Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año yesterday expressed support for a Senate bill filed by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III seeking to classify barangay officials as regular government employees with fixed salaries and benefits.
Año said the proposed Magna Carta for Barangays authored by Pimentel proposes, among others, to declare barangay officials as regular government personnel because of their important role in promoting the welfare of their constituents and for good governance.
“Barangays as the basic political unit are the bedrock of governance and nation-building and are expected by the people to perform many basic services. It is high time that barangay officials be granted the same benefits of a government employee,” Año stressed.
He added that barangay officials are the government’s frontliners and do the legwork in serving the people and granting them the same benefits as any other government employee and “is only fair to recognize their vital role in carrying out the government’s basic services down to communities.”
”Most of the national government’s efforts require the support and involvement of barangays and so barangay officials should get the same benefits of regular government employees,” he pointed out.
The proposed Magna Carta for Barangays proposes that the punong barangay, sangguniang barangay members, Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson, barangay secretary, and barangay treasurer in all barangays will be declared regular government employees.
The bill also suggests that a punong barangay should get a salary equal to that of a Sangguniang Bayan member of his municipality or city, while Sangguniang Barangay members should receive a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of their Sangguniang Bayan members.
As for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairpersons, barangay secretary, and barangay treasurer, they should be entitled to take home an equivalent of 75 percent of the salary of their sangguniang bayan members.
The provision also states that as regular government employees, they are “entitled to fixed salaries, allowances, insurance, medical and dental coverage, retirement benefits and such other fringe benefits to which a regular government employee may be entitled to.”
”Like any other workers be it in private or government firms, compensation is a big factor to motivate employees. Kaya inaasahang mas magiging matino, mahusay, at maaasahan ang mga opisyal ng barangay kung maipasa ang panukalang batas na ito,” he said.