Kabayan pushes fixed allowance for barangay health workersA House bill has been introduced mandating fixed monthly honoraria and minimum hazard and subsistence allowances for Barangay Health Workers (BHWs).
House Bill 4277 provides for at least P3,000 in monthly honoraria, at leasy P3,000 in Christmas Bonus, at least P1,000 hazard allowance, and at least P1,000 subsistence allowance.
HB 4277 also provides other benefits for BHWs. The complete list can be viewed at http://www.congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/basic_17/HB04277.pdf.
The enhanced benefits and incentives are in recognition of their important role and the amount of work they do, especially during disease outbreaks that most often emerge in remote areas, and during natural calamities, according to HB 4277 author, Kabayan partylist Rep. and House Assistant Majority Leader Ron Salo.
The additional benefits are a long-overdue set of incentives especially considering the continuing inflation, Salo said.
“Despite the significant role of the BHWs, their work is primarily anchored on volunteerism and many BHWs do not receive remuneration commensurate to the work they do,” said Salo.
In 1995, Republic Act No. 7883, otherwise known as the Barangay Health Workers and Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995, provides that BHWs are entitled to hazard and subsistence allowance; training programs, civil service eligibility, free legal services, and access to loan services.
However, it did not provide fixed rates for their allowances, and the local government units vary in the rates and benefits they provide. Consequently, there are many BHWs who are underpaid and receive far less than what their counterparts receive.