3 BARMM lawmakers seek more incentives for health workers

INCENTIVE FOR HEALTH WORKERS. Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Member of Parliament Baintan Adil-Ampatuan defends the proposed incentives for health front-liners during Thursday’s (July 23, 2020) regular session of the BARMM’s lawmaking body. The lawmaker, together with two colleagues, said a timely incentive would ease the burden of tired health workers during the Covid-19 crisis. (Photo courtesy of BTA Communications Team)

COTABATO CITY: Three lawmakers of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) want health workers in the region to get additional incentives for their work during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.

Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) parliament members Amir Mawallil, Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, and Sittie Shahara Mastura filed a resolution on Thursday afternoon, asking BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and Health Minister Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan to provide additional monetary benefits to health front-liners.

The proposed measure said under the Special Provisions of the 2020 Bangsamoro Appropriations Act (BAA), PHP200 million has been allotted for health from the Quick Response Fund of the Office of the Chief Minister.

“Despite (the) Bangsamoro health workers’ deplorable conditions – overworked, underpaid, unsafe, and unsupported – they are now in the forefront of fighting the deadly virus across the nation, to the extent that some health workers have succumbed or fallen victims to the coronavirus,” the lawmakers said in the resolution.

“The salaries of health care workers in the country are below the daily minimum cost of living, and fall short compared to the remuneration other countries pay for the same profession, hence, the substantial difference in salaries and benefits of health workers in the country is the main reason that drives Bangsamoro health workers to work abroad,” the resolution said.

Republic Act 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law V allows for a 20-percent increase in the salaries of nurses spread across four years, from PHP31,531 on Jan. 1, 2020 to PHP36,619 in January 2023.

The three lawmakers argued that the new salary increase is still far below the nurses’ salaries abroad.

With almost 2,000 regular health workers in the region, providing additional incentives to the Bangsamoro health workers would “help ease their burden in these trying times” and “provide recognition to their dedicated service for the Bangsamoro people,” the resolution said. 

(Edwin Fernandez/PNA/SRNY/RSP)

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