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Recruiters rap DOH on OFWs’ physical exams

MANILA, Philippines—A big group of recruitment agencies on Saturday criticized the Department of Health (DOH) for failing to protect prospective overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by stopping the practice of “decking” in medical examinations.

The Federated Associations of Manpower Exporters (Fedamanex), an umbrella group that includes 12 associations of licensed recruitment agencies, said “decking” contravened the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, which gives migrant workers the freedom to choose the clinics for their medical exams.

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The group accused the Gulf Cooperation Council Approved Medical Centers Association (Gamca) of continuing the practice by requiring the overseas workers to file their requests for medical exams through the Gamca website, which then assigns and farms them out to the 17 medical clinics that belong to the association.

“Pursuant to the law, the Department of Health issued an administrative order to stop the practice of decking by Gamca. But strangely, despite [the] issuance and admonition from the Congressional Committee on Overseas Workers, the DOH has refused to impose appropriate sanctions on the violators by the simple of acts of suspending and canceling the accreditations of the medical clinics under Gamca,” Alfredo Palmiery, Fedamanex president, said in a press statement.

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Estrelita S. Hizon, chair of the Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic Workers, said decking imposed additional burdens on Filipinos seeking employment in Gulf countries.

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TAGS: Department of Health, DOH, Federated Associations of Manpower Exporters (Fedamanex), medical examinations, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
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