SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte marked this year’s Labor Day celebration by inspecting the newly-constructed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital, the country’s first state-of the-art medical facility dedicated for OFWs and their dependents.
Built on a 1.5-hectare land donated by the Provincial Government of Pampanga, the 100-bed capacity hospital came into fruition through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) being its owner and manager; Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc. (BCFI), which shouldered the cost of construction; Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) which funded the procurement of medical equipment; and the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) for the initial operationalization of the hospital’s polyclinic.
BCFI, the foundation established by Solaire Resort and Casino donated P521.80 million for the project while PAGCOR released a P200 million grant for the purchase of modern equipment for the health facility. In addition, DOLE earmarked P250 million from its budget for the management of the hospital.
The OFW Hospital, whose construction commenced in January 2021, will start its operations on May 2, 2022 as a polyclinic to transition into becoming fully operational by the end of June this year.
Once fully operational, the OFW Hospital will provide comprehensive healthcare services to all migrant workers and their dependents from Region 3 and all other OFWs who will require its services; conduct of medical examinations to ensure physical and mental capability of would-be OFWS; and will serve as a primary referral hospital for repatriated OFWs in need of medical services.
During his visit, President Duterte lauded the efforts of the BCFI and all government agencies that have taken part in the project.
“Sa lahat ng nagtutulungan dito, your commitment to translate the blueprint of this project into a tangible reality is truly noteworthy. Please know that this is the government’s way of thanking our OFWs for their valuable contributions to our country’s socio-economic progress and for their critical role in upholding the Filipino identity in the global community. This is why I express my full support to initiatives that promote the welfare and development of OFWs who are among our reliable partners in nation-building, especially during challenges, calamities and events such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
In his speech, the President likewise underscored PAGCOR’s recent commitment to provide P100 million monthly funding for the purchase of medicines for PGH. “Pumunta ‘yung mga doktor sa PGH sa opisina ko. Nanghingi ng tulong para sa medisina. Naaawa raw sila sa mga pasyente doon kaya ‘yung reseta galing sa doktor sila na mismo nagbibigay sa mga tao from their own pocket. So sabi ko sige maghanap ako ng pera at tinawagan ko si Chairperson Andrea Domingo…so ang PGH mayroong P100 million a month galing sa PAGCOR para sa medisina,” he added.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, who also graced the event, said that the state-run gaming firm has been fully supportive of the government’s efforts to provide better healthcare programs for Filipinos.
“The generous contribution of BCFI is a testament to the gaming sector’s commitment to responsible gaming and nation-building. Meanwhile, PAGCOR’s supplementary funding of P200 million for necessary medical equipment and supplies will complete the services to treat our hardworking OFWs who strive hard abroad to ensure that their families back home are well-provided,” she said.