Supreme Court Resolution Ends GAMCA Monopoly

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has denied a motion by the Gulf Accredited Medical Clinics Association (GAMCA) and disallowed its process of decking as part of pre-employment requirement of Filipinos planning to work in the Middle East.

Decking is a practice that involves the Middle East job applicants filing their requests for medical examination online through a GAMCA nominated website. The group then assigns applicants within the 17 member clinics. Although the practice is believed to be an effective way of preventing workers suffering from communicable diseases from entering the Gulf countries, the procedure violates Republic Act 10022, which guarantees overseas workers the freedom to choose the medical clinic for their health examinations.

This process is especially tedious to applicants coming from outside of Metro Manila as most member clinics are located in the National Capital Region, incurring them travel, food and accommodation expenses.

With the Supreme Court ruling, the Department of Health (DOH) will now regulate operation of clinics that conduct the required medical examination of job applicants bound for Gulf Cooperation Countries — ¬∑Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Filipinos will then have the freedom to choose any clinic accredited by DOH.

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A copy of the Supreme Court resolution can be found here.

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