Koko wants barangay officials declared as regular gov’t employees
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has filed a bill that seeks to declare barangay officials as regular government employees.
“As the basic political unit, the importance of barangays in our system of government cannot be overemphasized,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“It is therefore fitting that measures promote the welfare and prosperity of barangays be enshrined in a Magna Carta to give due recognition to the crucial role they play,” he added.
In proposing the Magna Carta for Barangays, the senator suggested that the punong barangay be given the same salary to that of a Sangguniang Bayan member of his municipality or city.
Pimentel said that the members of the Sangguniang Barangay should be paid an amount equivalent that is to 80 percent of the salary of their Sangguniang Bayan members.
Meanwhile, for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chair, barangay secretary, and barangay treasurer, Pimentel said they should receive a salary amounting to 75 percent of the salary of their Sangguniang Bayan members.
“As such, they should be entitled to the salary, emoluments, allowances, benefits such as insurance, medical and dental coverage, retirement and all other fringe benefits which a regular government employee may be entitled to,” he said.
He added that the measure also seeks to “empower” the barangays “in the dispensation of funds by allowing the automatic release of their share from national taxes and the transfer of those appropriated for maintenance of roads and bridges within its area of jurisdiction.”
The bill is, likewise, aimed at making sure that mandatory share of barangays in taxes, fees and other charges that are collected from the residents or the entities operating within the area.
Under the measure, basic necessities such as regular supply of clean and potable water, public transportation, schools, health centers and barangay halls will be provided to every barangay.
Pimentel noted that benefits like sponsoring at least one scholarship grant every year to any bachelor degree to bonafide residents of the barangay, prioritizing the employment of residents in every barangay in any government construction and development project within the barangay, and the establishment of cooperative enterprises in every barangay, will also be implemented under the measure.
According to the senator, these proposed provisions were built on the principle that the government should give more attention to the development of the barangays and allowing them to have the authority and capability to handle its concerns on its level.
“Self-help or people power shall be the guiding principle in all barangay development projects,” Pimentel said. /jpv
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