The secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) over the weekend defended the holding of the Barangay Assembly Day, describing it as “mandatory” under the law.
Ismael Sueno warned that barangay (village) officials who fail to mark the day will be slapped with administrative charges for violating Republic Act (RA) 7160.
The Barangay Assembly Day is “mandatory as required in Section 397 of the Local Government Code or [RA 7160] to give residents the opportunity to hear and discuss with barangay officials the developments and concerns in their community,” Sueno said in a statement.
He has issued a memorandum circular reminding the country’s 42,036 barangay officials that the Barangay Assembly Day should be held every last Saturday of March and every second Sunday of October.
“A barangay assembly forms part of our democratic governance down to the [village]level by ensuring a venue for the governed sovereign Filipino masses and the barangay government to hear and discuss the semestral report of the [village]concerning its activities and finances as well as problems affecting the barangay,” Sueno said.
According to the DILG secretary, he expects the village officials to ensure the success of the assembly so that their constituents could ventilate their concerns and complaints on various problems that affect them directly and indirectly, including those on illegal drugs, crime and corruption.
Sueno said the theme of the Barangay Assembly Day for the first semester of 2017 is “Sulong Barangay Kontra Droga, Krimen at Katiwalian: Makialam! Makilahok! Makiisa!”
This was also the theme of a big gathering of supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte last February 25 at Manila’s Rizal Park (Luneta).
The gathering turned out to be a show of force by pro-Duterte groups against combined forces of the Liberal Party headed by former President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo and leftist groups that exposed Duterte’s supposed plan to impose dictatorial rule.
NELSON S. BADILLA