Barangay health workers may apply for eligibility — CSC

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2021   •   689

MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced the opening of the application for this year’s special civil service eligibility for volunteer barangay health workers.

A Barangay Health Worker (BHW) is a person who has undergone training programs under any accredited government and non-government organization.

They are those who voluntarily render primary health care services in the community upon accreditation by the local health board and in accordance with guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH).

The CSC grants Barangay Health Worker Eligibility (BHWE) to qualified applicants which they can use in applying for permanent positions in the government.

The eligibility entitles them to benefits and incentives for accredited BHWs in recognition of their services, pursuant to Republic Act No. 7883, or the Barangay Health Workers’ Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995.

The law also provides that, should the BHW later becomes a permanent employee of the government, his/her volunteer services shall be credited for the purpose of computing retirement benefits.

The BHWE is considered appropriate for first level positions in the government, except for:

1) Positions under Category I of CSC MC No. 11, s. 1996 and CSC MC No. 3, s. 2008, which require passing the TESDA trade tests;

2) Positions under Category IV of CSC MC No. 11, s. 1996, as amended by CSC Resolution No. 974554, which require licenses issued by competent authority;

3) Stenographer positions for these require special skills and competencies; and

4) Positions that require passing Board examinations or those which are governed by special laws.

 

Requirements for Application

A Local Health Board-accredited barangay health worker should:
– complete at least two years of college education leading to a college degree;
– has voluntarily rendered at least five years of continuous active and satisfactory service as an accredited BHW to the community.

For purposes of the grant of BHWE, services rendered to the community should meet all of the following requisites:

• The services must be voluntary, meaning, the BHW has not been employed and has not received any form of salary or compensation, except honorarium, in the entirety of the five-year period for service requirement. However, BHWs who had been hired by agencies under Job Order status and/or Contract of Service may still qualify for the grant of BHWE.

• The services rendered must be continuous for a minimum period of five years, meaning, the BHW should have served actively and satisfactorily on a full-time basis; and

• The services rendered shall be under the accredited status of the BHW, meaning, the applicant should already have been accredited by the Local Health Board before rendering the five-year service requirement.

Only services rendered starting 20 February 1995, the date of approval of R.A. 7883, shall be recognized.

Applications may be filed with the CSC Regional or Field Office having jurisdiction over the barangay where the applicant has rendered services.

The complete list of requirements and application procedures may be accessed from the CSC website at www.csc.gov.ph.

So far, the CSC has granted the BHWE to 216 volunteer health workers in the last five years.

Absences of gov’t workers due to COVID-19 considered excused – CSC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The absence from work of government personnel due to COVID-19 quarantine, isolation, or treatment will now be considered excused, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the CSC said the policy is contained in the amended interim guidelines on the use of leave credits for absences due to coronavirus infections.

The agency said that under Memorandum Circular 2, s. 2022 dated January 18, absence from work for every instance of the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment for government workers who are “infected or identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 while in the performance of their official functions, (onsite or WFH arrangement)” shall be considered as excused absence.

“They may be required to adopt a work-from-home arrangement depending on the nature of their work” pursuant to the guidelines on alternative work arrangements contained in the memorandum, the CSC said.

Previously, this provision only applied to public health workers, it added.

The CSC said excused absence refers to the period when a government worker is not required to report for work due to required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment, and/or announcement of work suspension, but are entitled to pay.

The required quarantine period refers to the prevailing number of days required for a person to undergo quarantine, or separation and restriction of movement while waiting for swab tests results or if the person will become sick.

Meanwhile, the isolation period refers to the separation of a person who is sick with a contagious disease for purposes of treatment and monitoring.

“Absences incurred from undergoing the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment after official travel from countries with or without localized COVID-19 transmissions or from local areas under community quarantine are considered excused absences,” the CSC said.

“For personal travel, only the required quarantine period may be excused, while the isolation and/or treatment period shall be charged against leave credits,” it added.

Absence from work for every instance of the required quarantine period for government workers who are “infected or identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 due to personal activities” shall also be considered an excused absence.

“In both categories, the employees may also be required to adopt a work-from-home arrangement while they are awaiting swab test results or completing the required quarantine period,” the CSC said.

“However, in the event that they become sick, the period of their isolation and/or treatment shall be considered sick leave and charged against their leave credits,” it added.

The agency noted that absences incurred from undergoing the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment after personal international travel without approved travel authority before or after the declaration of a state of public health emergency due to COVID-19 shall be charged against leave credits.

Absences incurred from undergoing the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment due to personal activities in violation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging and Infectious Diseases’ protocols, shall also be charged against leave credits, it added.

