DOLE resumes operations for delayed OFW Hospital

BY SAMUEL P. MEDENILLA

OVERNMENT has resumed work on the hospital intended for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Administrative Order 89, series of 2021, forming two top-level committees for the project.

Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said one committee will handle hiring of medical personnel who will manage and operate the hospital.

Bello said the other committee will coordinate with the Department of Health to facilitate the bidding process and obtain appropriate budget for the maintenance and operation of the hospital.

The AO named Undersecretaries Renato L. Ebarle and Ana C. Dione to lead the committees.

Bello said they are targeting the “completion” of the OFW hospital before the end of the year. He told the BusinessMirror the hospital could be inaugurated by November or December this year.

He considers the hospital “among the legacies of the Duterte administration in recognition of the valuable contribution of our modern-day heroes in the growth of our economy.”

The project should have been completed this month, as the DOLE said in a statement last year. The DOLE blamed Covid-19 for the delay.

The construction of the P500-million OFW hospital started last year after DOLE finalized its agreement with the Provincial Government of Pampanga, which donated the land for the said facility.

Bloomberry Cultural Foundation donated P400 million for the said project; the remaining P150 million came from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

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