The proposal to make the position of barangay secretaries and treasurers permanent will highlight the upcoming annual assembly of the Bohol League of Barangay Secretaries (BLBS).
During the event dubbed as the 4th Congress for Barangay Secretaries on September 2-3 at the Bohol Cultural Center, First District Rep. Rene Relampagos will discuss the “necessity of making the position of barangay secretaries and treasurers permanent”.
In his talk, Relampagos will also tackle the roles of barangay secretaries and treasurers for Barangay Federal Stability, considering President Rodrigo Duterte’s “thrust on socio-economic stability towards a federal system of governance”.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. will take charge of discussing the President’s thrust towards federalism.
In his memo to all barangay secretaries in Bohol, through the barangay captains, Gov. Edgar Chatto explained that “pursuant to the administration’s call to transform Philippines into a Federal Republic, it is envisioned that the progress of the barangay depends upon the reciprocal performance of duties and obligations between the barangay officials and the residents”.
“While the barangay officials are duty-bound to enrich their people, the latter are obligated to enrich their barangays,” Chatto added as he highlighted the principle, “Enrich the People, Enrich the Barangays”.
Chatto also pointed out that major reforms start at the barangay level in the process of achieving genuine national progress.
This process is necessary to strengthen the support to the vision of transforming Philippines into a Federal Republic.
Chatto cited House Bill 2172 filed in 16th Congress in 2013 which introduced of the idea to make the positions of barangay secretaries and treasurers permanent.
Aside from HB 2172 filed by then Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza on July 31, 2013, there was also HB 5287 filed by Palawan Rep. Frederick Abueg on December 11, 2014.
HB 2172, entitled “An Act Providing Security of Tenure to the Barangay Secretary and Barangay Treasurer”, proposed the legislation of the “Barangay Secretary and Treasurer Security of Tenure Act of 2013”.
It remained pending with the Committee on Local Government since August 7, 2013 until the 16th Congress clinched.
HB 5287, entitled, “An Act Making the Barangay Secretary and the Barangay Treasurer Regular Plantilla Positions and Entitling them to Security of Tenure and other Benefits”, also remained pending with the Committee on Local Government since December 16, 2014.
In his explanatory note, Mendoza pointed out that “the barangay treasurer is entrusted with the funds and properties of the barangay, while the barangay secretary is the custodian of barangay documents” and that “both are accountable for tangible properties that may inadvertently get lost or misplaced along with the transfer of authority from one officer to the next after every election”.
“The treasurer and the secretary are burdened with the bulk of administrative work for the barangay but their compensation and benefits as such are inadequate for the amount of work they perform,” Mendoza added in the explanatory note for his bill.
It is on this that he filed the bill as way of giving “due recognition to the barangay treasurer and secretary for their untiring effort to keep the barangay machinery running by making said positions permanent positions subject to civil service laws and regulations”.
In HB 5287, Abueg proposed that the positions of barangay secretary and barangay treasurer be made regular plantilla positions and the persons given such positions “shall enjoy security of tenure and cannot be removed unless for a just cause”, and “shall likewise enjoy the benefits accorded to permanent government employees, subject to the guidelines of the Civil Service Commission (CSC)”.
Abueg cited that under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code which is in effect at present, the barangay chairperson (barangay captain), with the concurrence of the majority of the Sangguniang Barangay members, has the power to appoint a barangay secretary and a barangay treasurer during his term.
“Present circumstances show that whenever there is a newly-elected barangay chairperson to assume office, there would also be a new barangay secretary and barangay treasurer to be appointed. This results to disorganization of records as well as finances of the barangay unit. Such a system unduly compromises the efficiency and effectiveness of our political unit at the barangay level,” Abueg pointed out.
He added that “every person to be appointed anew would require a certain amount of time to learn the fundamentals of the job before he can fully master the responsibilities attached with such positions”.
“The system would follow that of the Sangguniang Bayan and Sangguniang Panlalawigan where the secretary is a career official, having a regular item in the plantilla of personnel of the Sanggunian,” Abueg further suggested.