TACLOBAN CITY—The Commission on Population Employees Association (COPEA) in the region has joined other health and science workers in the country to protest against the scrapping of their Magna Carta benefits under the proposed Salary Standardization Law. COPEA-8 president Melanie Alberto said that despite the repeated assurances from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that the additional benefits health and science workers, social workers and public school teachers would not be taken away in the SSL, they will still continue to dramatize their position opposing the plan to scrap their Magna Carta benefits.
As part of the protest, all rank and file employees of Popcom across the country wore black shirts on February 5. Alberto added that COPEA has already forged alliance with the National DOH Employees Association (NDEA) to push for the deletion of said provision specified under the SSL by staging silent protests until their demand will be granted. Popcom, with 12 employees, is an attached agency of the DOH.
“We have a common and firm stand to delete the specific provision under Section 20 of the SSL 2015 which is now at the bicameral conference committee,” Alberto said.
Section 20 states that Magna Carta laws are inconsistent with the SSL IV provisions and “are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.” Specifically deemed amended are: RA 4670, the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers; RA 7305, the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers; RA 8439, the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and Other S&T Personnel; and RA 9443, the Magna Carta for Social Workers. RA 7305 grants public health workers “on call” pay, night-shift differential, subsistence allowance, remote assignment and hazard allowance, among others. (AHLETTE C.REYES)