PIA Press Release
Monday, January 09, 2012
Security of tenure of Kalinga barangay health workers pushedby Gigi Dumallig
TABUK CITY, Kalinga,Jan. 9(PIA)-- The health department of the provincial government here is pushing to safeguard the employment of barangay health workers (BHWs) in the province.
BHW Provincial Coordinator Rose Alunday said there is a need to ensure the BHWs security of tenure to address the unwarranted practice of replacing and employing unqualified BHWs just to accommodate politically favoured applicants.
She said that it has been a common concern that BHWs are ‘placed at the mercy of politicians every time there is a change in administration’, which shouldn’t be the case considering that in the hiring of BHWs a process must be followed.
Republic Act No. 7883 known as the ‘Barangay Health Workers Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995,’ states that an appointed BHW “has undergone the trainings and programs under any government and non-government organization and who voluntarily renders primarily health care services in the community after having been accredited to function as such by the local health board in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH).”
The law likewise states that the government recognizes the rights of BHW ‘to organize themselves, to strengthen and systematize their services to their community, and to make a venue for sharing their experiences and for recommending policies and guidelines for the promotion, maintenance and advancement of their activities and services.’
According to Alunday, aside from security of tenure, the active and regularly performing BHWs are also entitled to receive incentives such as hazard allowance, subsistence allowance for those rendering services in isolated barangay health stations, educational programs and trainings.
RA No. 7883 also mandates the granting of a second grade Civil Service Eligibility to the BHW who have rendered five years continuous service, and should the BHW become a regular employee of the government, the total number of years served as BHW will be credited in the computation of the retirement benefits.
An accredited BHW is also entitled with free legal representation and consultation services by the Public Attorney’s Office in cases arising from the performance of their duties, while organized BHWs could also have preferential access to loan through the DOH in partnership with concerned government agencies.
To ensure that the welfare and benefits of BHWs are provided, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) will be filling a resolution for the passage of an executive order to ensure the BHWs security of tenure province wide, Alunday dislosed.
During the recent BHW Christmas get together, the provincial government gave P1,000.00 cash incentive each to the more than 800 registered BHWs in the province as a recognition for their continuous and untiring services. (JDP/GGD- PIA CAR, Kalinga)