The Senate Committee on Local Government, chaired by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., approved 30 bills from the House of Representatives seeking the creation of new barangays in different areas of the country.
Approval of the House bills, done last Tuesday, will pave the way for the new barangays to receive their share of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government.
Majority of the House bills actually seek to re-create existing barangays that have been created earlier by local government councils.
“We all know that this has to do with the IRA because the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) does not recognize barangays created by local sanggunians and does not provide an IRA share for them,” Marcos pointed out.
Under existing laws, the financial needs of the barangays created by a local government unit (LGU) shall be the responsibility of the LGU concerned. With no IRA share or meager financial support from their mother LGU’s, Marcos said it would be very difficult for these barangays to deliver basic services to their residents.
The House bills sought the creation of 10 barangays in Taguig City, three in Cavite, three in Davao Del Norte, two in Zamboanga Sibugay, two in Kalinga, and one each in the provinces of Bulacan, Mountain Province, South Cotabato, Surigao Del Sur, Tarlac, Misamis Oriental, and in the city of Makati. One of the bills proposes the division of one barangay in Davao City into three new barangays, while another calls for the division of one barangay in Tagum City into five new barangays.
Marcos said that essentially, all government offices, including the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Commission on Elections, recognize the LGU-created barangays, except for the DBM. The DBM representative told the committee that the department has previously taken the position that barangays created by Congress are entitled to an IRA share.
Marcos noted that all of the barangays concerned comply with the minimum requirements for their creation as provided under the Local Government Code of 1991. Under the code, a barangay may be created out of a contiguous territory which has a population of at least two thousand (2,000) inhabitants except in cities and municipalities within Metro Manila or in highly urbanized cities with certified population of at least five thousand (5,000) inhabitants.
"With this act of Congress, there will be no more obstacle that will keep these barangays from receiving their share of the IRA," he said.
Recognizing the role of LGUs in delivering basic services to people, Marcos has long been pushing for an increased IRA share of LGUs from the current 40-60 sharing scheme in favor of the national government to an even 50-50 split.