Approved By The Lower House: Bill on Building The First-Ever OFW Hospital In The Philippines

House Bill 9194 was approved on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, by the House Committee on Ways and Means headed by its chairperson, Estrellita Suansing. The bill, authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, aims to establish a hospital to address the needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) when it comes to healthcare.

First Of Its Kind

Under the Bill, the first-ever OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center (soon to rise in Pampanga) will provide free hospital and comprehensive medical services to our modern-day heroes and their families. It also intends to conduct laboratory tests and other basic requirements to ensure their physical and mental competency prior to deployment abroad. Moreover, it will also serve as the primary hospital for those OFWs who came back to the country to get medical assistance.

Accountabilities

During the hearing, Arroyo emphasized the importance of the said facility to help OFWs who suffer from physical and mental health problems caused by the nature of their employment. The Department of Health (DOH) was tasked to assume full responsibility for the technical and administrative management of the hospital. Likewise, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will be the one to provide medical assistance programs and subsidies for qualified OFW families.

Tax Provision

The measure clearly stated the amended tax provision that will encourage more people to support the government in terms of sponsoring the Bill. It is read as follows:

“All grants, requests, endowments, donations and contributions made to the OFW Hospital to be used actually, directly and exclusively by the Hospital shall be exempt from donor’s tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income of the donor, in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 as amended, and the importation of equipment, machineries and spare parts, which are used solely and exclusively for the operations of the Hospital, and are not available locally, shall be exempt from value-added tax and Customs Duty.”

The DOH expressed appreciation to Arroyo for introducing the said Bill and heeding the call of President Duterte to create another pro-labor law.

Is this another gift from the President?

SOURCE: manilastandard.net

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