BHWs, other volunteers to get benefits after retirement

THE CITY’S 1,169 barangay health workers and 350 barangay nutrition scholars will finally receive retirement, death, and resignation pay after lawmakers approved the P2 million budget for their benefits.

The item was passed on third reading at yesterday’s regular session at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

At present, the city government gives the volunteer health workers P2,000 per month as honorarium, in addition to PhilHealth and Christmas bonus.

“They work hard to deliver health services to the public and they are often exposed to people with different kinds of illnesses,” Councilor Bernard Al-ag, council majority floor leader, said in a copy of the committee report.

The committee on rules and privileges discovered that upon separation from work, BHWs and BNSs have no death or retirement benefits.

“Many of them have served the city for 10 to 20 years and yet, at the end of their service, they will receive nothing from the city government. Some of them are even forced to resign as BHW or BNS because they have become unfit or unable to perform their functions due to illness that they acquired while performing their duties,” Al-ag said.

Under the proposed ordinance, BHW and BNS are granted retirement and resignation due to illness benefits if they have rendered at least three years uninterrupted service.

The benefits will be equivalent to one month of the allowance or honorarium per year of service.

The committee said that there are at least 10 BHWs or BNSs retiring from service every year.

The Barangay Health Workers’ Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995 grants BHWs incentives like hazard allowance, subsistence allowance, Second Grade Civil Service Eligibility, free legal services, and preferential access to loans.

Presidential decree 1569 or An Act Strengthening the Barangay Nutrition Program by Providing for a Barangay Nutrition Scholar in Every Barangay, meanwhile, grants BNS’s second grade Civil Service Eligibility and allowance from the LGU.

The ordinance refers to BNSs who are supervised and given allowance or honorarium by the City Government and to BHWs who are supervised and given allowance or honorarium by the City Government.

Tagum City and Compostela Valley have already granted retirement and other benefits to their volunteer health workers, according to Al-ag.

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