De Lima bats for public health workers’ benefits

Published April 30, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Hannah L. Torregoza

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has urged the Senate to call for the convening of the Congressional Commission on Health or HealthCom to institute reforms in the law to ensure that public health workers (PHW) are properly compensated.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 716, De Lima said there is an urgent need for Health Com to convene and revisit Republic Act No. 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, and its revised implementing rules and regulations to determine what provisions need to be amended in order to plug the loopholes and to bridge the statutory gaps.

“Fifteen years since its enactment, monitoring of the implementation of the law has been generally weak and our PHWs still remain undervalued,” De Lima said in a statement.

“Because of the current poor working conditions in the government health sector, PHWs, especially nurses, are motivated to seek employment overseas. As to doctors, less are pursuing the profession,” she lamented.

The law entitles PHWs to subsistence allowance, laundry allowance, longevity pay, hazard pay, night shift differential, free living quarters or quarters allowance, remote assignment allowance for doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives, higher salary grade upon retirement, among others.