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On the second reading, the House approves the Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers.

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The Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers is a measure that the House of Representatives approved on second reading on Wednesday in order to properly recognize the vital work of these front-line healthcare providers at the local level.

In the plenary, the House approved House Bill 6557 by voice vote, which aims to reward barangay health workers for their steadfast service with allowances and other perks.

The following incentives and perks are available to accredited BHWs: hazard allowance, transportation allowance, subsistence allowance, one-time cash retirement incentive, health benefits, insurance coverage and benefits, vacation and maternity leaves, and cash presents.

Representative Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela City said the bill’s goal is to end the “mistreatment” that all BHWs endured since they put their own safety and comfort in danger and sacrificed themselves for the community’s health.

Since the beginning of time, our BHWs have been on the front lines of healthcare; yet, we have fallen short of fulfilling our responsibility, according to Gatchalian.

He said that the bill’s objectives include protecting BHWs from discrimination and preventing their use as political pawns, as well as professionalizing BHWs through ongoing education and skill development.

He said, “We think that in this modest way, we are taking a great stride toward bettering the circumstances of our BHWs.

A BHW shall be entitled to monthly honoraria of not less than PHP3,000 under the provisions of the bill.

Furthermore, it must grant a first-grade Civil Service Eligibility to a certified BHW who has worked for at least five years continuously.

The Department of Health will be required to offer BHWs training and continuing education programs.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government, the municipal, city, or provincial government must set up a grievance procedure to handle complaints against discriminatory acts and the unfair dismissal of BHWs from the workforce.

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