Press Release
September 16, 2019

Public Hearing on Local Government joint with Ways and Means, Finance, and Government Corporations & Public Enterprises
Opening Statement of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go
Re: Magna Carta of Barangays

Good morning, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank you for prioritizing our country's basic political unit, the barangay.

We all know that the barangay and its officials are the immediate provider of frontline services to our fellow countrymen. Sila ang pinakaunang tinatakbuhan ng ating mga kababayan. Ang mga barangay captains sa Davao, ang tawag ko diyan, alam ni Councilor Dayanghirang iyan, suki kasi umaga pa lang andun na sa opisina ko hanggang sa pag-uwi ko nasa ibaba ng hagdan, ihahatid talaga ako at kasama dun ang paghatid nila ng serbisyo sa mga tao nila. Sila ang nagdadala ng serbisyo sa kababayan nila. Alam ko po kung gaano kaimportante ang mga barangay officials.

And it is because of this reason that we have to further improve the barangays and address the woes of our barangay officials. These reasons, among many others, made me decide to file Senate Bill No. 391, which provides for the Magna Carta for Barangays.

The bill outlines the basic priorities in each barangay such as the right of every barangay to have regular supply of clean and potable water; to have readily available means of public transport; and the entitlement of every barangay to schools, health centers and barangay halls.

Barangay officials are our government's frontliners--first to respond, first to provide and first to serve. Despite this, they receive a simple honoraria for their service. They deserve much more than that. I refuse to accept that they continue to be short-changed by the current system. That is why under the bill I filed, barangay officials will now be treated as regular government employees receiving benefits that regular government employees enjoy.

Ma-iaangat na po natin ang kalagayan ng buhay nila. The punong barangay, members of the sangguniang barangay, the sangguniang kabataan chairperson, the barangay secretary and barangay treasurer will now be entitled to salaries, emoluments, allowances such as hazard pay, representation and transportation allowance, 13th month pay and other benefits.

In line with President Duterte's on-going war against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality, the bill allows for an appointment of additional barangay tanods by the punong barangay upon the concurrence of the majority of the sangguniang barangay members. This will ensure the maintenance of peace and order in the barangays. Surely, the security and safety of our countrymen must be met firstly in their immediate communities. This measure hopes to address that.

Mr. Chair, with your permission, I just have a few questions for our resource persons.

To Liga ng Mga Barangay, or To National Chairman Dayanghirang, kabisadong-kabisado na niya ito lahat:

  • What are the common problems that our barangays are experiencing?

  • What steps are we taking to address these problems?

To Department of Budget and Management

  • Galing po ako sa San Pablo last week dahil sa inauguration ng Sta ana bridge doon, may lumapit po sa akin na SK President, nagtatanong tungkol sa release ng SK Funds, ano na po ang update doon? DBM and DILG provided for a Joint Memorandum Order last January 2019 regarding the guidelines on the release of SK Funds, naimplement na po ba ito? Ilang barangays po ang nakapagrelease na ng pondo sa SK nila?

  • Based on your study and estimates, will we be able to fund the salaries and allowances of the barangay officials if the bill is passed into law? How much funding do you think we will need? If hindi natin kaya, anong benipisyo ang pwede pang makuha ng ating mga opisyal? 'Yung medyo attainable and realistic lang po.

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