Called for by prevailing circumstances, the Philippine Public Health Association (PPHA) national Board approved the group legal assistance for devolved health workers and those employed at health related establishments, where PPHA will litigate cases for and in their behalf.
The cases concern only the implementation of salary increase and Magna Carta for Public Health Workers.
This assistance is incorporated in the Revised Omnibus Guidelines on PPHA Benefit Package approved on September 13, 2011 in Davao City, Philippines.
The PPHA mandate is based on its Articles of Incorporation stating the purposes of the association: 1) to help upgrade the standard and delivery of public health services and 2) to promote and protect the rights and interests of its members.
Under the revised omnibus guidelines, affected health workers must renew their membership in the association. Those who were never a PPHA member in the past must apply for membership to qualify the group in the LGU or in a particular office for group legal assistance.
Additionally, the affected health workers must organize their respective areas to include BHWs and BNSs in their ranks as part of PPHA. Specifically, the guidelines state, as follows:
“(D) Legal assistance to group of health workers- The PPHA may initiate and prosecute legal action against the Local Government Unit or any government agency to protect the interest and welfare of any group of its members. Provided that the health personnel in the LGU including Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) and Barangay Health Worker (BHWs) or the personnel employed in other government agency are all members of the association. Provided further that the personnel to be benefited shall execute a document expressing his/her consent to the action and an undertaking that he/she will not withdraw from the action otherwise she/he will be charged for litigation expenses and subjected to expulsion from the association. The association thru the national board may decide to litigate the case for and in behalf of the group of health workers even if there are non-members in the office and among the BNSs and BHWs in its area of jurisdiction where concerned are employed provided that non-members shall be charged for litigation expenses, lawyer’s appearance fees and acceptance fee and contingent fees amounting to thirty percent (30%) of the amount recovered once there is a favorable decision”.(Section 9, paragraph D of the Revised Omnibus Guidelines on PPHA Benefit Package)