Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said something should be done to address the plight of barangay volunteer workers who remain under-compensated and their contribution to the society unrecognized.
Marcos vowed to work in the coming 16th Congress for legislation to address the continuing neglect of barangay volunteer workers by providing them monetary and non-monetary benefits they deserve to receive.
He stressed that barangay volunteer workers should be recognized as an indispensable element of the bureaucracy in the delivery of public service and should be rewarded for their unselfish dedication in the performance of their duty.
“Dapat kilalalanin natin…biruin ninyo (ang mga barangay workers) they go out every day at wala sila kahit napakasimple lamang na benefit,” he noted.
Marcos found it ironic that the government doesn’t even have the database on the actual number of barangay volunteer workers. This situation, the senator pointed out, best describes how they are really neglected by the state.
“Countrywide the funny thing is, just to show how we have neglected the lowest rank of our bureaucracy–when I say that, I mean the volunteer workers–is that hindi man natin malaman kung ilan sila (dahil)wala tayong record,” he pointed out.
The senator said current estimate put the number of barangay volunteer workers between 1.6 million-2.1 million all over the country.
“That is more or less our estimate pero hindi namin masasabi sa inyo kung ilan talaga dahil hindi tayo nagme-maintain ng record, because hindi natin sila iniintindi,” Marcos said.
As a concrete expression of his sympathy with the plight of the barangay workers, Marcos is set to introduce a measure, and fight for its enactment in the coming 16 Congress, giving a package of monetary and non-monetary benefits, which includes retirement pay, for barangay workers and officials.
In his capacity as chair of the Senate local government committee, had sponsored in the current Senate House Bill 6567 giving such benefits, but it only passed the second reading stage.
“Napakaimportante sa kin na hindi lamang kilalanin natin ang trabaho… ang kanilang pagsisikap para tulungan tayo ay kailangan bigyan natin sila ng kaunting suporta not only in monitary terms but also in non-monetary terms. Ipipila na namin iyang bill na ‘yan pagbukas ng Kongreso at ipaglalaban ko ‘yan hanggang maging batas,” he said.
During the current break in the Senate session, Marcos has been conducting a series of public consultations with barangay officials and volunteer workers in different parts of the country.
In the meetings held consecutively in Gen. Santos City, Paoay, Ilocos Norte; and Cotabato City, the participants have expressed support for the measure.