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In G.R. No. 207145, the Supreme Court (SC) en banc ruled on the petition on Magna Carta benefits filed by the Philippine Public Health Association, Inc (PPHAI) against the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Health (DOH) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The petition, which was decided on July 28, 2015 as partly meritorious, concerns the issues on hazard pay, longevity pay and subsistence allowance under DBM-DOH Joint Circular no. 1 dated November 29,2015 and step increment due to length of service under item 6.5 of DOH-CSC Joint Circular dated September 3, 2012. It was filed last May 31, 2013.
While the Court en banc found the remedies of certiorari and prohibition filed by PPHAI not pursuant to the Rules of Court, which should ordinarily result in the dismissal of the case, it nevertheless discussed the substantive issues raised in the petition in order to finally resolve the doubt over the Joint Circulars’ validity. The Court reasoned out as follows:
“Be that as it may, We proceed to discuss the substantive issues raised in the petition in order to finally resolve the doubt over the Joint Circulars’ validity. For proper guidance, the pressing issue of whether or not the joint circulars regulating the salaries and benefits relied upon by public health workers were tainted with grave abuse of discretion rightly deserves its prompt resolution.”(Page 10 of the decision in G.R no. 207145).
In its ruling, the Court PARTLY granted the Petition. Specifically, its dispositive portion states as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is PARTLY GRANTED. The DBM-DOH Joint Circular, insofar as it lowers the hazard pay at rates below the minimum prescribed by Section 21 of RA No. 7305 and Section 7.1.5 (a) of its Revised IRR, is declared INVALID. The DBM-CSC Joint Circular, insofar as it provides that an official or employee authorized to be granted Longevity Pay under an existing law is not eligible for the grant of Step Increment Due to Length of Service, is declared UNENFORCEABLE. The validity, however, of the DBM-DOH Joint Circular as to the qualification of actual exposure to danger for the PHW’s entitlement to hazard pay, the rates of P50 and P25 subsistence allowance, and the entitlement to longevity pay on the basis of the PHW’s status in the plantilla of regular positions, is UPHELD.
The Philippine Public Health Association is a nationwide organization of public health workers. Potential members include even those who are not in the government service. At present, its membership consists of some health officials and employees at the Department of Health and its bureaus, the medical, para-medical and administrative personnel in some DOH retained medical centers and tertiary hospitals and health officials and employees at the Center for Health Development offices.
At the local government level, the members are the health officials and employees in some provincial, city and municipal (more…)
Are the majority of public health workers aware that Philippine Public Health Association (PPHA) is still existing? Do they know the association’s efforts to help upgrade the delivery of public health services in the country?
After 1993, a decline in membership of PPHA was noted. It was due to the transfer of devolved health workers to LGUs when devolution of health services pursuant to R.A 7160 was implemented and due to lack of sustainable leadership that existed because of demoralization of significant number of public health workers.
The disparity of salary and benefits received between devolved and nationally paid health workers, including the former’s (more…)
In 2005, the mortuary benefit was increased from P10,000.00 to P20,000.00 for members who are paying the provident fund of P100.00 in addition to the annual membership due of P100.00 if he or she is a non-life member. It was implemented in some local chapters but the benefit itself was not enough.
On July 22, 2009,the PPHA National Board approved the Omnibus Guidelines on PPHA Benefit Package offering the following benefits to members in addition to the increase of mortuary benefit to P20,000.00, to wit: (more…)
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.