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The City Council approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance allocating the amount of P4.8 million in the 2021 appropriations of the City Health Services Office (CHSO) for the increase of the monthly allowance from P500 to P1,000 being paid by the city government to all barangay health workers (BHWs) and barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) in the city effective January 2021.
Ordinance No. 013, series of 2021, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that the city’s legislative body considered the summary of the 2021 executive budget adjustments, particularly the increase of monthly allowance from P500 to P1,000 to all barangay health workers and barangay nutrition scholars in the city, because of the enormous job assigned to them, especially with the prevailing implementation of the various levels of community quarantine to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city.
The council stipulated this is the time to increase the monthly allowance of the BHWs and BNS who are always in the frontline in the government’s overall campaign on health, wellness and nutrition in the different barangays for the benefit of the residents.
Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, barangays are mandated to hire barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, barangay nutrition action officers among others who will render appropriate services to the barangays pursuant to existing rules and regulations and for them to be provided with appropriate monthly allowance depending on the availability of funds by the concerned local government.
According to the council, the increase in the monthly allowance from P500 to P1,000 of the appointed BHWs and BNS is surely not sufficient compared to the enormous tasks being given to them to perform, but this is just a sincere gesture of the city government as an expression of its gratitude to the unsung heroes for their dedication and passion to serve amidst the threats of the ongoing health crisis.
The council recognized the significant contributions of the BHWs and BNS in sustaining the implementation of the various health and nutrition programs of concerned government agencies and the city government that resulted to several awards for the city.
City legislators asserted that the increase in the monthly allowance of the BHWs and BNS may inspire and motivate them to further their performance for the realization of the goals and objectives of concerned government agencies and the city government to contain the spread of the deadly virus, aside from fulfilling their mandate pursuant to the existing directives of concerned government agencies overseeing the implementation of health and nutrition programs, projects and activities in the city.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis