Department of Health intends to deploy 26,000 nurses and allied health workers to poor communities this 2019. These workers will get better compensation and benefits package.
The Office of the Secretary of DOH released a statement May 3, 2019 on the DOH Health Human Resource Deployment. The statement of Sec. Francisco Duque was sent to DOH Regional Offices. The department also issued a brief and less detailed statement released to the public on the same day.
In the statement shared online, Duque said that the health department will be deploying around 26,000 health workers in the geographically isolated and depressed areas (GIDA) areas first in the light of the recently-signed national budget.
DOH previously revealed that out 26,000 workers, around 17,000 are nurses under the Nurse Deployment Project (NDP) program.
The approved General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed April 15, allocated P8.5 billion total funds for the HRH program. The budget covers salaries and benefits, midwifery and medical scholarship, and other operating expenses under the program.
Salary and Benefits
Health workers will now receive higher salary rate due to the implementation of Salary Standardization Law 4th Tranche which takes effect this year.
Duque also said that they have already requested Department of Budget and Management to convert the HRH deployment program from Job Order to PS-Contractual items so that they can be eligible for Magna Carta benefits for Public Health Workers.
Magna Carta Benefits include Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA), hazard pay, subsistence and laundry allowances.
DOH needs the DBM’s National Budget Circular for guidelines on the utilization and disbursement of funds so that they can start the implementation.
“Meanwhile, the DOH is coordinating closely with its regional offices, or Centers for Health Development, to start processing the documentary requirements in preparation for the eventual deployment of these health workers,” the statement added.
“We are eagerly awaiting the start of our deployment program because our human resources support the creation of sustainable service delivery networks to bring us closer to our vision for Filipinos to become the healthiest in Southeast Asia by 2020 and Asia by 2040.”
“We are enabled by the recently signed UHC Act and the 2019 GAA to achieve this,” the statement concluded.
Aside from GIDA barangays, DOH will send these health workers to priority areas such as municipalities with indigenous cultural communities, 4th, 5th, and 6th class municipalities; and urban poor communities around the country.