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1st OFW hospital up and running

Built on a 1.5-hectare land parcel donated by the provincial government of Pampanga, the OFW Hospital was in accordance with Executive Order 154 Duterte had signed last December

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte talks to officials of the first OFW hospital as Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Senator Bong Go (right) look on. | photograph courtesy of SBG

The Philippines’ first hospital dedicated to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their dependents opened Monday after being inspected by President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday.

Located in San Fernando city, Pampanga, the seven-story facility is set to start operations as a polyclinic with full operations expected by the end of June.

“Please know that this is the government’s way of thanking our OFW 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,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech after inspecting the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

He pledged full support for initiatives that promote the interests of migrant workers, as he described them as among the government’s “reliable partners” in nation-building.

“Their unwavering dedication and perseverance as well as their sacrifices to provide for their families make them worthy to be called new heroes,” Duterte said.

Built on a 1.5-hectare land parcel donated by the provincial government of Pampanga, the OFW Hospital was in accordance with Executive Order 154 Duterte had signed last December.

The labor department, Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation played key roles in the construction and procurement of medical equipment for the facility.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who accompanied the President on the hospital inspection, reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to set aside funds to provide Philippine hospitals with sufficient equipment to boost its services.

“On the part of the DoH (Department of Health), aside from providing technical assistance, we will continue to push for funding of additional infrastructure and equipment for our health facilities,” he said.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Senator Bong Go, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda, and other local officials also joined Duterte during the inspection.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go joined Duterte in the hospital inspection and immediately reaffirmed his commitment to provide better health protection services for Filipinos.

“Today, we are witnessing the inspection of the OFW Hospital which will be one of the legacies of the Duterte administration that would guarantee quality healthcare to our modern-day heroes — our overseas Filipino workers,” remarked Go in his video message played during the pre-program of the event.

“The OFW Hospital is a fulfilled promise that serves as a testament to how much President Rodrigo Duterte and I value the sacrifices and contributions of our beloved OFW,” he added.

with MJ BLANCAFLOR

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