When returning to work, employees will be required to submit their application for leave, and applicable documents, including certificate of completion of quarantine, medical certificate clearing them to report back to work, and medical records showing COVID-19 treatment.

Salceda appeals for incentives for barangays reaching herd immunity

Maris Federez   •   January 4, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — House Ways and Means Committee chairperson and Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda believes that barangay health workers (BHW) must be given bonuses and incentives.

Salceda stressed that these barangay workers are underpaid considering that they are the backbones of the local government’s COVID-19 response.

“Barangay Health Workers should also have bonuses and incentives for bringing in certain percentages of unvaccinated individuals to the vaccination stations. After all, they are extremely underpaid and are the backbone of local COVID-19 response,” Salceda said.

Barangay health workers are the ones bringing unvaccinated individuals to the vaccination centers so that the barangay will be able to meet the needed percentage of the population to achieve herd immunity.

Salceda, who is also the House Economic Stimulus and Recovery Cluster chairperson, said this was factored in during the deliberation of the 2022 national budget, where Php50 billion was allocated to special risk allowance (SRA).

Salceda further said that he will push for the inclusion of BHWs in the SRA guidelines.

Meanwhile, Senior Citizen Partylist Representative Rodolfo Ordones appealed to the local government units (LGU) to allow the elderly to vaccination centers even without prior online registration.

Ordones said there are still LGUs that insist that all who want to get inoculated must register online.

“Still, some LGUs insist on online registration for all seeking COVID vaccines. Please, let the seniors, PWDs and A3 get ahead because they are at higher risks of suffering and death than most others,” Ordones said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Absences due to COVID-19 vaccination may be excused, CSC says

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Government workers who will be absent due to COVID-19 vaccination may be considered excused, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the CSC said this is pursuant to the interim guidelines it issued through CSC Memorandum Circular No. 16, s. 2021 or the “Interim Guidelines on Absences of Government Officials and Employees Due to COVID-19 Vaccination and/or Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) of COVID-19 Vaccine.”

“The issuance provides for the treatment of absences incurred by government officials and employees during the day of the inoculation of COVID-19 vaccine and/or the required treatment or recuperation period from any AEFI of COVID-19 vaccine,” the agency said.

“The guidelines define AEFI as ‘any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunization and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of vaccine,’” it added.

The CSC said the guidelines remind all government workers of their responsibility to adopt necessary measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the public sector workplaces.

“COVID-19 vaccination is considered as one of the major strategies to complement the existing measures and practices to mitigate the spread and reduce morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19,” the guidelines stated.

In relation to leave credits, the CSC said that absences due to AEFI of COVID-19 vaccine may be charged against the employee’s sick leave credits when the period of treatment/recuperation exceeds the maximum allowable period of absences for the abovementioned conditions..

If the employee has exhausted his/her sick leave credits, Section 56 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave allows for the use of vacation leave credits in lieu of sick leave credits.

“In case the vacation leave credits have been exhausted, the employee may apply for sick leave of absence without pay,” the agency said.

“Government workers who have incurred absences due to COVID-19 vaccination and/or have undergone treatment from AEFI prior to the issuance of CSC MC No. 16, s. 2021 may request for the restoration of the deducted leave credits through their agency’s Human Resource unit.” It added.

The guidelines provides the following conditions where excused absence may be considered:

  • Absence from work during the day of inoculation of the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including future booster shots. Required documents include proof of vaccination schedule (e.g. vaccination card) and the application of leave of absence; and
  • Absence from work due to the required treatment/recuperation period from AEFI of the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including future booster shots.

The CSC said a maximum of 15 calendar days may be allowed for cases of serious AEFIs which may include hospitalization, persistent or significant disability or incapacity, and life threatening or medically important event or reaction.

“In addition to the application of leave of absence and copy of vaccination card, the employee must also submit a medical certificate and/or clinical abstract indicating the diagnosis, management done, and number of days of recuperation needed, signed by the attending physician,” it said.

On the other hand, a maximum of three calendar days may be allowed for non-serious AEFIs which may include tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching or swelling on the arm where one got the injection; generally feeling unwell; feeling tired (fatigue); chills or feeling feverish; headache; and joint pain or muscle ache.

“The employee must submit a medical certificate signed by an attending physician at the vaccination center or medical facility where s/he underwent observation due to AEFI,” the CSC said.

The agency said these guidelines shall apply to all government officials and employees regardless of status of appointment (permanent, temporary, provisional, substitute, coterminous, casual, contractual or fixed term) including local elective officials.

It shall take effect retroactively on March 1, 2021, the official rollout of the vaccination drive in the Philippines.

It shall remain in full effect during the period of state of calamity as declared under Proclamation No. 1218 issued by the President of the Philippines, or one year after the government has declared the completion of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, the CSC said.

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