Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. had sought the assistance of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to get data on the total number of barangay day care and health volunteer workers nationwide.
Marcos made the request to NEDA Director General Secretary Arsenio Balisacan when the latter visited the senator recently for a discussion on economic issues.
“If you happen to have it, can you furnish us with the data? (That’s) because there is a proposed bill to give benefits to barangay volunteers,” Marcos said.
The senator was referring to the barangay benefits bill, which he intends to re-file in the 16th Congress after it failed to pass in the current Congress.
Marcos said the data on the actual number of barangay volunteer workers is crucial in determining the amount of trust fund that should be established for the purpose and to ensure that it is self-sustaining.
He said the fact that even the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has no such data indicate how the barangay volunteer workers have been neglected.
“Hindi tayo nagbibigay anything to the volunteers so we don’t keep records. So the DILG doesn’t know how many they are,” Marcos said.
The senator seeks to provide benefits for barangay officials and volunteer workers that include retirement pay, which is a lump sum equivalent to one-year honorarium.
Likewise, the proposal seeks to increase the benefits the barangay officials and volunteers are currently receiving as well as additional package of monetary and non-monetary benefits.
“Nakapila na ‘yan. Pagbukas ng session eh ipa-file ko agad ang bill na ‘yan that will give benefits to barangay officials, tanods, health and day care volunteers and other barangay workers,” Marcos said.