Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said it will seek the professionalization of barangay (village) officials.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said barangay officials need to be paid with salaries because they have a lot of functions.

“Actually, matagal na namin ‘tong proposal. Kapag nag-deliberate na ulit sa Congress, magsumite (kami) ng formal bill for the concentration of local government na sa tingin namin yung mga kapitan at kanyang kagawad kailangan natin sila suwelduhan kasi (This has been our proposal for a long time. Once Congress deliberates again, we will file a formal bill for the concentration of local government because we think village chiefs and their council officers must get salaries because) we expect a lot from them,” Malaya said in a phone interview.

Once the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic ends, he said they will gather more details and create a technical working group on the matter.

“Now, it’s the time to professionalize the barangay,” Malaya said.

Malaya said this is timely as the public health emergency shows the capabilities of barangay officials.

“We expect a lot from them. Nakita mo naman sa Covid-19 (situation), lumabas yung tungkulin ng barangay, ngayon from quarantine to contact tracing [We expect a lot of them, as you see, in Covid-19 situation, the role of the barangay, from quarantine to contact tracing],” Malaya stressed.

The DILG is also studying the imposition of educational qualifications for barangay officials, including treasurers and secretaries.

Meanwhile, Malaya also said the DILG also supports the proposed bill filed by Surigao Del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers limiting the population of every barangay to 15,000 in all urban areas of the country in order to speed up the delivery of services to citizens.

The said bill is still pending with the House committee on local government.

He said services can be delivered easily to barangays with a manageable number of residents. (ia/PNA)

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