Oliver Bugarin 11 0 0 4 min to read

A House panel will look into the OFW hospital and the sovereign wealth fund.

In a scheduled meeting with Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople on Tuesday, the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs is expected to discuss the creation of an OFW hospital and an OFW sovereign fund to advance their welfare and protection.

Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo, the committee chair, stated in a Laging Handa briefing on Monday that the proposals to build an OFW hospital, designate a wing in every hospital specifically intended for OFWs and their dependents, and establish a sovereign fund to encourage all OFWs to invest their money or remittances with the government would be the main items on the agenda of the meeting.

“Bukas pa po iyong official na organizational meeting po natin and briefing po ng Department of Migrant Workers doon sa komite kung saan po tayo ang nagli-lead po nito,” said the representative. But at the same time, sapagkat nailatag din po natin kung ano po iyong mga focus natin, mahalaga na nagkaroon din po ito ng ganitong pagmi-meeting with Secretary Toots Ople. (The official organizational meeting and briefing of the committee, which I am in charge of, with the Department of Migrant Workers will take place tomorrow.) However, this discussion with Secretary Toots Ople will also be significant since we will outline the subjects we want to concentrate on),” Salo stated.

In San Fernando City, Pampanga, the first OFW hospital has been built, providing free medical care to OFWs and their legal dependents.

The planned OFW Sovereign Fund, meanwhile, will only be utilized by the national government to finance extremely urgent public and private initiatives, with a heavy focus on ones that will create jobs in the industrial or agricultural sectors.

OFWs are exempt from income tax and documentary stamp tax on the money they make by investing in bonds or other debt or investment instruments.

Salo stated that Ople will also provide updates on the conversations the agency was having with other nations to guarantee the protection of OFWs both before and after their deployment.

He added that they would also take into account the OFWs’ plea for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. to halt the premium hike.

He added, “But of course, open po tayo, makinig po tayo kung ano po iyong pinakamagandang pamamaraan para ma-address po iyong concerns ng mga OFWs po natin linked po sa premiums na binabayaran po nila sa kasalukuyan (But of course, we are willing to listen and search for

The meeting, according to him, would also discuss how to make government services and initiatives more readily available to OFWs.

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