The Senate has approved on second reading Senate Bill 12 seeking to grant retirement benefits for barangay (village) officials and workers.
The measure provides a retirement pay of P100,000 for each qualified barangay chairman, P80,000 for each Member of the Sangguniang Barangay, and P50,000 each for the Barangay Treasurer, Secretary, Barangay Tanod, Member of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa and Barangay Health and Day Care Workers.
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., author of the bill, noted that while barangay officials and workers are serving in the front lines, delivering basic and other public services, they are only receiving measly benefits.
“Their dedication and contribution to public service without monthly salaries but with only honoraria, allowances or other emoluments deserves more than mere recognition,” Marcos said.
“I am confident that the Senate can approve this measure within the remaining days of our session,” he added.
Under the measure, a barangay official or worker must be at least 60 years old and with at least 9 years of service to be eligible to receive the retirement benefits.
Based on these criteria, the National Barangay Operations Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has determined that as of June 7, 2013, some 95,616 are qualified for the benefits out of the 1,849,232 total number of barangay officials and workers in the country.
“The government needs P5.2 billion to pay for the retirement of the initial number of qualified barangay officials and workers,” Marcos said.
“As funding source, the measure proposed the creation of the Barangay Retirement Fund, which shall be established through annual investments with an amount equivalent to one percent [1 percent] of the share of the national government in the IRA [Internal Revenue Allotment]. The DILG shall administer and ensure the appropriate disbursement of the fund,” he added.