Sen. Bongbong Marcos vows to pursue struggle for retirement benefits of brgy. execs, workers

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has vowed to provide a lump sum retirement benefit for barangay officials, tanods and volunteer health and day care workers.

This developed even as Marcos decried the administration’s lack of support for the proposal under House Bill 6567, which “died a natural death” since the Senate failed to approve it before Congress adjourned last Feb. 9.

The senator said he is now preparing a bill for the retirement benefits, which he intends to file in the next Congress.

Marcos, chair of the Senate local government committee, had sponsored the House Bill 6567, which was earlier passed by the House of Representatives.

“Everyone pays lip service to the crucial contribution of the barangay officials and volunteer workers. However, it seems that there is no firm resolve on the part of the government to recognize their services with concrete benefits,” Marcos said.

The senator pointed out that the retirement benefit will be the government’s recognition of the dedication of barangay volunteer workers in providing service at the grassroots level of local government.

“Without the barangay health workers, we would not be able to implement a local policy on health care, without the tanods, the peace and order situation would be problematic,” Marcos said.

The proposed measure provides a lump sum retirement pay for qualified barangay officials and workers equivalent to about P70,000 each.

As funding source for the benefit, a Barangay Retirement Fund (BRF), shall be established through yearly investment equivalent to one percent of the National Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of the national government.

Covered under the measure are retiring barangay officials or volunteer workers of at least 60 years of age, with a minimum of nine years in service at the time of retirement.

During the interpellation, Senator Franklin Drilon, vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Party, questioned the proposed appropriation of P4.5 billion for the retirement benefits of the barangay officials and workers even without a data on the actual number of beneficiaries, although Marcos said based on available data, the estimated would be between 1.9 to 2.2 million.

Marcos explained that while there is a record on the total number of barangay officials, the Department of Interior and Local Government has no record on the total number of tanods, health workers and day care workers because they are not receiving any benefit from the national government.

“As the proposed law is written, all that information will be gathered by the DILG and will be incorporated in the implementing rules and regulations,” he said. The proposed measure also mandates the DILG to administer the fund.

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