For public service workers' welfare

Yedda Marie K. Romualdez

TINGOG party-list first nominee and Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez yesterday renewed her call for the institutionalization of a compensation package for workers and teachers, teacher aides, barangay health workers, nutrition providers, rural health midwives and other care providers who are behind child development.

Romualdez, the chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts, said her House Bill (HB) No. 2550 provides compensation and benefits to public service providers since Republic Act 10410, otherwise known as the “Early Years Act of 2013” fell short of addressing their needs.

“Considering the laudable objectives of RA No. 10410 and the recognized services meant to be provided under the said law to promote the rights and welfare of children from age zero to eight years, sadly, there is no clear and definite provision relative to the promotion and improvement of the social and economic well-being of the public service providers,” said Romualdez, wife of Philippine Constitution Association  (Philconsa) and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President Martin Romualdez, a former House Independent Bloc Leader and a three-term ex-Leyte congressman.

“Clearly, there is a need to put in place a system of compensation and benefits to make these service providers more responsive and better equipped to provide the mandated services to fully realize the objectives articulated in RA No. 10410,” Romualdez said.

Her proposal will establish the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council whose mandate is to work for a uniform career and development plan to accredited service and care providers, which shall include provision on accreditation, monthly compensation, merit promotion, performance evaluation, service training grants, incentives, awards and policies governing the security and professional development of such workers.

Romualdez said a code of conduct shall be adopted by the ECCD Council to ensure appropriate and responsible conduct in the provision of the mandated early childhood education care and development services.

Under her bill, Romualdez said the funds needed for the implementation of the uniform career and development plan shall be charged against the current year’s appropriation of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DoH), Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Nutrition Council (NNC) and local government units (LGUs) presently employing such workers.

The measure provides that a portion of the contribution of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) as provided under RA No. 10410 as well as additional funds generated from donations, fees and contributions collected by the ECCD Council from whatever source shall also be set aside for the purpose.

“Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for the implementation of this Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act,” Romualdez said.