“Sir Mac tinawagan na ni Sir Ching ang medical clinic. Ipapadeposit nalang daw ng doctor and share niya. Clear narin daw ako sa medical, sir,” He reported with mixed-feelings.
To which statement, I replied, “Sa kanya lang pala ang birtud, kung diyan lang din naman pala sa opisina ninyo ang ‘fit to work’ status, kinawawa ka naman dahil almost two months kang pinending ng clinic at naubos ang pera mo sa kahahabol ng mga doctor na nirefer nila para mabigyang hustisya ang medical mo.”
“Oo nga sir eh ‘di ko inakala meron ganun na modus.” He said in a lowly voice.
“Posibleng may conspiracy.” I commented in disbelief.
Apparently, the medical clinic and shipping agency personnel may had conspired to have an extra source of income from the seafarer through referrals. He became their milking cow.
The seafarer had started his medical examination in Jan. 28 and was eventually, ‘cleared’ by a referred doctor on the same date.
After which, he had instructed by the medical clinic to check regularly their website for updates of his medical. But it was only in March 23 when his medical result was altered. A day passed however, it went back to pending medical status again.
Following-up, he had referred anew by the medical clinic to two more doctors to ‘clear’ his medical result.
In March 30, he completed his PEME after an agency personnel called the head of the medical clinic. On their conversation, the seafarer heard the agency personnel telling the doctor, “Marami na akong ipinadala sayo. Ideposit mo na ang share ko.”
“Sir birthday pala ng bunso ko. Nakalimutan ko na dahil sa nangyari sakin sa Maynila..” He told me on our Facebook chat when he reached home after a grueling 6 hours travel from Metro Manila.
‘Talaga? Kelan birthday ng baby mo?.” I replied.
“Bukas sir, wala nga akong pang regalo..napunta kasi lahat ng pera ko dun sa medical. Nabaon narin kami sa utang.” He said.
I was speechless. I suddenly felt a lump in my throat upon talking to a loving father, determined seafarer and a hard-working migrant worker that day.
The sham was unacceptable at all levels. Currently, I’m looking for more effective answers to help solve this particular problem lurking our seafarers. So far, here’s what I found.
Please be very vigilant of your agency and any medical clinic referrals during your PEME.