BAGUIO CITY – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, urged al barangay health workers (BHWs) in the city’s 128 barangays to immediately apply for civil service eligibility pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7883 or the Barangay Health Workers Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995.
In a resolution, local legislators stated that side from the benefits and privileges stipulated in the law, concerned government agencies are mandated to give utmost preference to BHWs in the hiring of health personnel, provided that, the BHW is qualified for the position.
The council stipulated that in compliance with the pertinent provisions of RA 7883 and the administrative code of 1987 on the grant of special eligibility to the BHWs, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued Memorandum Circular No. 01, series of 2001 which stated that the eligibility conferred is appropriate for certain first level positions in career service among others.
RA 7883 refers to the BHW as 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.
Further, Section 6 of the aforesaid law provided that in recognition of their services, all accredited barangay health workers who are actively and regularly performing their assigned duties and responsibilities shall be entitled to incentives and benefits such as civil service eligibility where a second degree eligibility shall be granted to BHWs who have rendered 5 years continuous service, provided that, should the BHW become a regular employee of the government, the total number of years served as BHW shall be credited to his or her service in computing retirement benefits.
On the other hand, the Administrative Code of 1987 provided that the Civil Service Commission can prescribed, amend and enforce rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of the civil service law and other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.
The council added that the implementing rules and regulations of RA No. 7883 provided the basic qualifications and requirements in the grant of eligibility to BHWs where the CSC shall be made responsible for the second-grade civil service eligibility or its equivalent to qualified BHWs.
In recognition of the voluntary services of the BHWs to the community, the local government provides them with minimal monthly honoraria which they could use to help in sustaining the living condition of their families.
The council stipulated that by availing of the prescribed civil service eligibility, the BHWs will be able to be qualified for whatever position that will be opened by concerned government agencies and the local government that will fit their present qualifications for them to be able to have good paying jobs beneficial in improving their standard of living.
The approved resolution will be transmitted to the different barangays for the information and guidance of the concerned BHWs who will be able to qualify for the prescribed eligibility.
By Dexter A. See