Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima commends the administration’s move to include barangay health workers, child day care workers and barangay tanods in the government’s cash aid program, as reflected in Malacañang’s fourth report last April 20.
De Lima’s statement came after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have confirmed in the latest weekly report that they have included these barangay frontliners in the social amelioration program (SAP).
“I applaud the initiative of both the DILG and the DSWD to include the Barangay Health Workers, Tanods and Child Daycare workers as target beneficiaries of the DSWD’s SAP,” she said.
“Hindi biro ang kanilang trabaho. While the rest of the citizenry are obliged to stay indoors, these barangay frontliners risk their very lives for us, despite meager allowances,” she added.
Most of the barangay health workers, child day workers and tanods are not regular government employees and merely receive allowances of as low as PhP1,000 per month, depending on the financial capacity of the barangay.
“Because they are also frontliners, I appeal to the IATF-EID and PhilHealth to include these barangay workers within the medical coverage of PhilHealth as they are heavily exposed to COVID-19 in their performance of duties in response to this crisis,” De Lima said.
“It is high time that their value is recognized. But, let us not stop here. I pray that as Congress reopens, the leadership of both Houses will be able to act on pending bills to fully institutionalize and standardize their salaries and benefits, and ultimately safeguard their welfare,” the lady Senator from Bicol added.
As chairperson of the Senate Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, De Lima have filed bills to promote fair and decent wages for barangay workers, including barangay health and child daycare workers.
Senate Bill (SB) No. 184 for barangay health workers, and SB No. 185 for day care workers were in fact part of De Lima’s top ten priority bills that she filed last July at the opening of the 18th Congress.
Both bills seek to provide the security of tenure, proper compensation and incentives, including honorarium and medical coverage, for barangay health workers and child day care workers as recognition for their sacrifices and tireless efforts in their respective roles in the community. (30)