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Magna Carta for barangays sought



Recognizing the importance of the barangay as the basic unit in our society and the frontline in the delivery of government series, Leyte Fourth District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez filed a bill that would empower the barangays and their officials and would also develop and improve the general welfare of the residents.

The lady solon filed House Bill 4083 or “Magna Carta for Barangays Act of 2019” which seeks to promote, develop and improve the general welfare of the barangay and its residents, raise the economic and social status of barangay officials and to grant every barangay the basic facilities for decent, healthy and comfortable living.

The proposal also seeks to provide new measures that will protect its enjoyment of local autonomy to ensure the effective performance of its role as the primary planning and implementing unit of government programs, projects and activities and as a forum in which the collective views of the people in the community may be crystallized.

Gomez also noted that the barangay — through its officials — is the frontline when it comes to the delivery of government services.

“They are the go-to people in times of distress whether personal or social in nature. Hence, it is but fitting that we craft laws for their benefit and empowerment,” Gomez said.

The bill also proposed that the national government shall give more attention to the development of the barangays, as they are the country’s basic political units; give them authority and capability to handle its concerns on its level; and self-help or people power shall be the guiding principle in all barangay development projects.

It also seeks to consider barangay officials as regular government employees for them to be entitled to the salary, emoluments, allowances such as hazard pay, representation and transportation allowance, personal economic relief allowance, productivity incentive bonus, clothing allowance and 13th month pay and other benefits.

Gomez also said that the measure also includes the “Appointment and Selection of Barangay Tanods” with corresponding benefits and mandates through a resolution to determine the appropriate number of barangay tanods needed in a barangay.

The bill also seeks to have every barangay sponsor at least one college scholarship grant every year to be awarded by a committee of five persons appointed by the Sangguniang Barangay, with the approval of the Punong Barangay, after competitive examinations are given to applicants, who should be bona fine residents of the barangay.