House approves proposed Magna Carta for BHWs on 2nd reading

Published December 8, 2022, 9:43 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

The proposed Magna Carta of Barangay Health Workers (BHW) has been approved on second reading in the House of Representatives.


The measure, embodied in House Bill (HB) No.6557, was approved via simple voice vote during plenary session Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The House Committee on Local Government earlier endorsed the bill for plenary approval, with the lower chamber racing against time to pass all priority pieces of legislation on third and final reading before they go on holiday break.

Under HB No.6557, all accredited BHWs shall be entitled to incentives and benefits that include hazard allowance, transportation allowance, subsistence allowance, one-time retirement cash incentive, health benefits, insurance coverage and benefits, vacation and maternity leaves and cash gifts.

The benefits for BHW include a monthly honoraria of not less than P3,000.

The proposed measure seeks to professionalize the role of BHWs in the promotion of primary health care through programs, trainings, and scholarships, and also provides for a more defined role of the BHWs within the framework of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.

The bill mandates the Department of Health (DOH) to provide continuing education and training programs for BHWs.

Moreover, the Magna Carta confers a first grade Civil Service Eligibility to an accredited BHW who has rendered at least five years of continuous service.

It also mandates the municipal, city, or provincial government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to establish a grievance mechanism to address complaints regarding acts of discrimination and unjust removal of BHWs from the service.

The measure is expected to be passed on third and final reading next week before Congress starts its five-week holiday recess.