IN A proposed measure, an increase in stipends of barangay health workers is being pressed.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda is pushing to up stipend of qualified Barangay Health Worker (BHW), Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) and Barangay Nutrition Action Officer (BNAO) from P3,500 to P5,000.

"Most of the barangay health personnel, such as the Barangay Health Worker (BHW), Barangay Nutrition Action Officer (BNAO) and the Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) are also members of Barangay Health and Emergency Response Team (BHERT) and perform additional functions and a meager stipend," Tabanda said.

She added that additional work as BHERT member includes planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of all activities concerning nutrition, immunization and health status of the community, and due to the present health crisis, they are now likewise tasked with the Covid-19 concerns.

The measure was approved in its first reading during this week's regular session.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government secretary issued on February 6, 2020 Memorandum Circular 2020-023 requiring all the barangay chief executives to organize their respective BHERT in response to the growing concern over the Covid-19 outbreak.

Tabanda said the funds for the increase may come from city savings or from any available funds to be included in the budget of the Health Services Office (HSO) for 2021.

If approved, the Health Services Office, through the City Nutrition Office, will implement the new law with the finalized guidelines.

The BHERT is composed of an executive officer, a barangay tanod and two barangay health workers.

The team conducts home visits to arriving residents, or the locally stranded individuals (LSI), assist in the contact tracing, monitor and record the health condition of individuals who are in isolation and quarantine and submit reports relative to Covid-19 situation in their barangay.