A fixed salary for the employees of the barangay—the basic political unit—has been proposed in the House of Representatives for better governance and spurring development.
Rep. Amado Bagatsing of Manila made the pitch under his House Bill 90 or Magna Carta for Barangays which provides that barangay officials will be considered as regular government employees with fixed salaries, allowances and other benefits that regular government employees are entitled to.
Bagatsing’s measure states that the barangay captain will have a salary equivalent to that of the municipal or city councilor. The seven Sangguniang Barangay members, on the other hand, will have a salary that is 80 percent of the salary of the municipal or city councilor.
The Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman, Barangay Secretary and the Barangay Treasurer, for their part, will have a fixed salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of the municipal or city councilor.
“As the basic political unit, the barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government programs. The important role of barangays in nation building necessitates that we recognize their services by adopting measures promoting their welfare,” Bagatsing said in his explanatory note.
Aside from the fixed salary, Bagatsing’s measure provides that all employees of barangays will be entitled to compensation such as Representation and Transportation allowance to be determined by the barangay officials based on the barangay employees’ capacity and not less than the daily minimum wage. In addition, barangay employees will also be provided with dental and health insurance.
Further, Bagatsing’s proposal requires that every barangay be provided with basic needs such as regular supply of clean and potable water, transport services, schools, health centers and barangay hall.
Bagasting’s measure was backed up by Lorenzo “Boy” Zuñiga, Jr., the President of Alaminos, Laguna’s Liga ng mga Barangay.
“A Magna Carta will empower barangay officials and recognize them as essential agents for change in their areas. Instead of granting them mere honorarium, fixed monthly salaries will give them proper recognition and lessen corruption,” Zuñiga, the Captain of Barangay San Ildefonso in Alaminos, Laguna, said in a separate statement.
“Instead of waiting for economic gains to trickle down to the grassroots, every barangay should strive to be self-sufficient and cause development to happen in their territories. A Magna Carta which outlines how barangay captains and officials can actively participate and implement government programs is necessary for our people to achieve progress”, Zuñiga added. LLANESCA T. PANTI