Allowances, benefits of public health workers

On March 26, 1992, Republic Act (RA) No. 7305, otherwise known as The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers was signed into law in order to promote the social and economic well-being of health workers, their living and working conditions and terms of employment, to develop their skills and capabilities to be better equipped to deliver health projects and programs, and to encourage those with proper qualifications and excellent abilities to join and remain in government service.[1] Accordingly, public health workers (PHWs) were granted the following allowances and benefits, among others:
Section 20. Additional Compensation. - Notwithstanding Section 12 of Republic Act No. 6758, public health workers shall receive the following allowances: hazard allowance, subsistence allowance, longevity pay, laundry allowance and remote assignment allowance.
Section 21. Hazard Allowance. - Public health workers in hospitals, sanitaria, rural health units, main health centers, health infirmaries, barangay health stations, clinics and other health-related establishments located in difficult areas, strife-torn or embattled areas, distressed or isolated stations, prisons camps, mental hospitals, radiation-exposed clinics, laboratories or disease-infested areas or in areas declared under state of calamity or emergency for the duration thereof which expose them to great danger, contagion, radiation, volcanic activity/eruption, occupational risks or perils to life as determined by the Secretary of Health or the Head of the unit with the approval of the Secretary of Health, shall be compensated hazard allowances equivalent to at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the monthly basic salary of health workers receiving salary grade 19 and below, and five percent (5%) for health workers with salary grade 20 and above.

Section 22. Subsistence Allowance. - Public health workers who are required to render service within the premises of hospitals, sanitaria, health infirmaries, main health centers, rural health units and barangay health stations, or clinics, and other health-related establishments in order to make their services available at any and all times, shall be entitled to full subsistence allowance of three (3) meals which may be computed in accordance with prevailing circumstances as determined by the Secretary of Health in consultation with the Management-Health Worker's Consultative Councils, as established under Section 33 of this Act: Provided, That representation and travel allowance shall be given to rural health physicians as enjoyed by municipal agriculturists, municipal planning and development officers and budget officers.

Section 23. Longevity Pay. - A monthly longevity pay equivalent to five percent (5%) of the monthly basic pay shall be paid to a health worker for every five (5) years of continuous, efficient and meritorious services rendered as certified by the chief of office concerned, commencing with the service after the approval of this Act. Pursuant to Section 35[2] of the Magna Carta, the Secretary of Health promulgated its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) in July 1992. Thereafter, in November 1999, the DOH, in collaboration with various government agencies and health workers' organizations, promulgated a Revised IRR consolidating all additional and clarificatory rules issued by the former Secretaries of Health dating back from the effectivity of the Magna Carta. The pertinent provisions of said Revised IRR provide:
6.3. Longevity Pay. — A monthly longevity pay equivalent to five percent (5%) of the present monthly basic pay shall be paid to public health workers for every five (5) years of continuous, efficient and meritorious services rendered as certified by the Head of Agency/Local Chief Executives commencing after the approval of the Act. (April 17, 1992)

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7.1.1. Eligibility to Receive Hazard Pay. — All public health workers covered under RA 7305 are eligible to receive hazard pay when the nature of their work exposes them to high risk/low risk hazards for at least fifty percent (50%) of their working hours as determined and approved by the Secretary of Health or his authorized representatives.

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7.2.1. Eligibility for Subsistence Allowance

a. All public health workers covered under RA 7305 are eligible to receive full subsistence allowance as long as they render actual duty.

b. Public Health Workers shall be entitled to full Subsistence Allowance of three (3) meals which may be computed in accordance with prevailing circumstances as determined by the Secretary of Health in consultation with the Management-Health Workers Consultative Council, as established under Section 33 of the Act.

c. Those public health workers who are out of station shall be entitled to per diems in place of Subsistence Allowance. Subsistence Allowance may also be commuted.

x x x x

7.2.3 Rates of Subsistence Allowance

a. Subsistence allowance shall be implemented at not less than PhP50.00 per day or PhP1,500.00 per month as certified by head of agency.

x x x x

d. Part-time public health workers/consultants are entitled to one-half (1/2) of the prescribed rates received by full-time public health workers.

On July 28, 2008, the Fourteenth Congress issued Joint Resolution No. 4, entitled Joint Resolution Authorizing the President of the Philippines to Modify the Compensation and Position Classification System of Civilian Personnel and the Base Pay Schedule of Military and Uniformed Personnel in the Government, and for other Purposes, approved by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 17, 2009, which provided for certain amendments in the Magna Carta and its IRR 

[1] Republic Act No. 7305, Sec. 2. 

[2] Section 35. Rules and Regulations. - The Secretary of Health after consultation with appropriate agencies of the Government as well as professional and health workers' organizations or unions, shall formulate and prepare the necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act. Rules and regulations issued pursuant to this Section shall take effect thirty (30) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

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