers Hospital.

Arroyo said the hospital would provide a “more comprehensive" health package to OFWs and their dependents. The bill is currently pending at the House Committee on Health.

A consolidated version of Sen. Jose “Jinggoy" Estrada’s Senate Bill No. 421 and Sen. Manuelito Lapid’s Senate Bill No. 1867 likewise seeks to establish a Migrant Workers’ Hospital.

Estrada said the proposal will also provide a “comprehensive" or “total heath care services" to all migrant workers who are OWWA contributors and their legal dependents. The bill was approved by four Senate committees in 2008.

These proposals, however, have all been shut down by migrant groups who think that such a project is a waste of money – something Dimzon said is not true.

“How can it be a waste of money when it’s for OFWs and their families?" she said. - GMANews.TV
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