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Solons file bill to hike salaries, benefits of barangay workers

/ 03:12 PM July 30, 2019
Solons file bill to hike salaries, benefits of barangay workers

The plenary hall of the House of Representatives. (Photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Several House members have filed various bills increasing the salaries and benefits of Sangguniang Barangay (SB) officials and employees.

Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo has filed House Bill No. 669 or the proposed “Barangay Officials Salary and Benefits Act” lamenting how these local officials have remained the least paid public servants. He even noted barangay captains used to receive a measly sum of P1,000 per month, while council members, secretaries, treasurers used to receive P600 only.

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In 1996, the Department of Budget and Management fixed the salaries of barangay captains at Salary Grade 14 and the other barangay officials at Salary Grade 10.

“However, payments at these new rates are subject to the availability of funds of the local government unit concerned, and as such, the compensation was subject to the whims and caprices of those in power,” Salo said in his explanatory note for HB 669.

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The bill provides that all members of barangays, including secretaries and treasurers, would be declared regular government employees, and shall be entitled to fixed salaries and benefits. The funding for this would be sourced from each city or municipality local government unit (LGU) funds.

The new Salary Grades proposed by the bills are as follows: barangay captains, Salary Grade 15; Council Members, Salary Grade 12; barangay secretaries, Salary Grade 10;  and barangay treasurers, Salary Grade 10.

The pay rates in LGUs shall be determined on the basis of the class and financial capability of each LGU and shall follow the rates provided for in Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6758 or the “Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989,” according to Salo.

The proposed law also states that barangay officials be entitled to all government and health insurance coverages such as, but not limited, to coverage under the Government Service Insurance System, Philhealth, and Pag-Ibig Fund.

Other bills seeking to provide more benefits for barangay officials were also filed in the chamber.

Sorsogon 1st District Rep. Evelina Escudero filed House Bill No. 23 which seeks to amend the Local Government Code and increase the honoraria of barangay captains to an amount not less than 20 percent above the minimum wage rate prevailing in the region per month, and of SB members, treasurer, and secretary to the minimum wage prevailing in the region.

House Bill No. 58 by Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Victor Yap, meanwhile, seeks to provide all barangay officials a lumpsum retirement gratuity pay equivalent to a one-year honorarium, not exceeding P100,000.

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Bills granting fixed honoraria and additional incentives and benefits to barangay health workers, members of Lupon Tagapayama, and tanods were also filed in the House.

All of these proposed laws have been referred to the local government committee which would lead the deliberations into the said bills before they could be approved by the House plenary. All measures should also be ratified by both chambers of Congress before they could be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for his consideration and enactment into law. /jpv

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