House Committee on Local Government Vice Chair and Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy V called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a measure postponing the 2020 barangay elections as he emphasized the limitations faced by incumbent barangay executives who had less than two years to implement their barangays’ plans, activities, and projects (PAPs).
Speaking on Tuesday at the first hearing on the measure conducted by the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, the 27-year-old solon said that while most barangay officials have learned to cope with limited resources, “the current crop of barangay officials must deal with more than that: they must also perform their duties within an unrealistic time frame that hinders them from becoming instruments in the proper delivery of local services.”
“Time allows for the proper training of barangay personnel.”
“These officials were elected in 2018; if they strictly followed the schedule of the annual budget cycle, they had from July to November 2018 to prepare their budget, and have from January to December this year to implement it,” explained Dy, who served as President of the Liga ng Barangay before being elected to Congress.
“Assuming the barangay elections are held next year, barangay officials serving their terms today do not even have the benefit of two complete budget cycles––they possess just one.”
The legislator said that President Rodrigo Duterte, who served as mayor of Davao City before being elected to Malacañang, knows the problems of barangay officials firsthand, which is why he has called on Congress “to postpone the May 2020 barangay elections to rectify the truncated terms of sitting barangays and to provide them with the ample time to finish their programs and projects.”
“These sentiments, Madame Chair, echo a resolution passed by the Liga ng Barangay last February calling for the postponement of barangay polls to May 2023––a position that is reflected in House Bill No. 47, An Act Postponing the May 2020 Barangay and SK Elections, which I am honored to present to the honorable members of the Committee for consideration,” said the lawmaker.
According to Dy, the measure he filed last July moves the synchronized barangay and SK polls scheduled on the second Monday of May 2020 to the second Monday of May 2023.
“They need time to implement their programs, activities, and projects.”
Barangay officials, said the solon, are at present required by law to fulfill numerous responsibilities. Section 17 of the Local Government Code of 1991 states that the services and facilities that each barangay needs to provide include the following: (1) agricultural support services; (2) health and social welfare services, which include maintenance of barangay health centers and day-care centers; (3) services and facilities related to general hygiene and sanitation, beautification, and solid waste collection; (4) maintenance of katarungang pambarangay; (5) maintenance of barangay roads and bridges and water supply systems; (6) infrastructure facilities such as multi- purpose hall, multipurpose pavement, plaza, sports center, and other similar facilities; (7) Information and reading centers; and (8) satellite or public markets, where viable.
Also part of their responsibilities, Dy added, is the role they play in the campaign against illegal drugs and in maintaining peace and order.
Dy said that in the course of delivering these services, barangay executives must grapple with three major issues.
“Kalimitan, kulang ang pondo; kulang ang kakayahan; at kulang ang oras. They need financial resources; they need to build up their capacity to carry out their tasks; and they need time to implement their programs, activities, and projects (PAPs),” stressed Dy.
Dy said that Congress “may not be able to give our barangay officials all the resources they require, but one resource we have the power to give them is time. Time allows for the proper training of barangay personnel.