MOU. Gov. Dennis Pineda, Vice Gov. Lilia G. Pineda, PAGCor chair Andrea Domingo, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and offi cials of OWWA and Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc. show copies of memorandum of understanding on the OFW hospital, backgrounded by Pampanga mayors and provincial officials. Photo courtesy of Jun Jaso/Pampanga PIO
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – It’s all systems go for the Philippines’ first governmentfunded hospital and diagnostic center dedicated to overseas Filipino workers and their families to be established in this city.
This, set into motion with the signing of a memorandum of understanding among the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., the Pampanga provincial government, and Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc. at Kingsborough International Convention Center here.
A brainchild of then governor, now Vice Gov. Lilia G. Pineda, the hospital had already its ground-breaking ceremony on Labor Day last year, participated in by the principals in Wednesday’s MOU signing, on a P500-million two-hectare lot at the Provincial Engineering Office Compound in Barangay Sindalan.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III called the hospital a tribute to the OFWs contribution to the national economy: “Ito ay pagkilala sa kanilang kabayanihan dahil malaking tulong sila sa ating ekonomiya.”
PAGCor, headed by chair Andrea Domingo shall provide hospital equipment worth P200 million while the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Solaire, pledged P500 million for the construction of the hospital.
Enthused Bloomberry executive director Filipina Laurena: “When we received this proposal to sponsor the first ever OFW hospital in the country, [its approval] didn’t entail a lot of discussion in our board.”
“Dahil po sa pakikipag-tulungan natin sa iba-ibang ahensya, lalo na po sa Bloomberry, maisasakatuparan na po natin ang pagpapagawa ng hospital para sa mga kababayan nating OFW,” shared Gov. Pineda.
Former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was also instrumental in the creation of the OFW hospital last year appealed to House members from Central Luzon and the chairpersons of the Committees on Health and Labor to author a bill creating it.
“As recommended by the Department of Budget and Management, a law is needed for the continued funding of this OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center,” Arroyo said then.