Bill to classify health workers as gov’t employeesBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
SHE worked for 28 years as a health worker in barangay Bugas, Badian town in south Cebu but 60-year-old Beviana Saranillo only started receiving a P300 monthly allowance eight years ago.
The Badian municipal government added a P150 per month counterpart to her P300 monthly allowance just recently.
“Barangay health workers are really pitiful. Our allowance is really meager,” she said.
Saranillo said she had to stretch her husband’s security guard salary and the little income she earns from her sari-sari store to raise their five children.
“I’ve considered resigning several times but I feel guilty about leaving the work behind,” she said.
As government’s front-liners, barangay health workers implement deworming programs and distribute vitamins and supplements to children.
Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay said BWHs, barangay officials and tanods should also be considered government employees so that they could receive a minimum wage and benefits enjoyed by government employees.
“The backbone of the Philippines are the barangay workers. We cannot undermine their benefits,” she said during the regional assembly of BHWs held in Cebu City yesterday.
Others who attended the assembly were Pasig City lone district Rep. Roman Romulo and Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad.
Former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar didn’t attend because she wasn’t feeling well. She sent raffle prizes which include cellular phones, umbrellas and wall clocks.
Soledad praised BHWs in her message.
“They shouldn’t be underestimated. You are our heroes of health,” she said.
Magsaysay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said she is drafting a bill to raise the benefits of barangay health workers.
Saranillo said she is hopeful that Magsaysay’s proposed legislation will be passed into law soon.
Badian town alone has 130 health workers, while Saranillo’s barangay in Bugas has four health workers.