SAN RAFAEL, Bulacan:Vice President Jejomar Binay promised that barangay (village) officials will be salaried if he is elected President.
Binay, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) standard-bearer in the May 2016 elections, made the vow during a sortie before supporters in San Rafael town in Bulacan province.
He said in the town hall’s gymnasium, “Kayo ay dapat naging swelduhan na, matagal na, pero ang Liberal [Party] hinarang po talaga ‘yan, kahit na saliksikan ho ninyo ang nangyari kung bakit ‘di kayo nabigyan niyan [You should have been salaried a long time ago but the Liberal Party blocked it, even if you research on what happened why it was not given to you],” he said.
The LP, led by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, is fielding former Interior secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd as its presidential candidate in the coming polls.
Officials of the barangay—the country’s basic political unit—receive a monthly honorarium instead of a fixed income.
Binay promised that his priority was for them to receive salaries.
“Kayong mga kawani alam niyo ba, tinanong ko sa NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority]: NEDA, bakit ayaw niyong itaas ang sweldo ng mga kawani sa pamahalaan? E taon taon nag-aaway ho kami. Bakit? E ayaw po talagang gumasta. Savings, savings, savings. My God. Ako, itataas ko ang sweldo niyo [You know, I asked NEDA: NEDA, why don’t you raise the salaries of government workers? We argue every year. Why? They do not want to spend. Savings, savings, savings. My God. But I, I will raise your salaries],” he said.
NEDA is the the government’s central economic development and planning agency.
According to Binay, funding for the village officials’ salaries will be sourced from the government’s savings.
“Kung gusto niyo ho maniwala, magtanong-tanong ho kayo. Department of Health, under-spending. DILG, under-spending. Lahat ho underspending. E hindi ho tayo aangat ang buhay natin dahil sa underspending [If you want to believe, ask around. Department of Health, under-spending. DILG, under-spending. Everything’s under-spending. Our lives won’t progress because of unders-pending],” he said.
DILG is the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
He then also vowed to lead with experience, citing the two decades he spent as mayor of Makati City (Metro Manila), which is the country’s central business district.
“Pero ang importante po sa lahat… ako ho ay mamumuno dito sa ating bansa batay ho sa aking malawak na karanasan [But most important of all… I will lead this country based on my extensive experience],” Binay said.
He added, “21 taon po akong naging mayor ng Makati. At nung ako ho ay naging mayor ng Makati, ipinakita ko po ang aking kakayahan. Nung naging mayor ho ako 1986 pa. Ung problemang haharapin ko bilang Pangulo, naharap ko na [I was Makati mayor for 21 years. And when I became mayor of Makati, I showed my capability. I became mayor in 1986. The problem that I will face as President, I already faced].”
“Kaya nga ba ho sinasabi namin, itong mga kalaban ko nangangako pa lang, ako ho nagawa ko na ho ‘yan [That is why we say, I have already done what my opponents are still promising],” Binay said, adding that he was able to reduce the number of poor families and to provide jobs in Makati.