Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo wants to reform and strengthen the country’s barangay system to make it more effective in delivering basic and crucial services to the public.
Through her House Bill 6387 or the Barangay Reform Act, Robredo hopes to ease the financial burden of barangay governments, build the capacities of barangay officials and volunteers, and ensure the continuity of social programs and projects being implemented.
“Strengthening barangay governance is at the heart of making government more effective, accountable, and inclusive in its public service,” Robredo said in her measure.
Robedo said empowerment of barangays will lead to an effective implementation of various government priority programs and projects, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB).
“The effective implementation of these and other government priority programs depend on barangay structures that work, led by empowered barangay leaders,” Robredo said.
In the proposed law, barangays will be relieved of some financial duties by nationalizing the honorarium of one barangay health worker and 20 tanods in each barangay in the country.
The move will free up space in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of barangays, giving them more budget to spend for social programs, projects, personnel services.
In addition, the bill requires the national government to conduct trainings for barangay officials, barangay health workers, and barangay tanods to make them more effective in serving their constituents.
The measure will also change the term limits of barangay officials from three years with a three consecutive term limit to five years with a two consecutive term limit.
“This system will ensure that every barangay in the country will have continued programs and projects thus making development certain in the grassroots,” Robredo emphasized.
Leni, a pro bono lawyer, worked with her husband Jesse for a long time in Naga, where they set up various councils to represent the barangays and different marginalized sectors in city-wide decisions.