Magna Carta for Barangays: A call to give village officials just compensation

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo July 23,2019 - 06:42 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — It may be time for barangay officials to have the benefits accorded to a government employee.

For a month’s worth of work, barangay officials in lower-income class towns in Cebu receive an honoraria of only P1,000.

For Celestino Martinez III, president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Cebu Province Chapter, this is an amount that is “far below” the bar.

Martinez, in a phone interview with CDN Digital, said giving barangay officials just compensation would only be reasonable considering that they “are tasked to do so much” in their areas of jurisdiction.

“Definitely it will do good for barangay officials once it will be passed since majority of the barangay officials and volunteers receive so small, far below minimum in terms of salaries/wages and even benefits especially those who belong to third class and below category municipalities, ” Martinez said.

During his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, June 22, President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to pass the Magna Carta for barangays, a measure that will give fixed compensation and benefits to barangay officials and workers that are the same with regular government employees.

The move to recognize and give barangay officials the benefits of a regular government employee can be tracked as far as the 14th Congress when former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. first introduced the Magna Carta for Barangays in 2007.

Under Senate Bill 277, Pimentel’s bill in 2007 proposed that punong barangays (barangay captains) be given a salary equivalent to that of a councilor in their city or municipality while the councilors receive the equivalent of 80 percent of a municipal councilor’s salary.

In the 18th Congress, Senator Sonny Angara has refiled the Magna Carta for Barangays under Senate Bill 136.

Angara’s Magna Carta for Barangays provide the officials of barangays a fixed pay and benefits similar to Senate Bill (SB) 277.

Under SB 136, barangay officials will receive fixed salaries, allowances, insurance, medical and dental coverages, retirement and other fringe benefits that are similar with regular government employees.

Aside from the compensation and benefits of the barangay officials, SB 136 also sets the top concerns that the basic political unit should address including potable water systems, transportation, basic education and health. /celr

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