Php 5,000 uniform hazard pay for all public health workers sought

By on June 2, 2014

Rep. Gustavo Tambunting. Photo from Tambunting's official Facebook page.
Rep. Gustavo Tambunting. Photo from Tambunting’s official Facebook page.

MANILA — A Parañaque lawmaker is pushing for a Php 5,000 uniform across-the-board hazard pay for public health workers that would be automatically included in the computation of basic monthly pay.

“There should be no disparity in the grant of hazard pay because all public health workers are exposed to the same risks and equally susceptible to the prevailing hazardous environment,” Rep. Gus S. Tambunting argued.

Tambunting is author of HB 4340 seeking reforms in the implementation of the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, amending Section 7, Rule XV of R.A. 7305 and providing the necessary funds for its implementation.

“We want to give importance and recognition to health workers who continue to perform under hazardous working conditions,” he stressed, adding that under the Magna Carta, hazard pay is a mandatory right of those exposed to medical hazardous risks.

Tambunting pointed out that the National Management Health Workers Consultative Council, the policy making body of the Magna Carta (RA 7305) encountered several problems in the implementation of the present Hazard Pay mechanism as provided under the current law.

“Among other concerns, the disparity in the entitlement causes biases and undue discussions since all public health workers are exposed to the same risks,” the author added.

The Magna Carta provides that health workers with Salary Grade (SG) 20 and above shall receive a hazard pay equivalent to 5% of basic salary while those belonging to SG 19 and below shall receive 25% of basic salary.

This means that a Senior Resident Physician SG 20 will receive an amount equivalent to P4,900 hazard pay as compared to a Junior Resident Physician SG 19 who will receive a greater amount, Tambunting said.

“Now, the irony is that both physicians are exposed to the same risk and both are susceptible to the prevailing environment,” he lamented, stressing that “exposure to risks need not be subjected to criteria.”

Under HB 4340, an across the board hazard pay of P5,000 shall be entitled all public health workers as defined.

“Excluding local government units’ counterparts and other health related establishments, an estimated 32,000 health workers, as reported by the Department of Health, will be benefited by the proposed reform measure,” the author concluded.