Probe OFWs’ medical screening fraud – Salceda

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LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has urged fellow members in the House of Representative to conduct an inquiry into the alleged P530-million fraud perpetrated by a private firm allegedly victimizing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in connivance with the Embassy of Kuwait.

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Salceda said the Philippine government should not allow a foreign embassy to intrude into its policies to protect the OFWs from questionable and highly irregular medical screening and certification process.

“Those aspiring to work in Kuwait cut across all regions, and represent workers seeking a better life. We should not allow WINSTON Q8 to earn from the backs of these prospective overseas workers, especially not at the instigation of a foreign embassy,” Salceda said in a statement sent to The Manila Times.

The website of WINSTON Q8 said the firm is a Philippine-based company that represents the Ministry of Health of Kuwait.

Salceda cited a complaint of Roland Collado, vice chairman of the Philippine Association of Agencies Accredited for Kuwait or Philaak, who said they were called to a meeting at the Embassy of Kuwait on August 5 to discuss the new certification and medical screening process to be undertaken by WINSTON Q8 Certifications Solutions.

The Albay lawmaker said WINSTON Q8 charges P 8,400 for every job applicant to Kuwait.

Upon payment, the applicant can then register online using an activation code provided by the firm and made to choose from only seven clinics for medical tests based in Metro Manila.

He added that job applicants would have to go through WINSTON Q8 because the Embassy of Kuwait will not entertain any request for visa stamping unless endorsed by the private firm.

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