By Christina Mendez | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has urged his colleagues and counterparts at the House of Representatives to pass a bill that will provide a lump-sum retirement pay for about 700,000 barangay officials and workers in the country.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, sponsored the measure before Congress went into Christmas break last Wednesday.
His committee issued a report on the findings on House Bill 6557, taking into consideration Senate Bill 3187, seeking the grant of such benefit to barangay officials.
“Your committee on local government recognized the basic premise that barangay officials are inadequately compensated by the government, and thus there is a need to fill that inadequacy,” Marcos said in his privilege speech.
He said barangay officials get the lowest pay compared to other government officials, considering the nature of their functions and the occupational hazards and risks attached to their work.
Under the proposed measure, amending Section 393 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, barangay officials would be entitled to a retirement pay, equal to one-year pay, but not exceeding P100,000.
All elective barangay officials, including barangay watchmen, members of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, barangay health workers and barangay day care workers would be entitled to the retirement pay.
The covered retiring barangay official should be at least 60 years old, with a minimum of nine years in service at the time of retirement.
As funding source for the benefit, Marcos recommends the creation of a Barangay Retirement Fund, which shall be established through yearly investment equivalent to one percent of the National Internal Revenue Allotment share of the local government units.
The proposed measure mandates the Department of the Interior and Local Government to administer the fund.
Marcos said Congress should pass the proposed measure as this would not only compensate the retiring barangay officials, but also acknowledge and recognize the invaluable public service they rendered to their constituents.