By Ernie Reyes | InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., recently filed a bill seeking to enhance the capability of barangay units to implement public service program by ensuring their annual budget allocations.
Under Senate Bill 2190, Congress will have the sole power to create barangay units, through enactment of a law, because under Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, only those barangays created by law are entitled to Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
The bill actually amends Sections 6 and 385 of the code, which grant not only to Congress, but also to local government units through an ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Sangguniang Panlungsod, the power to create barangay units, or have existing ones divided, merged, abolished, or their boundaries substantially altered.
Marcos, chair of the Senate local government committee, said barangays created by LGUs don’t have IRA allotments, similar to automatic appropriation given to barangays created by Congress, since the code categorically provides that their budget should be given by the LGUs that created them.
“The dismal reality, however, is that barangays created by the sanggunians are receiving measly amounts of annual budgetary allocations from the local government units which created them. This resulted in poor delivery of basic services because of lack or insufficient funds,” he said.
Marcos said his measure is a remedy to the budgetary woes of the LGU-created barangays because if enacted, they will be entitled to just IRA shares being enjoyed by Congress-created barangays.
Records of the National Statistical Coordinating Board show that as of December 31, 2013, there are 42,026 existing barangays all over the country. Out of this number, 200 were created by LGUs, while the rest were created by law.
Section 4 of Marcos’ bill provides that all barangays, including those previously created by the provincial or city councils, will be entitled to IRA shares, which means even the 200 already existing barangays created by LGUs will be automatically funded.
Under the current situation, the minimal annual fund of barangays appropriated by the concerned LGUs is grossly incomparable to the IRA allocation of existing barangays created by law.
“To remedy this appalling situation, this legislative measure proposes that the creation of the smallest political unit in the country be done solely through acts of Congress and not through ordinances to entitle each of them to automatic IRA share, as provided for under the Local Government Code,” he said.