By Recto Mercene | Business Mirror
Senators crossed party lines and threw their support behind the measure being pushed by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. seeking to grant retirement benefit to barangay officials and workers.
Ten senators co-authored Senate Bill 12 entitled “An Act Providing Barangay Officials, including Barangay Tanods, Members of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Day Care Workers a Retirement Benefit.”
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Maria Lourdes “Nancy” Binay, Pia S. Cayetano, Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid, Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., Cynthia A. Villar and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara joined him as co-authors of the bill.
The bill, sponsored in the plenary by Marcos under Committee Report 31, provides a retirement pay of P100,000 for each barangay chairman, P80,000 for each member of Sangguniang Barangay, and P50,000 each for barangay treasurer and secretary, barangay tanod, member of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, and barangay health and day-care worker.
Entitled to the benefit are barangay officials and workers who have reached the age of 60 and with at least nine years in service and “any such official or worker who dies or becomes permanently incapacitated while in the performance of duty…irrespective of age and the numbers of years in service.”
“More often than not, these officials and workers are bread-winners of their respective families. Rightfully, their time should have been entirely devoted to income generating activities,” Marcos said. R. Mercene
“However, driven by their ardent desire to serve their country and countrymen, they continue to spend time responding to the demands of public service.”
If enacted into law, some 95,616 barangay officials and workers can immediately avail of the retirement benefit since they are already qualified to such as of June 7, 2013, according to the National Barangay Operations Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The government needs some P5.2 billion to pay for their retirement.
As a funding source for the monetary benefit, the bill provides that a Barangay Retirement Fund shall be created through annual investment equivalent to one percent of the share of the national government from the Internal Revenue Allotment collection. Such fund shall be administered by the DILG.