Malaybalay puts assistance for health workers in a trust fund

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 15 Jan) – The city government here is using the scheme of creating a trust fund dedicated for its assistance to Barangay Health Workers (BHWs).

Vice Mayor Roland Deticio said via telephone Thursday that in the past the P1.5-million livelihood assistance for the health workers had been overlooked for two years because they were placed under the general fund.

He said in 2010 and 2011, city councilors overlooked the appropriation of the fund under general fund so they eventually had to find other sources so they can extend assistance to the city’s 469 BHWs, who receive only P1,000 a month for the their work in community health in the barangays.

Deticio said they decided to create a trust fund, which will be a revolving fund, so they don’t need to approve it with the general fund of the city’s budget every year.

He said so far the scheme ensures the health workers’ assistance will no longer be lumped into the general fund.

Deticio said they can only do this so far for their assistance to the BHWs because health workers have security of tenure under the protection of the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers. He said the magna carta assures them P1,000 honorarium every month.

Community-based news service Bukidnon News reported that the city council approved a resolution creating the P1.5 million trust fund in its session on January 13. The fund will be used to extend maximum of P3,000 loan to the health workers to be paid in installment with P750 a month deduction to the P1,000 honorarium. The city government charges two-percent interest or P60 for a year.

City Councilor Rendon Sangalang, chair of the city council’s committee on health and social services, said via telephone Thursday they are not aware if the practice is done with other LGUs. But he noted that this has been used for nine years in the administration of former Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr., now representative of the Bukidnon second congressional district.