Policy critique: Republic Act No. 7305 (The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers) and Its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations

Thesis for: Master of Public Health, Advisor: Dr. Francis S. Cruz

ABSTRACT Objective: 1) To identify policy gaps with respect to the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers. 2) To develop recommendations for action to address identified gaps.

Methods: Searches of electronic databases (PubMed and Google), Key informant interviews.

Results: Republic Act No. 7305 mandates the payment of additional cash incentives and allowances to health workers. However, implementation of this provision has been uneven in the two decades since it was passed into law. Not all government agencies are implementing the law nor is it being fully implemented among agencies that have adopted the legislation due to insufficiency of funds. Further compounding the issue is the confusion as to who constitutes public health workers and, therefore, who are entitled to its benefits, resulting to a perception that it has become a milking cow of some public health workers. Finally, monitoring of policy implementation has been generally weak.

Conclusion: Policy gaps have rendered the law ineffective. Contrary to its intent, health workers remain undervalued, underdeveloped but over-utilized two decades since Republic Act No. 7305 was passed into law. Policy recommendations are offered to address these concerns.

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