President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the establishment of the Overseas Filipino Workers Hospital in a bid to fulfill a promise he made to migrant workers in 2019.
Duterte issued Executive Order No. 154 which also directs the formation of an Inter-Agency Committee on the OFW Hospital, which would be chaired by the labor secretary along with the health secretary.
"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," Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles said in a statement.
The hospital, according to Duterte's order, would serve as a medical and diagnostic center for OFWs and their qualified dependents. Initial funding for the hospital will be charged to the DOLE.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, President Duterte also vowed to form a separate executive department to cater to the concerns of Filipino migrant workers.
Some 10 million Filipinos are abroad, and the remittances of migrant workers are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.