Neophyte Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go is pushing for making barangay officials as regular government employees under his proposed Magna Carta for Barangays.
Senate Bill No. 391 or the Magna Carta for Barangays was discussed during the hearing of the local government committee chaired by Senator Francis Tolentino.
Go said the lack of regular salaries for barangay officials despite their duties and responsibilities in their communities prompted him to push for better pay and benefits for them.
“Barangay officials are our government’s frontliners—first to respond, first to provide and first to serve. Despite this, they receive simple honoraria for their service. That is why under the bill I filed, barangay officials will now be treated as regular government employees receiving benefits that regular government employees enjoy,” he said.
Under the bill, the Punong Barangay, members of the Sangguniang Barangay, the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson, the barangay secretary, and barangay treasurer will be entitled to salaries, emoluments, allowances such as hazard pay, representation and transportation allowance, 13th month pay, and other benefits.
The bill also outlines the basic priorities in each barangay such as regular supply of clean and potable water, readily available means of public transport, and to have schools, health centers, and barangay halls.
Go said the proposed measure will also allow barangays to appoint sufficient tanods to help maintain peace and order in their communities in lieu of the current set-up where tanods are only limited to 20 per barangay.
“In line with President Duterte’s on-going war against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality, the bill allows for an appointment of additional barangay tanods by the Punong Barangay upon the concurrence of the majority of the Sangguniang Barangay members,” the senator said, adding that this will ensure the maintenance of peace and order in the barangays. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News