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Better pay for social workers pushed

May 15, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 164 views

LAWMAKERS are pushing for the increase in pay of public social workers in recognition of the indispensable role that these unsung heroes play in providing assistance to the poor and other vulnerable sectors of society.

House Bill (HB) 7573 was introduced by Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte Duterte, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Edvic Yap.

Under the measure the entry-level pay of public social workers be increased from Salary Grade 10 or P23,176, to Salary Grade 13, which is equivalent to P31,320.

Their proposal applies to all registered social workers in the government service, including those who are hired through job orders or contract of service.

“Public social workers go through extreme lengths to make our citizens feel the government’s presence and assistance, and it is only appropriate to establish necessary measures to recognize their heroic deeds and invaluable dedication,” the bill’s authors said.

Despite the enactment of Republic Act 9433 or the Magna Carta for Public Social Workers Act, Duterte and his fellow authors pointed out that social workers “remain to be one of the least incentivized” government employees, notwithstanding their vital task of helping underprivileged Filipinos during times of crisis.

Duterte said public social workers are the people that underprivileged Filipinos turn to in times of need, especially in government hospitals where they help families of patients find ways to get financial relief from mounting medical bills.

“Social workers are like shock absorbers. They help our countrymen in times of personal crisis, disasters and other emergency situations.

Despite this, public social workers are the least appreciated as shown by the compensation they receive, which is grossly disproportionate to the tiring work and hours they put in as government frontliners,” Duterte said.

Under HB 7573, a public social worker refers to “civilian government personnel whose position requires at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, and registration or license as a social worker, whether or not the position title carries the words ‘social welfare’, such as positions concerning community affairs and development, disaster risk and management, gender and development, labor and employment, peace, early childhood and development, volunteer service, youth development, and assistance to veterans.”

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in consultation with the Social Work Management and Consultative Council, is tasked under the bill to adjust the salary grades of public social workers within 90 days after the bill becomes a law.