Padaca dares college grads to run in barangay elections | Inquirer News

Padaca dares college grads to run in barangay elections

/ 08:19 AM August 12, 2013

Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca (right): Reform the system. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—With only a third of (barangay) officials having graduated from high school—and 13 percent only from elementary school—a Commission on Elections official over the weekend suggested the barangays needed a new breed of leaders.

Commissioner Grace Padaca said college graduates and young professionals should run in the next barangay elections, noting that 31 percent (or 104,186) of the total 336,200 barangay officials throughout the country had not gone beyond high school, while another 44,309 made it only past elementary school.


Padaca said that those who wanted to reform the system but could not hope to beat entrenched political dynasties should enter politics at the barangay level.


“I want to campaign for more professionals to join. It’s one way of ensuring that we’ll have new faces coming in. Because in our experience in 2013, it’s difficult if you come in as a congressman or mayor or governor because many people are already entrenched,” Padaca said in an interview.

“Maybe if they try for barangay captain first, maybe it’s not that expensive. Maybe they could (campaign) house to house (and win) not because of money,” she said.

Padaca said college graduates and professionals may not be interested in running for barangay posts because they feel it is “only for old people.”

“Maybe they feel like ‘It’s not our world’… that those joining are old and past their time… So I want to open the minds of our people. Why not join government,” she said.

Padaca said those who look down on the job of a barangay official should realize that barangays receive up to P78 million in internal revenue allotment.

“As a barangay captain, you have to manage an internal revenue allotment. Even if it’s just P1 million, that’s still money,” Padaca said.


“As a barangay official I know once told me, you are asked for help for issues like missing chickens to quarreling couples. So that is how influential or powerful a barangay captain is,” she said.—Philip C. Tubeza

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TAGS: Grace Padaca

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