Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go has filed a bill seeking to improve healthcare access for overseas Filipino workers and their families.
In a press statement, Go’s office announced the filing of Senate Bill 2414, known as the “OFW Ward Act,” which would require all Department of Health hospitals to establish wards dedicated to treating OFWs and their dependents.
If passed, the bill mandates each public hospital to set aside beds specifically for OFW patients based on the concentration of migrant workers in the local area. It aims to address their healthcare needs at home.
Go also lauded the ongoing operations of the OFW Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga, which opened in May 2022 with 100 beds for overseas workers and families. He filed another bill to institutionalize the facility and ensure continued funding for maintenance and care.
The senator has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights. He co-authored the law creating the new Department of Migrant Workers, which now serves as a one-stop shop for OFWs.Go expressed support for proposals to establish OFW lounges in international airports. Citing military veterans' lounges, he said migrant workers deserve comfortable spaces to rest during delays given their sacrifices for families abroad.
The initial lounge proposal was introduced by Representative Marissa Magsino. Go said airports could offer essential amenities and arrangements for OFWs' flight schedules