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Judith pushes for mandatory insurance coverage for BPAT, BHWs

“WHAT is living for if not to make life less difficult for one another?”

Thus, stressed Councilor James K. Judith II, during the regular session Monday presided by Vice Mayor Bebot Rodriguez, as he officially submitted his proposed ordinance, which calls on the 80 barangays of Cagayan de Oro City to include in their barangay budgets the allocation for mandatory group insurance coverage for their respective barangay health workers (BHWs) and barangay peace-keeping action teams (BPATs).

In his special report, Judith cited the devotion and hard work of these frontline workers who volunteer their time to serve as health advocates and law enforcers in their respective barangays. These workers receive only allowances that are significantly less than those granted to barangay employees.

“Nasayod man kita unsa kahago, kabudlay o katadtad sa trabaho ang atong mga tanod ug mga BHWs. Gani makita nato ang ilang mga sakripisyo labina atong niagi nga pandemya sa niaging tuig. Unya taliwala sa ilang kahago, wala man gihapon tay mahatag sa ila nga dako (na butang) bale bugti sa ilang sakripisyo,” lamented the councilor.

Even if these frontliners are considered volunteers, as the law defines, Judith said they are performing their functions as regular workers, thus worthy of insurance coverage.

In the Philippines, barangay tanods are the lowest echelon of law enforcement officials. They are in the forefront of planning and reacting to any kind of atrocity, disturbance in the public, emergency, or even natural or man-made disaster that jeopardizes public safety and peace and order.

In contrast, barangay health workers (BHWs) are volunteer health professionals who have received training and who work in their communities to provide primary health care (PHC) and other health-promoting and health-educating services.

The proposed ordinance was referred to the City Council Committees on Barangay Affairs, on Public Order and Safety and on Health and Health Insurance, respectively chaired by Councilors Yan Lam S. Lim, Romeo V. Calizo, and Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, for appropriate action.


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