Malaybalay City creates trust fund for BHW livelihood

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/15 January) The Malaybalay City Council approved this week a P1.5 million trust fund for the city’s Barangay Health Workers.

The city council unanimously approved a resolution creating the fund for the livelihood assistance to 469 members of the BHW Association during their regular session on January 13.

Councilor Rendon P. Sangalang, committee chair on health and social services, said the committee believes the fund will be helpful to the health workers, who receive only P1, 000 a month honorarium for their community health work.

He said the trust fund is already included in the general fund of the city’s 2015 annual budget. The fund, he said, will be made available for loan to members to fund livelihood initiatives.

In the first semester of the year, members sign a memorandum of agreement with the city and apply for the loan with an annual interest of P60 (2 percent) to be deducted from the loan amount. Payment for monthly principal of P750 will be deducted from the monthly honorarium.

Members will transact the loan with the City Treasurer’s Office. Payments made will be deposited to the trust fund as revolving fund.

Vice Mayor Roland Deticio said the program was created during the incumbency of former Mayor Florencio T. Flores, Jr. but was stopped two years ago because it was overlooked in the budget process.

He clarified that the creation of the trust fund is just to separate it from the general fund so that it will evolve. He added that last year the council already approved the MOA between the city government and BHW members. But he said the budget was not approved.

“Estella” and “Aida”, BHWs volunteers, (not their real names) said they welcomed the approval because it could augment their resources.

But they cited that the amount is not enough to fund their livelihood needs.

“It could have been better if the loan amount be increased to P5, 000,” “Estella” added.

The two BHWs cited that they were required to report to their duty at least five times per month. They added that they were tasked to conduct survey, house visitation to conduct follow ups or inform the constituents about immunization programs and distribution of vitamins for children, monitor pregnant women in the village, among others.

The resolution cited that one of the thrusts to achieve universal health care is to assist and improve the lives of all health workers including the BHW. The resolution also said “providing livelihood assistance to BHW will not only alleviate the lives of these workers but also inspire and renew their dedication to voluntarily provide effective and quality health services to the constituents of the city. (Mel B. Madera/ BukidnonNews.Net correspondent)