The Department of the Interior and Local Government said today that the families of all Barangay Tanods, Barangay Health Workers nationwide are now qualified under the Social Amelioration Program of the government.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista has issued a Memorandum yesterday approving the recommendation of the DILG for the inclusion of these barangay frontliners in the SAP program.
“Marami pong salamat to DSWD Secretary Bautista for approving the recommendation of the DILG and for listening to the appeal of our village workers for them to be also given financial aid given to those affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic,” he said.
He said part of the DILG letter read: “It is the appeal of this department that the nature of appointment of barangay health workers and barangay tanods should not outrightly disqualify them from being included in the target beneficiaries under the SAP, particularly the emergency subsidy program.”
He said that barangay tanods and health workers are not regular employees but only receive allowances from the barangay at rates dependent on the financial capacity of the barangay. “Therefore, since they only receive allowances, they are sub-minimum wage earners which refers to any person who earns a wage below the prescribed minimum wage,” he said.
“Karamihan po sa ating mga tanod at health workers ay head of the family and they only receive more or less P1,000 as allowance from the barangay. Since they are below the poverty line, they should be included among those to be given SAP, subject to the proper screening of the DSWD,” he said.
Malaya also added that as frontliners in the war against COVID, the sacrifice of village workers must be recognized by govermment. “The BHWs compose our BHERTS (Barangay Health Emergency Response Team), they are our first responders. The Tanods implement the quarantine in the community. It is just right that they be given financial assistance since they are there in the frontlines together with our police, firemen, LGUs, and medical professionals,” he said.
Meanwhile, those excluded from the village’s list of beneficiaries but have low or no income and no independent financial capability could file an appeal to the municipal or city social welfare and development officer said Malaya.