GAMCA denies ‘decking’ overseas workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2012 01:47 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2012 09:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The head of the Gulf Accredited Medical Clinics Association (GAMCA) denied the charge of overseas Filipino workers and recruitment agencies that their group is “decking” applicants.

In a statement released Thursday, GAMCA President DR. Rodolfo Punzalan refuted the claim of the Federated Associations of Manpower Exporters (FEDAMANEX), who alleged that GAMCA continues its practice of “decking” overseas workers.

The practice of decking involves requiring overseas workers to file their requests for health examination online through the GAMCA website. The group then assigns and fans them out to the 17 clinics that are members of the association.

According to FEDAMANEX president Alfredo Palmiery, decking violates Republic Act 10022, which guarantees overseas workers the freedom to choose the medical clinic for their health examinations.

Punzalan said that GAMCA Manila no longer decks applicants because they are no longer involved in farming out the overseas workers who apply for medical exams.

Instead, it is the recruitment agencies that apply for referrals from the Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC) Electronic Connectivity Administrator in Riyadh, who then issues referrals to the GAMCA member clinics.

According to Punzalan, the GCC Electronic Connectivity Administrator in Riyadh issues an Electronic Medial Certificate, which are transmitted directly to clinics and consular offices of the GCC-member embassies.

The GCC Ministers of Health also requires applicants to pass through the GCC Verification Qualifying System for Infectious Diseases, a database of health hazard measures initiated by the GCC countries to protect thier nationals from infectious diseases.

According to GAMCA Manila, around 500-600 applicants for jobs in the Middle East are routed to the 17 GAMCA clinics by the GCC Electronic Connectivity Administrator daily.

The GCC Electronic Connectivity is approved by both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is implemented in 11 countries around the world, including the Philippines.