“Zero politics, zero distractions, all work.”
This was how House Committee on Local Government Vice Chair and Isabela 6th District Rep. Inno Dy V, sums up the sentiments of barangay leaders in the country after the House of Representatives approved House Bill 4933, which moves the holding of the barangay and SK polls fro its original schedule for the next year, to December 5, 2022.
“Our barangay officials play a major role in taking care of our communities, so it is only right that we take care of them.”
The freshman legislator, one of the primary authors of the measure, said on Tuesday that after relaying the news of the postponement to the Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB), village officials from all over the country relayed their gratitude to the leadership of the House for prioritizing the measure.
“They are very grateful to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for heeding the President’s call to fast-track this bill. Barangay leaders say that the postponement of the barangay polls will now allow them to focus on serving their constituents,” said Dy.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier announced in his fourth State of the Nation Address that rescheduling the barangay polls was a priority measure of the administration.
The 27-year-old solon, who served as LNB President before being elected to the House, said that with three more full years in office, barangay officials “will now be able to plan and execute projects over longer time frames.”
“Two resources are critical here: time and finances. Now that our barangays have both, they will be in a better position to aid and complement the efforts of the local and national governments in the delivery of basic services,” said Dy.
Aside from moving the barangay polls to December 2022, the bill also sets the beginning of the terms of office of elected barangay and SK officials on January 1, 2023 and also sets subsequent barangay and SK elections on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.
The bill also states that incumbent barangay and SK officials will remain in office until their successors have been duly elected and are deemed qualified.
“With this postponement of polls now formalized and barangay personnel now free to carry out their mandate, I believe it is time to focus on measures that will improve their benefits and strengthen the barangay system,” said Dy.
“Our barangay officials play a major role in taking care of our communities, so it is only right that we take care of them. The better we take care of them, the more they will be able to do for our people.”
According to Dy, among the proposals to be tackled by the House Committee on Local Government, are separate measures that would extend GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) coverage to barangay officials, give additional benefits for barangay health workers, and professionalize compensation in the barangay justice system.