Senator Roxas: Barangay Health Corps to help deal with crisis

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | posted in , , , , , , | 0 comments

Stressing the need to bring quality health services to the barangay level, Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas has filed a bill seeking the appointment of health workers in every barangay nationwide as frontline health workers, especially at this time that the global financial crisis has hit home.

Roxas has filed Senate Bill No. 3012, or the proposed Barangay Health Workers Act of 2009, seeking the appointment of at least five (5) barangay health workers in each of the country's 41,994 barangays.
"Sa panahong ito ng krisis, mahalagang unahin natin ang kalusugan ng bawat isa, at pwede nating gawin ito kung magtatalaga tayo ng mga health workers sa ating mga barangay (In this time of crisis, we must protect the health of our people first and foremost, and we can do that by appointing health workers in each barangay)," he said.
The delivery of basic services and facilities such as health and social welfare services were devolved to the local government units following the enactment of the 1991 Local Government Code.
"It is, however, ironic that while barangay health workers are the front-liners in providing health care services to the community, there is no existing mechanism to secure that all barangays are equipped with the services of their own barangay health worker. This bill seeks to remedy this situation," the author of the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008 explained in filing the bill.
Under the proposed SB 3012, a barangay health worker shall refer to a person who has undergone training program under any accredited government or non-government organization primarily to render health care services.

Health workers eligible for the job shall be duly-accredited by the municipal or city health board in accordance with guidelines set by the Department of Health (DoH).

The bill also allows each of the country's barangay to hire at least 5 health workers, who shall be entitled to allowances and benefits similar to that received by other appointed barangay officials, as well as security of tenure. The barangay health providers can only be dismissed from work based on valid cause as provided under existing civil service rules and regulations.

It likewise mandates the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in coordination with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), to promulgate within 90 days from its enactment the rules and regulations necessary to implement its provisions.

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