SENATOR Win Gatchalian said improving the welfare of barangay officials may lead to enhanced productivity of the government’s “frontliners.”
Gatchalian, author of Senate Bill No. 366 or the Magna Carta for Barangay Officials, said there is a need to give plantilla positions to barangay officials since many of them are often subjected to the whims of politicians.
“Ngayon ho kasi ang nangyayari, the barangay officials are just receiving allowances instead of a regular monthly pay check,” Gatchalian said.
“Biruin mo, sila po ang nasa frontline service natin, kung may problema tayo, sila po agad-agad nalalapitan, pero ‘di po pala sila tumatanggap ng sahod, kundi konting allowances pa, depende pa sa kakayanan ng munisipyo o lungsod na nabibilangan nila,” he added.
Gatchalian said his bill proposes to fill in the inequities in the present law by providing for the regularization of the punong barangay, kagawads, treasurer and secretary; and providing for allowances and benefits to the members of the lupong tagapamayapa and tanods, who do not receive any from the Local Government Code.
SBN 366 aims to reclassify barangay chairmen and kagawads as regular employees co-terminus with the term; and the secretary and treasurer as regular plantilla employees.
Under Gatchalian’s bill, they will fall under salary grades 12, 10, 8, and 8, respectively; increase the term limit of elective barangay officials from three years to five years; and provide capacity development and training programs for such barangay officials.
Gatchalian said the government needs to allocate P10.7 billion per month or P129 billion per year to fund the salaries of barangays officials and allowances of the members of lupon tagapamayapa and tanods in at least 42,000 barangays.
“These are the simple computations we made so that we will have an idea on how much is needed to fund this proposal.
“Ang challenge po ngayon, since this is a spending bill, doon po sa municipalities and cities na hindi na maa-afford ito, who will pay? Because the barangays are not created equal,” he said.
Citing data from the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), Gatchalian said 50% of the municipalities and 90% of the cities can afford to pay P3.07 million per year per barangay.
He added that 50% of the municipalities and 10% of the cities that are considered small cannot afford to pay 3.07 million per year per barangay.