The Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers is a measure that the House of Representatives…
Magna Carta for barangay health workers needs to be approved by the Senate.
Rep. Paolo Duterte of Davao City asked the Senate on Wednesday to prioritize the proposed Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers (BHW) in order to enhance the nation’s provision of community-based primary healthcare services.
In a statement, Duterte said that the proposed law, which last week failed to pass the House of Representatives third and final reading, would encourage more individuals to volunteer their services and enroll in BHW training thanks to the increased pay and benefits it would provide.
There are at least a dozen Senate bills that call for a Magna Carta for barangay health workers, but they have not yet been reconciled and combined into a single replacement bill. When Congress reconvenes next month, we hope the Senate will be able to give the approval of the Magna Carta’s corresponding proposal first priority.
He pointed out that although BHWs are a crucial part of the community-based healthcare approach, they have not yet been “fully acknowledged and given the compensation and benefits they merit.”
The House-approved version’s major author, Duterte, emphasized the “heroic role” that barangay health workers perform as front-line healthcare providers, particularly during the pandemic.
He claimed that the proposed charges the Department of Health (DOH) with figuring out the optimal BHW to household ratio.
He added that the DOH should make sure that there is at least one BHW for every 20 families nationwide and that the total number of BHWs does not fall below 1% of the total population.
“The lack of primary healthcare facilities in many communities, particularly in distant locations, should be addressed with the support of this ratio, according to Duterte.
The proposed legislation aims to offer BHWs a full range of compensation and benefits, such as hazard allowance, transportation allowance, subsistence allowance, one-time retirement cash incentive, health benefits, insurance coverage and benefits, vacation and maternity leaves, cash gifts, and disability pay, among others.
The proposal also requires the Department of Health (DOH) to offer BHWs continuing education and training programs. It further requires that a credentialed BHW who has provided at least five years of continuous service be granted first-grade Civil Service Eligibility.
Additionally, it requires that a grievance procedure be set up by the municipal, city, or provincial government, as well as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), to handle complaints against discriminatory acts and the unfair dismissal of BHWs from the workforce.
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