|REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7883 - AN ACT
CREATING BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES TO ACCREDITED BARANGAY HEALTH WORKERS
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES |
1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the
"Barangay Health Workers' Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995." |
Sec. 2. Statement of Policy. – The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and to provide conditions for health empowerment, where each individual has access to information and services that will bring about health and well-being. The Primary Health Care Approach is recognized as the major strategy towards health empowerment, emphasizing the need to provide accessible and acceptable health services through participatory strategies such as health education, training of barangay health workers, community building and organizing. Towards this end, this Act shall provide incentives to communities and act as frontliners in the Primary Health Care Approach.
The government and all its instrumentalities shall also recognize the rights of barangay health workers to organize themselves; to strengthen and systematize their services for their community; and to make a venue for sharing their experiences and recommending policies and guidelines for the promotion, maintenance and advancement of their activities and services.
Sec. 3. Definition. – The term "barangay health worker" refers to a person who has undergone training programs under any accredited government and non-government organization and who voluntarily renders primary health care services in the community after having been accredited to function as such by the local health board in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH).
Sec. 4. Registration. – In order for barangay health workers to be entitled to benefits and incentives provided under this Act, they shall register with the local health board in the city or municipality in which they render service. The local health board, through the provincial health boards in the case of municipalities, shall furnish a copy of such registry to the DOH, which is hereby mandated to maintain a national register of barangay health workers. The accredited health workers shall be given appropriate proof of said accreditation.
Sec. 5. Number of Barangay Health Workers. – The DOH shall determine the ideal ratio of barangay health workers to the number of households: provided, that the total number of barangay health workers nationwide shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the total population.
Sec. 6. Incentives and Benefits. – In recognition of their services, all accredited barangay health workers who are actively and regularly performing their duties shall be entitled to the following incentives and benefits:
a) Hazard Allowance. – Volunteer barangay health workers in rural and urban areas, exposed to situations, conditions, or factors in the work environment or place where foreseeable but unavoidable danger or risks exist which adversely endanger his health or life and/or increase the risk of producing adverse effect on his person in the exercise of his duties, to be validated by the proper authorities, shall be entitled to hazard allowance in an amount to be determined by the local health board and the local peace and order council of the local government unit concerned.
b) Subsistence Allowance. – Barangay health workers who rendered service within the premises of isolated barangay health stations in order to make their services within the premises available at any and all times, shall be entitled to subsistence allowance equivalent to the meals they take in the course of their duty, which shall be computed in accordance with prevailing circumstances as determined by the local government unit concerned.
c) Training, Education and Career Enrichment Programs. – The DOH, in accordance with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and other concerned government agencies and non-government organizations, shall provide opportunities for the following:
1) educational programs which shall recognize years of primary health care service as credits to higher education in institutions with stepladder curricula that will entitle barangay health workers to upgrade their skills and knowledge for community work or to pursue further training as midwives, pharmacists, nurses or doctors;
2) continuing education, study and exposure tours, training, grants, field immersion, scholarships, etc.;
3) scholarship benefits in the form of tuition fees in state colleges, to be granted to one child of every barangay health worker who will not be able to take advantage of the above programs; and
4) special training programs such as those on traditional medicine, disaster preparedness and other programs that address emergent community health problems and issues.
d) Civil Service Eligibility. – A second grade eligibility shall be granted to barangay health workers who have rendered five (5) years continuous service as such: provided, that should the barangay health worker become a regular employee of the government, the total number of years served as barangay health worker shall be credited to his/her service in computing retirement benefits.
e) Free Legal Services. – Legal representation and consultation services for barangay health workers shall be immediately provided by the Public Attorneys Office in cases of coercion, interference, and in other civil and criminal cases filed by or against barangay health workers arising out of or in connection with the performance of their duties as such.
f) Preferential Access to Loans. – The DOH in coordination with other concerned government agencies shall provide, within one hundred eighty (180) days after the effectivity of this Act, a mechanism for access to loan services by organized barangay health workers. The agencies providing loan services will set aside one percent (1%) of their loanable funds for organized barangay health worker groups that have community-based income generating projects in support of health programs or activities.
Sec. 7. Review by the Local Health Board. – Every incentive or benefit for barangay health workers requiring the expenditure of local funds shall be reviewed and approved by the local health board to ensure that only the deserving barangay health workers get the same.
Sec. 8. Rules and Regulations. – The Department of Health, in cooperation with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Justice, the Civil Service Commission and other concerned government agencies and non-government organizations, shall formulate within one hundred eighty (180) days from its effectivity, the rules and regulations necessary to implement this Act.
Sec. 9. Separability Clause. – If any provision of this Act is declared invalid, the remainder or any provision hereof not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
SECTION 10. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders and other presidential issuances which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SECTION 11. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.
Approved: February 20, 1995