Senator Sonny Angara said barangay officials deserve not just honorariums but a fixed pay commensurate to their valuable contribution to the community as front liners of government service.
“Hindi makatarungannaangmgataonghinalalngtaumbayan ay honorarium langangnatatanggap,” Angara told participants to the LigangMga Barangay sa Bohol General Assembly held in Tagbilaran City on Wednesday.
“Kung mayroong mga karapat-dapat na makatanggap ng sapat at tamang sweldo mula sa gobyerno, sila ay ang mga opisyal ng barangay na handing maglingkod sa kanilang mga kababayan, bente-kwatro oras, pitong araw kada linggo,” the chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government added.
Angara had earlier filed Senate Bill 2097 or the proposed Magna Carta for Barangays, which introduces wide-ranging reforms to improve the services and facilities in all barangays across the country, as well as make barangay officials regular state employees entitled to regular pay and benefits.
The measure aims to help barangays perform their mandate of delivering basic services in the “most efficient, responsive and sustainable manner.”
According to Angara, more than 42,000 barangays—including the new barangays created by 17 laws earlier deliberated on and passed by his committee—stand to benefit from the bill.
Under the Local Government Code, barangay officials should only receive honorariums, and not salaries. At present, a barangay chairman gets an honorarium of at least P1,000 per month, while the councilors, treasurer and secretary each receive P600 monthly.
These amounts could be adjusted according to the availability of funds, but can only be limited to the equivalent of Salary Grade (SG) 14 for barangay chairman and SG 10 for council members.
In his bill, Angara proposed that barangay chairman receive an amount equivalent to the salary of a member of the Sangguniang Bayan (SG 24 or 25) or SangguniangPanlunsod (SG 27) of his municipality or city.
He also wants each of the six barangay councilors be given an amount equivalent to 80 percent of the city or municipal council member’s salary, while the kabataang barangay chair and barangay secretary and treasurer, equivalent to 75 percent.
Aside from basic salary, Angara said barangay executives should also receive allowances, insurance, medical and dental coverage, retirement and other fringe benefits.
Angara believes that affording barangay officials just remuneration would “further fuel their passion in public service” for the benefit of their constituencies.
The proposed Magna Carta for Barangay seeks to provide communities with appropriate basic services and facilities such as regular supply of clean and potable water, public transportation, schools, health centers and barangay halls in order to meet the requirements of their local populace.
Under the measure, every city or municipality is required to construct and maintain at least one deep well to supply the drinking water needs of every 1,000 residents for each barangay.
Each city or municipality is also tasked to make necessary representations before national government agencies to require public utility companies operating within its jurisdiction to provide minimum means of transportation in every barangay.
The bill entitles every barangay to one elementary school and one high school for every five kilometers from the barangay center, as well as one barangay health center.