BAGUIO CITY — As concerned individuals and organizations have pushed for the welfare of healthcare frontliners, the Baguio City Council sought for the sourcing of funds to subsidize the hazard pay of barangay officials and other workers also identified as frontliners for their efforts in the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
According to City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias, barangay officials and workers are entitled to receive hazard pay pursuant to Budget Circular 2020-1 issued by the Department of Budget and Management.
Cabarrubias pointed out that as the circular does not stipulate whether the hazard pay of barangay officials and other public workers will be drawn from the barangay or city’s funds, under “regular circumstances,” it should be charged against the barangay’s pot.
The city council, headed by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, tasked the Local Finance Committee to look into the prospect of appropriating a certain amount from the city funds in order to augment the funds of the barangays for the provision of the said hazard pay.
Ignacio Gallente, vice president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, admitted that some barangays might not have sufficient funds to provide hazard pay to their frontliners as their respective budgets have already been allocated and exhausted for their operations against the COVID-19 crisis and for other essential projects.
In line with the request to source funds to subsidize the hazard pay of barangay officials and workers, the city council further proposed for the formulation of guidelines that will determine and standardize the amount to be granted as hazard pay to each official/worker in the barangay level.
“We might have a problem if one barangay will give a hazard pay of P100 a day and another barangay will give P500 a day, so we are proposing a uniformed rate for barangay officials and another uniformed rate for volunteers,” Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said.