80,000 health workers axed by new barangay execs

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
80,000 health workers axed by new barangay execs
Sen. Francis Tolentino
Francis Tolentino / Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has ordered its regional offices nationwide to “protect” all barangay health workers following the “unjust” dismissal of more than 80,000 BHWs by newly elected barangay officials.

In a memorandum issued Dec. 5, the DOH’s Bureau of Local Health Systems Development (BLHSD) noted, “We respectfully seek your full support in protecting all registered and accredited BHWs against unjust removal in your respective regions.”

“We humbly request your assistance in

facilitating the implementation of the roles of the local health board (LHB) based on a joint memorandum circular (JMC) of the DOH and the Department of the Interior and Local Government – the ‘Retention and Continued Service of Barangay Health Workers,’” the BLHSD also said.

The bureau is referring to the LHB’s roles of conducting an investigation, deliberate within the local board and resolving disputes related to the JMC.

“If the subject of the grievance is the punong barangay, this shall be resolved by the municipality/city LHB; whereas if the subject of the grievance is the mayor, this shall be resolved by the provincial LHB through our DOH representatives serving as members of the local health board,” said the BLHSD.

To ensure proper monitoring, the DOH advised the regional offices to send the total number of BHWs that have been terminated in their localities through this link:  https://bit.ly/terminationofbhws.

The DOH said they are also communicating with the DOH regional BHW coordinators and BHW federation officers concerning the issue of BHW dismissal.

With the BHWs considered as one of the most critical parts in Universal Health Care implementation, the DOH urged Congress to prioritize the Bill on Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers.

“If enacted into law, this bill will further ensure that the rights of our BHWs are protected against unjust removal by barangay captains,” the DOH said.

The Magna Carta also aims to provide incentives and benefits to barangay health workers such as monthly honoraria, transportation allowances, hazard pay, insurance coverage, leave credits and other benefits.

Earlier reports said 80,393 BHWs were removed “without due process” by some barangay officials who won in the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

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