Usec. Diño wants security of tenure for barangay chairmen, watchmen
Stressing that barangay (village) officials and watchmen act as the first line of defense in every community, Undersecretary Martin Diño, of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said he would ask Congress leaders to pass a law creating a magna carta for barangays.
Diño, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990 AM on Thursday, said he would ask Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to include in the priorities of the Congress the Magna Carta for Barangays bill.
“Kami ang first line of defense. Pagka may gulo, ang pinupuntahan ng mga tao barangay, kaya lang hindi fully compensated ang mga barangay (officials at tanods),” the newly-appointed DILG undersecretary for barangay affairs said.
(We are the first line of defense. When there’s trouble, people would go in the barangay hall first, but barangay officials and watchmen are not properly compensated.)
The Congress has yet to pass into law Senate Bill No. 277 establishing a magna carta for barangays, which former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., father of the current Senate President, authored in 2007.
Diño lamented that at present, some barangay watchmen receive as low as P500 per month despite risking their lives just to secure their community.
Diño said he would push for a bill that would grant rights for barangay watchmen to receive medical and housing benefits, as well as legal assistance and right to security of tenure.
“‘Yung mga tanod, bakit hindi natin bigyan ng security of tenure kasi ‘yung mga tanod, buhay niya tinataya niya eh. Paano kung pagkatapos ng term ni Kapitan bawian siya ng mga kriminal?” he said.
(The watchmen, why not we give them the security of tenure because they are risking their lives. What if the term of a barangay chairman ends and criminals get back at him?)
Diño formally took office as DILG undersecretary on Tuesday four months after President Rodrigo Duterte replaced him as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman. /jpv
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