Saturday, 21st October 2017
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March 10 - 16 (2)

By Ralph John Mijares

 

ROXAS CITY–The group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) made their assessments on possible livelihood projects in different parts of Capiz recently.


Jeffrey Tarayao, One MERALCO Foundation president, said that they might return to the province with some business development people to seek possible investment opportunities here.


“Gusto din naming makita ang opportunities for long-term participation in the growth of Capiz, maybe through business investments,” Tarayao said.


Also with Tarayao were Esther Santos of PLDT Smart Foundation and Menchie Silvestre of TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation.


They will recommend possible assistance that can done by the MVP group.


Pangilinan was said to come to Capiz on March 16. But Tarayao did not confi rm it.


The group visited the towns of Pontevedra, Panay, President Roxas, and Pilar towns; and Roxas City.


Asked about possible recommendations, Tarayao said, “Obviously boats are very important. I guess the fishing industry, especially the fisher folk, needs much help.”

By Ralph John Mijares

 

ROXAS CITY—A party list representative recently discussed and consulted with Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) about her proposed bill for them.


ANG NARS Party – List Representative Leah Paquiz was in a forum on House Bill No. 3925 or the Barangay Health Workers and Services Reform Act of 2014 at the Provincial Capitol’s Hall of Governors recently here.

 

The forum was organized by the ANG NARS Party-List and the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation.


Paquiz aims to repeal Republic Act No. 7883 or the Barangay Health Workers Benefi ts and Incentives Act of 1995.


“Although R.A. 7883 provides for an opportunity for BHWS to obtain second grade eligibility, the process of arriving thereat seems unattainable, if not impossible,” Paquiz said in a copy of her proposed bill.


According to Paquiz, BHWs have been economically oppressed. “While the government is mindful that BHWs are volunteers, it is unmindful that being a BHW is their bread and butter.


While the nature of their work is full-time, BHWs are receiving an allowance ranging from P1,000 to P6,000.


This allowance is their only source of living, sans fixed income, benefits and incentives,” Paquiz added.


Some forum participants said that they receive none at all, even hazard pay.


Only one raised her hand after being asked about who had a regular job other than being a BHW.


They are also "at the mercy of local government officials, due to the absence of security of tenure", Paquiz said.


Further, "their continuous work is dependent on the political support they rendered to the incumbent official. BHWs are being terminated whimsically and capriciously by the local officials when their political pledge belongs to another."


For her part, "BHWs will have the same incentives and benefits under the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers."


Paquiz proposed that the BHW's entry pay level is equivalent to Salary Grade One or around P 8,000/month. They will also avail themselves of GSIS, Philhealth, and Pagibig benefits.


Also included among Paquiz's proposed reforms is the qualification for BHWs.


Upcoming BHWs must complete the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) BHW program or had undergone training by TESDA-accredited institutions, passed the training assessment and got their national certification.


Existing BHWs who have served at least two years from the bill's approval must have an assessment from TESDA accredited assessors and pass the equivalent national certification in order to be employed.


Veteran BHWs who met the qualifications are prioritized in hiring and placement.


Some participants did not want to have themselves assessed.


Also in the forum were a Provincial Health Office representative, among others.


Paquiz said that same forum will be held in Cebu and Davao.


At this writing, the bill has not been approved.