Press Release
April 14, 2023

Senator Alan bats for regular employment status, better pay for Barangay Health Workers

For Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a good way to strengthen the country's primary health care system is to appoint a sufficient number of Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) across the country and raise their status from being volunteers to government workers.

Cayetano is pushing for this through Senate Bill No. 68 or the Mahal Ko, Barangay Health Worker Ko Law which he filed on July 7, 2022.

Inspired by their invaluable service and contribution during the pandemic, Cayetano said BHWs should be given sufficient incentives, benefits, and just compensation for all their hard work in the country.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, BHWs were notably at the forefront of response where they served as the bridgeway of communication between the health centers and constituents," Cayetano said in his bill's explanatory note.

He said BHWs had been particularly helpful especially "through door-to-door delivery of medicines, assistance in the vaccination drives, participation in contact tracing efforts, among others."

Cayetano said the need for adequate healthcare workers, facilities, and equipment were highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in remote areas.

To address this and to strengthen the country's healthcare system, he said the government should begin by looking out for the welfare of BWHs.

"The goal of improving the Primary Healthcare System necessarily carries with it the responsibility of taking care and supporting those in charge of implementing the same," the senator said.

Through SB No. 68, Cayetano wants to elevate their status by directing cities and municipalities to hire BHWs as employees of the Local Government Units (LGUs).

"BHWs hired... will receive all the compensation and benefits given by the city or municipality to its Job Order, Contractual, Casual, or Regular Employees," the senator proposed through the bill.

In addition, Cayetano is seeking the coordination between the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in creating a Special Barangay Health Workers Assistance Program that will provide additional financial and technical assistance, training, and other support to selected LGUs for their BHWs.

"The program will prioritize assistance to LGUs that do not have or have little capacity to give regular and adequate salaries and allowances to its BHWs for the next 10 years, as determined by the DOH and DILG," he explained.

Cayetano said the City of Taguig has already proven that the promotion of BHWs is possible as it has started implementing this kind of upgrade and support through multiple incentives.

"Aside from their regular salary, they receive bonuses and other benefits like training, overtime pay, and hazard pay. We have elevated their status to be formally employed under our LGU as Job Order (JO) and Casual Employees," he said.

"Such benefits should not be limited only in Taguig because all the Filipinos deserve the best social services. We should start properly compensating, assisting, and building up the skills of our health workers, because they are our backbone for the efficient delivery of our overall health system," he added. ###


Senador Alan, tinutulak ang mataas na sahod at regular na trabaho para sa Barangay Health Workers

Para kay Senador Alan Peter Cayetano, isang magandang paraan upang palakasin ang primary healthcare system ng bansa ay ang pagtatakda ng sapat na bilang ng Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) sa iba't-ibang bahagi ng bansa at itaas ang kanilang status mula volunteer sa pagiging empleyado ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.

Itinutulak ito ni Cayetano sa pamamagitan ng Senate Bill No. 68 o ang Mahal Ko, Barangay Health Worker Ko Law na inihain niya noong July 7, 2022.

Dahil sa kanilang napakahalagang serbisyo at kontribusyon nitong pandemic, sinabi ni Cayetano na dapat bigyan ng nararapat na insentibo, benepisyo, at tamang sahod ang mga BHW.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, BHWs were notably at the forefront of response where they served as the bridgeway of communication between the health centers and constituents," wika ni Cayetano sa explanatory note ng SB No.68.

Aniya, naging matulungin ang mga BWH lalo na sa pamamagitan ng "door-to-door delivery of medicines, assistance in the vaccination drives, participation in contact tracing efforts, among others."

Dagdag niya, ipinakita ng COVID-19 pandemic ang kakulangan ng healthcare workers, pasilidad, at mga kagamitan sa bansa, lalo na sa mga liblib na lugar.

Upang tugunan ang problemang ito at palakasin ang healthcare system ng bansa, sinabi ni Cayetano na marapat lang na alagaan ng gobyerno ang kapakanan ng mga BHW.

"The goal of improving the Primary Healthcare System necessarily carries with it the responsibility of taking care and supporting those in charge of implementing the same," aniya.

Sa pamamagitan ng SB No. 68, nais pataasin ni Cayetano ang katayuan ng mga BHW sa pamamagitan ng pagtakda sa kanila bilang mga empleyado ng Local Government Units (LGUs).

"BHWs hired... will receive all the compensation and benefits given by the city or municipality to its Job Order, Contractual, Casual, or Regular Employees," paliwanag ng senador sa panukala.

Sa ilalim ng SB No. 68, magkakaroon ng koordinasyon ang Department of Health (DOH) at ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) upang maglikha ng isang Special Barangay Health Workers Assistance Program na magbibigay ng karagdagang tulong sa financial at technical assistance, training, at iba pang tulong sa mga mapipiling LGU para sa kanilang mga BHW.

"The program will prioritize assistance to LGUs that do not have or have little capacity to give regular and adequate salaries and allowances to its BHWs for the next 10 years, as determined by the DOH and DILG," wika ni Cayetano.

Ayon sa senador, ginagawa na ang ganitong pag-alaga sa mga BHW sa lungsod ng Taguig at maaari itong gawin sa buong bansa.

"Aside from their regular salary, they receive bonuses and other benefits like training, overtime pay, and hazard pay. We have elevated their status to be formally employed under our LGU as Job Order (JO) and Casual Employees," sabi niya.

"Such benefits should not be limited only in Taguig because all the Filipinos deserve the best social services. We should start properly compensating, assisting, and building up the skills of our health workers, because they are our backbone for the efficient delivery of our overall health system," dagdag ng senador.

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