A bill has been filed to create the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Medical Center, which will provide medical assistance to migrant workers and their families in the Philippines.
In House Bill (HB) 6324, Manila Rep. Ma Theresa Bonoan-David proposed that the government contribute land, building equipment and facilities to a hospital which will cater the needs of OFWs and their dependents.
“Being in a different country is quite difficult given the fact that access to medical privileges is not equally granted to non-citizens, not to mention the fact that the OFWs income in times of illnesses or diseases only goes directly to medical expenses leaving their families with nothing,” the lawmaker said in a statement Thursday.
There are over 9.4 million OFWs around the world, based on latest government records.
The measure also mandates the national government to allocate P500 million for the initial operations and maintenance of the OFW Medical Center.
HB 6324 suggests that the hospital be ran by a seven-member Board of Trustees, whose composition shall be determined by the President.
Bonoan-David proposed that the board be empowered to invite foreign specialists in various medical fields to train personnel of the OFW Medical Center.
The congresswoman also suggested that the hospital be made into a research center for the prevention, care and treatment of common and recurring cases of sicknesses among OFW patients.
The bill is currently pending before the House committee on overseas workers affairs. It should get the approval of majority of the panel’s members before it can be scheduled for plenary debates. - VVP, GMA News