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OFWs swamp POLO for free check-ups

15 November 2018

Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre  supervises volunteers and POLO staff in giving edical check-ups to OFWs.

By Vir B. Lumicao

Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre is considering imposing an appointment system or cutting down on activities in the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the wake of a heavy turnout of OFWs on the second Sunday of his free health check project.

The labor official reported an overflow crowd of 219 workers seeking the free service on Nov. 11 in POLO’s 18th floor office at Mass Mutual Tower in Wanchai.

“We need to assess and see whether we should impose an appointment system, or abandon the other training sessions crowding the area,” Labatt Dela Torre said in a post on his Facebook page later that day.

He said POLO was “filled to the rafters” with OFWs lining up for medical tests under Project Health Wise.  The deluge resulted in the weighing scale conking out and glucose test strips running out, and dela Torre sending out an urgent request for donors.

The first Saturday edition of the project on Nov. 10 also received an enthusiastic response from OFWs, who numbered close to 200 by the end of the day.

Dela Torre said his staff has to do overtime work to provide this service because POLO is normally closed on Saturdays.

Project Health Wise is conducted by POLO-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Hong Kong in collaboration with Filipino Nurses Association, Balikatan sa Kaunlaran Hong Kong Council and Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines.

Assistant Labor Attaché Angelica Suñga and OWWA Hong Kong staff Joszoa Villa, both registered nurses, lead the volunteers in administering the service, which includes taking vital signs, blood glucose, urine, uric acid, HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis checks.

FNA holds lectures on breast self-examination while a group of physical therapists led by Bona Cresencia provides free massage.

In a Facebook post, Dela Torre said, “The aim is to enable our OFWs to recognize vital signs that could potentially lead to serious health issues in the future, “ as he encouraged workers to avail themselves of the free health service. 

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