By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, January 28 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Philippine Star

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has expressed its support for a bill filed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III which seeks to classify barangay employees as regular government employees with fixed salaries and benefits.

“It is only fair to recognize their vital role in carrying out the government’s basic services down to communities,” said Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año in a statement on Sunday, Jan. 27.

He added, “Most of the national government’s efforts require the support and involvement of barangays and so barangay officials should get the same benefits of regular government employees.”

The Magna Carta for Barangays proposes that a punong barangay should get a salary equal to that of a sangguniang bayan (municipal council) member of his municipality or city, while sangguniang barangay (barangay council) members should receive a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of their sangguniang bayan members.

As for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairpersons, barangay secretary, and barangay treasurer, they should be entitled to take home an equivalent of 75% of the salary of their sangguniang bayan members.

However, Mr. Año clarified that the salary grade and the rate of the mandatory share of barangays requires consultations with the Department of Finance and leagues of local government units to check if the 25% share of barangays are sustainable.

“In principle, we support Section 11 of the Magna Carta for Barangays on the 25% share of a barangay in all its real property tax collections. But as we know, anything that has to do with monetary policy has to be carefully vetted,” the Interior Secretary said. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras