THE House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that will strengthen the local health boards of every province, city, or municipality, by including the duly elected president of the Provincial Federation of Barangay Health Workers as its member.
House Bill (HB) No. 7447, introduced by Quezon 1st District Rep. Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food, was approved on third and final reading with an overwhelming 238 votes.
“The proposed law seeks to amend Section 102 (a) (1) (2) (3) and (b) (1) of Republic Act No. 7160, as amended, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, leader of the 311-member House of Representatives, said. “With this bill, we aim to strengthen local health boards by ensuring the representation of barangay health workers whom we continue to recognize as essential front liners in health promotion and advocacy.”
“Without the tireless dedication and selfless service of our barangay health workers, the government’s fight against many diseases, and the pandemic for instance, will not be successful,” Enverga for his part said. “Hence, it is just appropriate that they become part of local health boards that serve as an advisory committee to the sanggunian concerned on health matters such as budget for public health purposes.”
HB 7447 also provides an additional function of local health boards which is to propose incentives or benefits for barangay health workers and recommendations on other matters requiring expenditures of local funds on health matters.