The labor department has revved up the construction of the first-ever OFW hospital in the country that is seen for completion before year’s end, it was reported on Sunday.
Just last week, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III formed a top-level committee that will oversee the procurement of hospital equipment and hiring of medical personnel who will man the facility in Pampanga.
The Committee on the Construction of the OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center Project under Administrative Order No. 89, series of 2021, is co-chaired by Undersecretaries Renato L. Ebarle and Ana C. Dione. The hospital is meant to benefit overseas Filipino workers and their dependents.
The Ebarle-Dione panel is composed of two Technical Working Groups: one for Human Resources to undertake the hiring of medical personnel who will manage and operate the hospital, and another one for Bidding and Procurement of Hospital Equipment. The latter is tasked to facilitate the bidding process and obtain appropriate budget for the maintenance and operation of the hospital, in coordination with the Health Department.
An agreement between the Provincial Government of Pampanga and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the construction of the medical facility in Barangay Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga was sealed early last year. The construction was delayed due to the onset of the Covid pandemic.
Under the agreement, the provincial government will donate the property where the facility is being constructed.
Aside from DOLE and the Provincial Government of Pampanga, the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation are also involved in the project.
Out of the P550 million budget for the 100–bed capacity hospital, P400 million from Bloombery was earmarked for the construction of the hospital building while the remaining P150 million from PAGCOR was allocated to procure hospital equipment.
The OFW Hospital is an initiative of Secretary Bello that is deemed to be among the legacies of the Duterte administration in recognition of the valuable contribution of our modern-day heroes in the growth of our economy.
Stay updated with news and information from the Department of Labro and Employment by visiting their website at dole.gov.ph.