Determining the Implementation Status of Benefits Under Magna Carta of Public Health Workers (RA 7305) in the Philippines

  • Louella Patricia D. Carpio
  • Hanna Thea F. Cayabyab
  • Danielle Marie Irish T. Te
Keywords: public health workers, workers' rights, health policy


Background. The Republic Act 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers was enacted in 1992 to address health workers' welfare. However, the implementation of this act was reportedly inconsistent among local government units (LGUs).

Objectives. This study was conducted to determine the implementation status of provisions under the law among LGUs.

Methods. This is a descriptive case study employing mixed methods. The quantitative data were derived from LGU scorecards, and the qualitative data were obtained from focus group discussions and key informant interviews of mayors, municipal health officers, and budget officers.

Results. A total of 1,557 LGU scorecards with 2017 data showed that more than half (52.0%) of LGUs do not provide the full benefits of hazard pay, subsistence allowance, and laundry allowance. Disaggregation by income class showed that the provision of benefits is higher among LGUs with higher income classes (56.10%) compared to LGUs of lower-income classes (38.73%), and this translates to a correlation of income class with the provision of benefits (χ2=59.0, p<0.001). Factors influencing the provision of benefits include the political will of the mayor, the active role of municipal health staff to lobby for their rights, the limited resources of the LGU, the personnel services budget ceiling, the lack of enforcement of the law, and the limiting specifications of the law.

Conclusion. This study demonstrated that the Magna Carta benefits for public health workers in municipalities and cities are inadequately implemented. Local governments must enforce public health workers' rights and benefits, but the national government should aid and ensure its unvarying implementation.