THE much-awaited first Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital in the country will soon be a reality as the construction of the said facility is now in full swing after a few hiccups due to the lockdown protocols in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Department of Labor and Employment Assistant Director Alex Inza Cruz led in February the concrete pouring ceremony, which marks the start of the OFW hospital’s construction.
The hospital, with its 200-bed capacity, was initially expected to be finished by May 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the construction of the first hospital for OFW in San Fernando City, Pampanga, but Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was confident that it would still be completed before the end of 2021.
The facility will rise in a two-hectare lot at the Provincial Engineering Office Compound in Barangay Sindalan, City of San Fernando that was donated by the Provincial Government at the cost of P400 million.
It can be recalled that to ensure continued funding of the facility, particularly the provision of adequate staff, former president and Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appealed to House members from Central Luzon and the chairpersons of the committees on health and labor to author a bill creating it.
"As recommended by the Department of Budget and Management, a law is needed for the continued funding of this OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center," Arroyo said in an interview in 2019.
Similar facilities will be built in Visayas and Mindanao.
Construction of the OFW Hospital started in early 2020 after the local government of Pampanga donated a two-hectare property.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation donated P200 million for the acquisition and installation of equipment and facilities for the hospital, while the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation shouldered the cost of construction amounting to P400 million.
February 13, 2021
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