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BHW Magna Carta amendment push a must: PAPO

THE PHILIPPINE Alliance for Patient Organization stressed the need to push for a more embracive Magna Carta for barangay health workers to empower the healthcare providers on the ground. 

PAPO founder Fatima Lorenzo said the incentives the BHWs receive are insufficient to compensate for the critical role they play in the community.

BHWs need more than security in their positions being frontliners of the government’s healthcare program. Unfortunately, their services are easily terminated when a new set of officials is sworn into office after each election.

“They are the foot soldiers, you expect them to disseminate, to implement the vaccination program but with every change of administration, the BHW changes as well,” Lorenzo said during the Injecting Hopes seminar workshop by the Philippine Press Institute in Century Park Manila on Nov 30. 

“Some communities only receive a 500 allowance, swerte nalang na maka libo sila, and yet we expect them to implement the health programs on the ground?” she added.

The official noted that regardless of their nature as volunteers, their responsibility is at par with other employed medical workers.

The unjust removal of BHWs is a waste of resources. “ Sayang naman ang tine-train ng DOH ng ilang taon, kung mag-train na naman ng iba.

Senate Bill 1840 or the Magna Carta 1840 was lobbied by Senator Win Gatchalian to promote the welfare and well-being of BHWs at the forefront of health services delivery on the grassroots level.

“BHWs have different tasks depending on the agreement reached between community leaders, but there appears to be a disparity between the benefits, compensation, and protection accorded to them by Republic Act No. 7883 or the “Barangay Health Workers’ Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995” and the actual role, functions, and responsibilities they undertake,” Gatchalian said in the explanatory note of the bill.

Sec. 9 of the bill states that the BHW shall be entitled to a monthly honorarium of not less than P3,000 (subject to adjustment based on market value), and to become a regular employee of the government. 

Included in Sect. 9 is the hazard allowance of not less than P1,000 monthly, subsistence allowance of not less than P100 daily, transportation allowance of P1,000 monthly, and also a one-time gratuity pay of P10,000 to recognize BHWs for having loyalty and service for at least fifteen (15) years.

Among the privileges the BHWs can enjoy include a 20% discount privilege, health benefits including but not limited to immediate membership in Philhealth, insurance coverage from GSIS, sick and maternity leaves, legal services, cash gifts, disability benefits, and training education, among others.

The bill also highlights protection for BHWs stating that “No accredited BHW shall be removed

except for a valid cause as determined by the Local Health Board (LHB). The LHB shall resolve termination cases against BHWs judiciously and not later than ninety (90) days from the receipt of a complaint.”

In case of unjust removal, the BHWs will be entitled “to reinstatement without loss of benefits and incentives from the time of termination up to the time of reinstatement.” 



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