By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid has filed a bill that proposes to increase the compensation of public social workers. The measure which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9433 also known as the “Magna Carta for Public Social Workers,” proposes that the salary grade of entry-level junior officer public social workers shall be at least salary grade 13 or based on the Salary Standardization Law of 2022, that will be equivalent to P29,798 per month.
Social workers are on the frontlines of government service. The nature of the work of social workers is mostly ground or fieldwork exposing them to a number of hazards and risks. Given the crucial and vital role of these social workers in our society, especially in the time of the current pandemic, it is only fitting that we give them just recognition and appreciation through an increase in their compensation, which has always been lower than that of their counterparts in the private sector.
“Napakarami ng responsibilidad na ginagampanan ng mga social worker dito sa ating bansa. Kahit sa gitna ng pandemya, matiyaga silang nagtatrabaho para makapaghatid serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan kasama na riyan ang pamimigay ng relief goods sa mga tinamaan ng kalamidad. Ang mga social workers din ang nagbibigay ng suporta at gabay sa mga bata, kababaihan at mga pamilya na biktima ng pang-aabuso. Kasama rin sa trabaho nila ang pagtuturo sa mga bata sa mga day care centers at pagtulong sa out-of-school youths at OFWs. Sa dami ng kanilang responsibilidad, marapat lamang na bigyan sila ng tamang pagkilala at malaking tulong sana sa kanila at kani-kanilang pamilya kung mabibigyan sila ng mas mataas na sweldo para may sapat silang panggastos at pambili ng kanilang pangangailangan,” Pinuno explained.
Pinuno’s bill proposes to amend RA 9433 by adjusting the salary grades of public social workers. The bill also seeks to amend the definition of “public social worker” to include not only those performing social work functions under the position title “social welfare officer” but all positions in the government that require registered/licensed social workers. This will expand the coverage of the said law by also including those whose services are engaged through job orders or contracts of service. (ia/mtvn)