LYDIA Drua, president of the Federation of Barangay Health Workers of Bacolod City, is seeking the assistance of city officials for the release of the honoraria of the 249 barangay health workers (BHWs).

Drua said the BHWs have not received their allowance since January this year.

She disclosed that she wrote Mayor Monico Puentevella and Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya and members of the City Council seeking their assistance to address their financial predicament.

They submitted their yearly requirements on January 5 yet.

Drua added that she also furnished a list of the city’s BHWs to the regional office of the Department of Social Services and Development.

During a hearing conducted by the committee on health and sanitation last month, executive assistant to the Mayor Rodolfo Salga clarified that when the new administration took over last year, they have encountered a lot of problems related to the BHWs.

He said some of the BHWs no longer render duty in health centers while others are already beyond 80 years old and no longer effective in providing quality health care service to the populace. There are those who either demised or are inactive.

Salga said the Local Health Board (LHB) passed a resolution dated January 10 requiring the reevaluation of BHWs and their re-application to determine their actual number.

Out of the 249 BHWs, 123 are already aged 60 years old and above, he added.

He said he also requested for additional BHWs to undergo training.

Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya questioned the policy of the LHB on allowing BHWs aged 60 years old and above to remain in service.

BHW coordinator Denia Hiballes said that based on Republic Act 7883, there is no age limit for those who want to volunteer as BHW, provided that the job is not hazardous to their health.

Councilor Em Ang, member of the committee on health and sanitation, said the allowance of BHWs is covered not just by a national law but also by city ordinances.

“Such allowance should be released and disbursed by the City Treasurer once the list of BHWs is coursed through the federation and certified by the City Health Officer,” Ang said.

Councilor Ana Marie Palermo suggested that the BHWs be awarded their January to April honoraria allowances regardless of age since they have actually rendered service and should be given what is due them.