Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. has assured that funds will be available for the retirement pay and other benefits of the estimated 2.1 million barangay volunteer workers as well as barangay officials once Congress approves the proposed benefit package for them.
Even as this developed, Marcos vowed to press for the enactment of the proposed measure in the coming 16th Congress either by filing in the Senate a similar version of House Bill 6567, which was not enacted into law in the current 15th Congress.
He noted that HB 6567, which had sought to provide all brgy. officials, brgy. tanods, members of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, and brgy. health and day care workers a lump sum retirement pay equivalent to one-year honorarium, expressly provided for a funding source.
Marcos, who sponsored HB 6567 in the Senate as chair of the Senate local government committee, pointed out that under the bill one percent from the 60 percent Internal Revenue Allotment share of the national government would be transferred to the 40 percent share of local government units (LGUs). This means the IRA sharing will become 41 percent for the LGUs and 59 percent for the national government.
“The reason that the 41 percent- the one percent of IRA - is a very important part of the bill dahil kung titingnan ninyo ang mga bills, both House bills and Senate bills, lahat ng nagbibigay ng benepisyo sa mga barangay officials, sa mga benefits para sa mga barangay workers, wala silang revenue measure kung saan mangagaling ang pondo…Ang proposal namin dito sa bill na ito ay kumuha ng one percent doon sa National Internal Revenue na collection,” he explained.
Marcos said this formula is the essence of Section 2 of HB 6567, which seeks to create a Barangay Retirement Fund from the additional one percent IRA share for LGUs.
As a component of data gathering activities in connection with the proposed measure, Marcos conducted public consultation meetings with barangay officials and volunteer workers.
In the meetings he conducted consecutively in Gen. Santos City; Paoay, Ilocos Norte; and Cotabato City, the participants expressed support for the measure.