A BILL filed in the House of Representatives seeks to increase benefits for barangay health workers by mandating local governments to recognize them as employees.   

Filed by six lawmakers on Tuesday, House Bill 10112 or the Bayanihan Barangay Health Workers Act of 2021 will cover all those deployed in village-level health centers, whether under a job order arrangement, or hired as a casual or contractual worker, or regular employees.    

“As frontliners of our primary healthcare system, our barangay health workers must be given sufficient incentives, benefits, and most of all, just compensation for all the hard work they have done for us,” according to the bill.   

It also mandates the establishment of a special assistance program — to be led by the Department of Health and the Department of the Interior and Local Government — to provide additional technical and financial help to local governments that have little to no capacity to provide salaries to barangay health workers.   

Funding for the measure would come from the Internal Revenue Allotment share of local governments, which is expected to increase starting in 2022 in line with the Mandanas ruling.   

The national government allocated P1.116 trillion for local governments in the 2022 National Expenditure Program, including P959.04 trillion as national tax allotment share consistent with the implementation of the Mandanas ruling. — Russell Louis C. Ku