Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go lauds President Rodrigo Duterte for issuing executive order enjoining Sangguniang Barangays to establish a social assistance program for its officials and employees this yuletide season.
In his previous statements, Go said that he and the President are looking for ways to further promote the welfare of barangay officials on top of the PhP3,000 Christmas assistance the Office of the President (OP) is already giving them to show appreciation for their dedicated public service.
“Gumagawa po kami ng paraan ni Pangulong Duterte na mabigyan man lang kayo ng Christmas assistance o anuman po na pwede ninyong magamit ngayong Pasko para po sa mga barangay officials and functionaries,” Go said.
The measure came in the form of Executive Order (EO) 99 issued by the President on December 6 which states that “the yuletide season is an opportune time to establish such measures or programs for the economic empowerment of barangay officials and functionaries, in recognition of their valuable and meaningful service that effect genuine and positive change in their respective communities.”
Specifically, Sangguniang Barangays will be enacting their respective ordinances creating the Yuletide Social Assistance Program for the current year.
Officials set to benefit from the assistance program are the “punong barangay, barangay secretary, barangay treasurer, tanods, members of the Lupong Tagapamayapa, and other workers/personnel appointed, designated or engaged by the barangay.”
Under the measure, the expenses of the program will be covered by the barangay’s available funds. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) are also tasked to issue appropriate guidelines for the provision of the social assistance such as the components of the program and criteria for determining eligible officials and functionaries.
For the succeeding years, the agencies will also propose measures to ensure the sustainability of the program by identifying other funding sources.
“Sinuggest ko po ‘yan kay Pangulong Duterte para mapasaya ang ating mga barangay officials na walang sawang nagseserbisyo sa kanilang mga komunidad,” Go said in an interview, adding that the Yuletide social assistance and Christmas incentives are being provided pending the passage of Senate Bill (SB) No. 391 or the “Barangay Services Compensation Act” which is still being deliberated in the Senate Committee on Local Government.
Filed by Go on July this year, SB 391, originally known as the “Magna Carta for Barangays Act of 2019”, is a consolidated version of all other related bills filed in the Senate which aim to provide barangay officials additional compensation similarly accorded to a regular government employee.
The proposed measure also seeks to give officials additional benefits to promote their welfare for the leadership and service they render to their respective communities.
“It is through our barangays that government programs and services reach our people. It is through our barangays that our policies, plans, and projects aimed at improving our country materialize. Most importantly, it is in our barangays that we hone dutiful citizens who will become the future builders of our nation,” Go said, adding that it is about time that their efforts are recognized.
“Our barangays are not on autopilot. They are manned by these hard-working and dedicated individuals who, despite their seemingly thankless job, are committed to ensuring that our barangays serve the purpose they are intended for,” Go said.
“Tulad ng ibang kawani ng gobyerno, dapat ay ma-recognize at mabigyang importansiya ang kanilang role sa ating komunidad,” he added.