Gov’t Agencies to Boost Assistance for OFWs with Medical Repatriation Cases

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) collaborated with five other government agencies to streamline the process and policies involving homebound Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with medical repatriation cases.

In a Manila Times report on Sunday, DFA inked a Joint Memorandum Circular with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to assist OFWs who may need to return to the Philippines for the treatment of their illness.

The JMC on the “Integrated Policy Guidelines and Procedures in the Conduct of Medical Repatriation of Overseas Filipinos” defines the duties of agencies in OFWs’ medical repatriation cases, from identification, travel arrangements, and post-arrival stage.

“Through the instrument that we signed, we want to show our faith in the OFWs, our faith in the government, our faith in the President and the President’s faith in us are not dead because we are doing good works,” the Manila Times quoted DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano as saying.

DFRA’s Office of Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs and DOLE’s Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will help identify OFWs’ needs, such airport assistance, initial medical evaluation, ambulance, referral and endorsement to hospitals, financial assistance through DSWD or DOH, PhilHealth membership coverage, escort services, and psychosocial counseling.

The report said the JMC also covers medical repatriation for undocumented OFWs.

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