Duterte orders establishment of OFW Hospital

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7)— President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Hospital, Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday.

The hospital will be located in San Fernando City, Pampanga, according to Executive Order No. 154 signed by Duterte on the same day.

The facility aims to cater to the health care needs of OFWs and qualified dependents.

It also seeks to promote and publish scientific research on the occupational diseases common to OFWs, as well as assist universities and other institutions in their studies on the workers' health-related concerns.

The EO will likewise create an Inter-Agency Committee on the OFW Hospital (ICOH), which will help in the establishment and operations of the hospital.

The ICOH will be chaired by the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment and co-chaired by the chief of the Department of Health. Members include the administrators of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and two representatives of land-based and sea-based OFWs.

"We consider the establishment of this specialty hospital devoted to OFWs as a long overdue recognition of the valuable contribution of Filipino migrant workers to the economy and to the nation," the Palace said in a statement.

Duterte has previously pushed for the establishment of a department for OFWs — a measure he certified as urgent earlier this year.