Minority pushes for appointment of barangay OICs | Inquirer News

Minority pushes for appointment of barangay OICs

/ 02:56 PM August 31, 2016

Minority leader Danilo Suarez on Wednesday said he would propose to Congress the appointment of officers-in-charge (OICs) in the barangays instead of allowing barangay captains to hold on to their positions for one more year with the postponement of the village polls.

In a press briefing, the Quezon representative said the minority bloc would push for amending the proposed bill filed by the leadership that seeks to postpone the October 2016 barangay elections to Oct. 23, 2017.

READ: House eyes postponement of SK, barangay polls to Oct. 23, 2017


Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had rallied lawmakers on Tuesday to support the postponement of village and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls to allow President Rodrigo Duterte to fill up the vacancies in government. There is a 45-day appointment ban before a regular election.


READ: Alvarez backs postponing barangay, SK polls to avoid election ban

The bill authored by Alvarez, Suarez, majority floor leader Rudy Farinas, and the deputy speakers states that the hold-over provision in the previous law will remain applicable, which means the barangay officials whose term should expire in October this year may retain their posts until the next village elections October next year.

Suarez said the bloc supported the postponement of the village polls to give the administration elbow room in weeding out narcopoliticians in the barangay level.

He said the Office of the President may task the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to determine the competent barangay OICs who would replace the incompetent barangay captains.

“The Office of the President, I assume, might task the DILG which has the best position to find out the competence level of the barangay officials,” Suarez said.

These OICs tasked to clean up the mess of the barangay officials would then be in a better position to run and win in the next village polls on Oct. 2017, Suarez said.


“Kung i-postpone natin ito, maglagay ng competent OIC who, if he has exemplary performance, ay may pag-asang manalo sa susunod na (eleksyon). Ma-outplace natin yung mga kapitan na suspected to be involved in illegal activities, especially drug-related,” Suarez said.

(If we postpone this, we will put competent OICs who, if he has exemplary performance, will have a chance to win in the following election. We can outplace the barangay captain who’s suspected to be involved in illegal activities, especially drug-related ones.)

Essentially, Suarez said he supports the grant of hold-over capacity to competent OICs to in effect “weed out the incompetent” barangay officials accused of being involved in the drug trade.

“If you’re not doing anything about the drug problem in the barangay, either you are incompetent or you’re on payola. The mere fact na an elected official is not doing anything about the drug problem in their respective area of responsibility is already a ground for being (accused as) protector of drugs,” he added.

For his part, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque said there is nothing unconstitutional about the appointment of barangay OICs.

He said the tenure of barangay officials was only stated in the law and thus this could also be amended by law.

“Without a doubt, matatapos na ang term ng mga na-elect na barangay captains last 2013 (The term of the elected barangay captains from 2013 will end). So there’s been an observation that it would be unconstitutional. I don’t think so. The barangay captains’ tenure is not among those mentioned in the constitution,” Roque said.

Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza said barangay officials who are accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade should not be rewarded with a hold-over capacity.

“’Pag mag-extend pa ng one year, ni-reward mo pa ang lahat (If it’s extended for another year, it’s like you rewarded them all). Ninety-four percent of our country’s barangays (are drug-infested). Ang dami (They’re a lot),” Atienza said.

Atienza added that he does not agree with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s statement that the SK and barangay councilors or kagawad should be abolished for being useless and for not doing their jobs.

READ: Alvarez: Abolish SK, barangay councilors

Atienza said the council is the democratic structure at the most basic local government unit.

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“The kagawads cannot be described as useless…The kagawads are very critically needed in the delivery of basic services in the barangay level. Remove them, you remove the democratic structure in the lowest unit of government,” Atienza said. JE

TAGS: Barangay, barangay Captain, Elections, minority, OIC, Polls, Village

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