Re: Legal Opinion; Request for Opinion; CSC-LSP;
Public Health Workers; Hazard, Subsistence,
and Laundry Benefits
Director Hilda G. Diokno, Human Resource Management Office (HRDO), this Commission, through HRDO Memorandum No. 208 s. 2001 dated August 9, 2001, requests the Commission to issue a policy resolution on the issue of whether public health workers may be granted hazard allowance, subsistence allowance and laundry allowance during the period they are on local scholarship grant.
Under Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 26, s. 1996 (REVISED GUIDELINES AND OPERATING PROCEDURES ON THE LOCAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM) an LSP grantee is entitled to the payment of his salary and other benefits and allowances from the agency where he/she is employed during the period of his/her scholarship.
It should be noted that LSP grantees attending scholarship grants are considered in the regular performance of their duties and responsibilities. It is for this reason that they are entitled not only to the salaries and allowances corresponding to their position but also to other benefits.
However, such allowances and other benefits may be given to him/her subject to the availability of funds and the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
Relevantly, the Commission held in the case of CABALFIN-VALIENTE, Luz, CSC Resolution No. 00-0944 dated May 06, 1999, as follows:
“With regard to the other benefits, i.e., Hazard Allowance, Subsistence Allowance, Laundry Allowance, and Remote Assignment Allowance, the Commission also rules that Cabalfin-Valiente is entitled to receive the same, these being in the nature of allowances which are also part of her compensation package. This is, of course, subject to the qualification that she meets the required qualifications provided in Sections 21, 22, 24, and 25 of R. A. No. 7305 (The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers) and other pertinent rules implementing the receipt of these specific benefits.
“WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby resolves to rule that Luz A. Cabalfin-Valiente is entitled to receive during the period of six (6) months of her extended service . . . the following Magna Carta Benefits:
“1. Hazard Allowance;
“2. Subsistence Allowance;
“3. Laundry Allowance; and
“However, receipt or entitlement thereto is subject to the implementing rules regarding said benefits.” (Underlining ours)
Based on the foregoing, it is safe to conclude that the entitlement of LSP grantees to the payment of allowances and other benefits during the period of scholarship is not absolute since they are subject to two conditions: 1) availability of funds and 2) the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations and/or other pertinent rules implementing the receipt of these specific benefits.
As a rule, public health workers are entitled, among others, to the following allowances: hazard, subsistence and laundry allowances.
Hazard allowance is given to public health workers in hospitals, sanitaria, rural health units, main health centers, health infirmaries, barangay health stations, clinics and other health-related establishments located in difficult areas, strife-torn or embattled areas, distressed or isolated stations, prison camps, mental hospitals, radiation-exposed clinics, laboratories or disease-infected areas or in areas declared under state of calamity or emergency for the duration thereof which expose them to great danger, contagion, radiation, volcanic activity/eruption, occupational risks or perils to life as determined by the Secretary of Health or the Head of the unit with the approval of the Secretary of Health.
However, public health workers who are on full time attendance in training grant/scholarship grant/seminar or any other activity for more than one (1) full calendar month shall not be entitled to the hazard allowance except when the place of activity is certified to be risky or hazardous area.
On the other hand, subsistence allowance is given when public health workers are required to render service within the premises of hospitals, sanitaria, health infirmaries, main health centers, rural health units and barangay health stations, or clinics, and other health-related establishments in order to make their services available at any and all times, they shall be entitled to full subsistence allowance of three (3) meals which may be computed in accordance with prevailing circumstances as determined by the Secretary of Health in consultation with the Management-Health Workers’ Consultative Councils.
All public health workers covered under RA 7305 are eligible to receive full subsistence allowance as long as they render actual duty. Moreover, they are entitled to subsistence allowance based on the number of meals/days included in the duration when they rendered actual work including their regular duties, overtime work or on-call duty as defined in the Implementing Rules Regulations of Republic Act No. 7305.
Thus, a public worker must perform actual duty or overtime work or on-call duty in order to be entitled to this allowance. Since an LSP grantee does not render any work during the period of scholarship, then he/she is not entitled to this benefit.
Lastly, public health workers shall only be entitled to a laundry allowance when they are required to wear uniforms regularly. They are entitled to the said allowance if they are required by their agency to report for work in their uniform everyday. Since an LSP grantee does not report for work in the agency where he/she belongs during the duration of the scholarship grant, neither is he/she required to wear office uniform, then he/she is not entitled to the laundry allowance.
It is also worth mentioning that the rules aforementioned are also contained in the following provisions of Volume I (Government Auditing Rules and Regulations) of Commission on Audit Circular No. 91-368  which provide:
“Sec. 293. Subsistence allowance defined.- Subsistence allowance shall mean an allowance for meal or sustenance for an official or employee who, by the nature of his duties and responsibilities, has to make his services available in his place of work even during mealtime.
“Sec. 294. Officials or employees entitled to subsistence allowance. – No official or employee of the National Government shall be given subsistence, the cost of which is payable from any public fund, except the following and only when an appropriation therefore is specifically provided:
“ x x x
“c. Officials and employees of hospitals sanitaria, penal institutions, leper institutions, military installations, and other similar institutions who are required to render service and live within the premises of the said institutions for a continuous period that includes meal time, to make their services available at any and all times;
“ x x x
“Sec. 296. Provisions in the granting of subsistence allowance. – The granting of subsistence allowance is governed by the following general provisions:
“ x x x
“e. In all cases, officials and employees . . . attending training course/scholarship grant . . . shall not be entitled to subsistence allowance for the duration of their attendance in a training course/scholarship grant/seminar . . .
“ x x x
“Sec. 309. Entitlement to laundry allowance. – The following are entitled to the laundry allowance:
“a. Hospital/sanitaria personnel who attend directly to patients and who by nature of their duties are required to wear uniforms;
“ x x x
“Sec. 311. Employees entitled to hardship/hazard allowance. – Employees, whether regular or contractual, assigned on a permanent, temporary, special or travel basis to the following areas, which expose them to great damage or contagion or peril to life, are entitled to hardship/hazard allowance:
“a. hardship or difficult areas
“b. strife-torn or embattled areas
“c. distressed or isolated stations
“d. prison camps
“e. mental hospitals
“f. radiation-exposed clinics or laboratories
“g. disease-infested areas
“h. areas declared under state of calamity or emergency.”
To summarize, as a rule LSP grantees during the period of scholarship are entitled not only to their salaries and allowances corresponding to their positions but also to other benefits. However, their entitlement to allowances and other benefits is subject to the availability of funds and the usual auditing and accounting rules and regulations and/or other pertinent rules implementing the receipt of these specific benefits.
In this regard, public health workers under scholarship grant are not entitled to receive any hazard, subsistence or laundry allowance from their agency. The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers (Republic Act No. 7305) and its implementing rules specifically provide conditions for the availment of the said benefits, which the LSP grantees will not be able to fulfill.
WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby rules that public health workers under Local Scholarship Program are not entitled to hazard, laundry and subsistence allowance since they cannot comply with the provisions of the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers (Republic Act No. 7305) and its implementing rules and Volume I of Commission on Audit Circular No. 91-368 (GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTNG AND AUDITING MANUAL).
Quezon City, January 23, 2002
JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR. J. WALDEMAR V. VALMORES
 GILBUENA, Judith P., CSC Resolution No. 95-8130 dated December 20, 1995
 Section 20 of Republic Act No. 7305 (THE MAGNA CARTA OF PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS)
 Section 7 (7.1.6) of the REVISED IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS ON THE MAGNA CARTA OF PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS OR R. A. 7305
 Section 22 of the same law