Alvarez: Gov’t could save P24 B if SK, ‘kagawad’ posts abolished
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday said government could save up to P24 billion if it abolishes the barangay kagawad (village councilor) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) posts.
In an interview at ANC’s Headstart, Alvarez said the government allots an estimated budget of P8.5 billion for the SK and P15.8 billion for the barangay kagawads.
Alvarez said these funds could instead go to institutionalize the purok leaders, barangay health workers, barangay tanods, and day care workers, who receive paltry pay, he lamented, even though they are on the frontlines in the barangays.
“Alam niyo po ba kung sino ang nagta-trabaho doon sa barangay (Do you know who work in the barangays)? Purok leaders, barangay health workers, barangay tanod, daycare workers. ‘Yun lang (That’s it). And yet they are underpaid,” Alvarez said.
“Sila yung dapat i-institutionalize natin… Sila yung nagdedeliver ng services doon sa community (They should be the ones who are institutionalized… They are the ones who deliver the services in the community),” he added.
Alvarez had called for the abolition of both the SK because the youth is represented in Congress already, and the barangay council for not doing their jobs.
Alvarez said he would propose amending the Local Government Code to abolish the SK and kagawads, in a bid to institutionalize the purok leaders and other barangay workers.
Alvarez said there is no longer a need for the kagawad, which enacts barangay ordinances, because the main function of the barangay is already to implement municipal and city ordinances.
He added that the SK officials either no longer go to school because of their duties, or don’t attend to the SK because of their student duties.
The House leadership has also filed a bill seeking to postpone the Oct. 2016 barangay and SK elections to next year to allow President Rodrigo Duterte avoid the appointments ban, which is 45 days before a regular election, and fill up vacancies in the bureaucracy. JE
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