OPPOSITION lawmakers on Tuesday filed a bill that seeks to provide benefits such as hazard pay, subsistence allowance and longevity pay to private health workers.
“Despite the fact that health workers in public and private facilities perform the same tasks and face the same risks in providing health services and saving the lives of Filipinos disparities exist with regards to wages, salaries, benefits and others,” said three House representatives under the Makabayan bloc in the bill’s explanatory note.
The benefits listed in House Bill 6132 are similar to those provided under the Magna Cart of Public Health Workers.
The measure also covers provisions on security of tenure for health workers in private institutions.
It also prohibits all forms of contractualization and fixed-term employment, while project-based employees are considered regular for the duration of the project.
The bill also entitles private sector health workers to benefits, including maternity and paternity leave, separation pay, paid emergency leaves and retirement benefits, among others.
If passed into law, private employers will have to submit data on their workforce, including number of employees and corresponding years of service, to the Department of Labor and Employment annually for a computation of the estimated fund required to cover the benefits.
The Labor department will also monitor compliance to the mandated benefits.
“This bill aims to provide for the rights, welfare and benefits of private health workers to encourage them to stay in the country and serve the Filipino people,” said the measure’s authors. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo