A lawmaker has proposed an automatic expenditure in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the medical examination and treatment of public school educators and employees to promote their health which will help in the attainment of quality education.
Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay of AVE party list said his proposal to provide public school teaching and non-teaching personnel with compulsory medical attention and treatment is in accordance with the declared State policy to promote and improve the social and economic status of public school teachers, their living and working conditions, their terms of employment and career prospects in order that they may compare favorably with existing opportunities in other walks of life, attract and retain in the teaching profession more people with the proper qualification.
Magsaysay said the demands of working in the public school system in the country are taxing at all times.
“Given the shortage of teachers and geographical location of some of our schools, it is inevitable that teachers and personnel alike will experience health problems and injuries. In remote areas for example, access to medical aid is wanting. Unlike public school teachers and personnel who work in relatively safe environments, public school educators and personnel do not enjoy the same benefit,” said Magsaysay.
Citing the adage “Health is Wealth,” the legislator said sustaining a clean bill of health is an investment towards productivity and better public service.
“Healthy mentors and employees redound to conducive teaching and learning environment. Their constant service is fundamental to achieving educational goals particularly in taking care of the intellectual, emotional and psychological needs of the learners. With able-bodied school employees, quality education can be achieved,” said Magsaysay.
In House Bill 290, Magsaysay proposed that compulsory medical examination shall be provided free of charge for all public school educators and employees, and shall be repeated not less than once a year while in active service.
Where medical examination shows that treatment or hospitalization is necessary, the bill provides the same shall be provided free by the Department of Education (DepEd) or the government entity paying the salary of the said public teachers and employees.
In regions where there is scarcity of medical facilities, educators and employees may obtain elsewhere the necessary medical care with the right to be reimbursed for their traveling expenses by the DepEd or the concerned government entity, the bill provides.
Furthermore, the measure provides that public educators and employees shall be protected against the consequences of employment injuries in accordance with existing laws. The effects of the physical and nervous strain on the health of educators and employees shall be recognized as a compensable occupational disease in accordance with existing laws. PNA