Sen. Bongbong delivers sponsorship speech endorsing passage of retirement benefits bill for barangay officials and volunteer workers

20140604_NCR_MetroManilaSenateSessionPasayBarangayBenifits_UN

The proposed measure seeks to provide a retirement benefit to qualified Punong barangay, member of the Sangguniang Barangay, barangay treasurer and secretary, barangay tanod, member of the Lupon ·ng Tagapamayapa, barangay health workers and barangay day care workers.

This measure is a manifest acknowledgment of the invaluable contribution of the barangay officials and workers to public service for a certain period of time without monthly salaries but only with disproportionate honoraria, allowances or other forms of emoluments.

Our barangay officials and workers are the frontliners in the delivery of basic and other public services to our countrymen. As succinctly embodied and recognized by the Local Government Code of 1991, as amended, particularly
Section 384 thereof, “the barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community, and as a forum wherein the collective views of the people may be expressed, crystallized and considered, and where disputes may be amicably settled.”

Yet, the dynamic officials and conscientious workers who are behind the active operation of the affairs of our barangays are left with measly benefits which is ironic, given the endless recognition by our government of their indispensable role in nation-building by way of their delivery of basic services to their communities.

Our painful experiences with typhoon Yolanda and our hard-earned lessons from other devastating natural and man-made calamities are mute testimonies of the prompt and unselfish response of our barangay officials and workers to the call of the multi-faceted response to public service. But behind their continued acts of heroism are the concomitant risks brought to their lives and limb that deserve to be looked into by us, who are members of Congress, not as a form of mere reward but more as an instrument to effectively translate the social justice proviso in our Constitution.

In times of normalcy, they provided indispensable assistance to government agencies in almost all government undertakings. More often than not, these officials and workers are the breadwinners of their respective families. Rightfully, their time should have been entirely devoted to income-generating activities to support their families. However, driven by their ardent desire to serve their country and countrymen, they continue to spend time to respond to the demands of public service.

During my stint as governor of the province of llocos Norte, the barangay officials and workers were instrumental in the effective discharge of my duties and responsibilities. I established the Office of Barangay Affairs under the Office of the Governor as focal point for barangay activities, and this became the center, among many others, for information gathering and dissemination to and from the various communities of my province.

In our deliberations, our Committee took note of the enormous number of barangay officials and workers which, as of present computations stands at 1,849,232, consequently creating the noted budgetary constraints. Thus, our
Committee recommends the grant of a retirement benefit for punong barangay in the amount of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000); a Sangguniang Barangay member in the amount of eighty thousand pesos (P80,000); a barangay treasurer and secretary, a barangay tanod, a member of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, a barangay health worker and a barangay day care worker in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) each.

The covered retiring barangay official should be at least sixty (60) years of age with a minimum of nine (9) years in service at the time of retirement. However, any such official or worker who dies or becomes permanently incapacitated while in the performance of his or her duty shall be entitled to the benefit irrespective of their age and number of years in service.

As funding source for this monetary benefit, the Committee recommends the creation of the Barangay Retirement Fund (BRF), which shall be established through annual investment equivalent to one percent of the share of the national government from the internal revenue collection. It is proposed that this fund shall be administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Considering the noble objective of this measure, may I respectfully encourage my fellow members in this august Chamber to join this Representation in pushing for its enactment.

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