By Ching Araneta
Three municipalities of Sibuyan Island in Romblon have been making sure every barangay health worker (BHW) is given security of tenure and rightful benefits as a volunteer. And for doing this, the Sibuyan Inter-Local Health Zone (ILHZ) won third place in the Department of Health’s 2013 Inter-Local Health Zone Good Practice. The award came with a P200,000 cash prize.
It was in June 2012 when mayors, BHW federation presidents and village captains in the three municipalities of Cajidiocan, Magdiwang and San Fernando formally agreed to adopt measures preventing the arbitrary removal of BHWs. They also installed a performance management system to protect the rights of BHWs and make sure they receive their benefits under the Barangay Health Worker’s Benefits and Incentives Act.
The measure, called the “Manual of procedures for BHW retention,” was put to test after the October 2013 barangay election. BHWs, who were subject for removal, were subsequently retained after undergoing due process in the municipal local health board.
This innovation of the ILHZ was nominated by DOH Regional Office IV-B. Representatives from the DOH central office conducted the assessment in Sibuyan in December 2013. The criteria for the award included leadership, governance and improvement of service delivery.
Awarding ceremony was held last February in Traders Hotel, Pasay City.