Bill on hospital for overseas Filipino workers okayed

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

WITH an overwhelming 180 votes, the House of Representatives yesterday approved on third and final reading a proposed law principally filed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seeking to establish a hospital to cater to the health needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The House committees on health, appropriations, and ways and means adopted the measure that would provide for the establishment of a hospital with at least a tertiary level of care to be known as OFW Hospital.

Earlier, the proposal was approved by the panel as a substitute bill to House Bill (HB) Nos. 1672, 2187 and 4621 authored by Reps. Strike Revilla, Florida Robles and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr., respectively.

In her sponsorship statement, Arroyo said that her bill came about because of the events of Labor Day last May in which President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte in his speech called for a bill for workers.

“Of course we already have the ENDO (bill) which is in the Senate but we felt there should be another appropriate bill that we can file on the occasion of May 1, Labor Day,” the Speaker said.

Arroyo said that on that day also, they were in Pampanga for the groundbreaking ceremony for the OFW hospital that will be built on the land donated by the Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda to the Department of Health (DoH) and the hospital equipment to be provided by philanthropist Ricky Razon and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).