Tell it to SunStar: Party-list lawmaker to craft Magna Carta bills for daycare workers, barangay nutrition scholars

Following up on successfully sending to the Senate the proposed Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Health and Wellness (BHW) Party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co said she is now focused on having the House of Representatives approve two more magna cartas.

“Next in line are the proposed Magna Carta for Day Care Workers and Magna Carta for Barangay Nutrition Scholars which are key to securing social justice for the concerned two groups of health personnel working hard at the barangay level,” Co said.

Co said the two bills have “strong support” in the House of Representatives, and these “would follow the trail blazed” by the Magna Carta for Barangay Health Workers, the Virology Institute Bill, and the Health Emergency Auxiliary Reinforcement Team (Heart) bill.

“The Heart Bill used to be the medical corps bill. Now with this Heart Bill, the response team will include not just doctors, but other health professionals and public health-trained people as well,” Co said.

Representative Co said the Virology Institute Bill and the Heart Bill are the contributions of Congress to the pandemic exit strategy and the post-pandemic new normal that the country is hoping to see happen soon.

“While I support the extension of the pandemic state of calamity and laud the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for finally issuing the emergency use authorization for the new bivalent Covid booster vaccines, I would like to see from the Department of Health more details of their exit strategy,” she said.

A bivalent Covid-19 vaccine targets two strains of the Covid-19 virus: the original strain and an Omicron strain.

Co further said: “In much the same way that the community quarantine restrictions were lifted gradually by region, I believe the pandemic state of calamity should also follow a gradual, regional lifting starting with regions where there are no more or very few new Covid cases.”

“Only when all regions are no longer under local state of calamity, should the national state of calamity be lifted based on key metrics. This transition approach could give DOH enough time to administer the bivalent boosters to at least 80 percent of the country’s total population,” Co added.