ENACTING a law that would amend the terms of barangay officials is one of the measures that the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., is studying.
Executive Secretary-designate Vic D. Rodriguez made the announcement on Thursday after he was cited by Quezon City’s 142 barangays for his achievements as public servant.
During the event, Rodriguez was asked if the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections slated for December would push through.
“We are studying thoroughly the plus and the minuses of spending or calling for elections and there is nothing definite yet,” he said.
“But we are open to all options that are being presented to us including the possibility of passing a law and making the term of barangay captains to five years, still subject to three terms,” the incoming executive secretary added.
He explained that for him, as a former barangay captain, amending the current term to five years with a limit of three terms would better improve barangay governance than the current practice of constant extension by postponing the barangay elections.
“For me as a former barangay captain, I think mas may wisdom na gawin nating five years ‘yan kesa extension, extension, extension, and extension because we are working against the spirit of our law, the bible of the Local Government Units – the 1992 Local Government Code. So instead of violating the spirit of the law, we might as well extend natin siguro ‘yan and provide stability in your leadership, provide stability in governance,” he said.
In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11462 postponing the May 2020 Barangay and SK polls to December 2022.
The last Barangay and SK elections were held in May 2018, which was also postponed twice.
The polls were supposed to be held in October 2016.
Rodriguez also noted that it would provide a higher degree of accountability, especially with the Mandanas-Garcia ruling set for implementation this year which would infuse additional funds to the local government units (LGUs) down to the barangays.
At present, LGU’s IRA comes from 40% of national internal revenue taxes collected by the BIR.
With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling implementation this year, it is projected that LGUs will have a 27.61% increase in the total IRA shares.
During the campaign, Marcos has expressed his intention to include in their priority bills, measures to amend laws governing the barangay such as his proposal when he was Senator to extend the terms of barangay officials from three to five years.
The objective is to give the officials sufficient time to finish their projects in their areas of jurisdiction.
“Pag sindundan natin strictly ang Local Government Code (LGC), tayo ay magkakaroon ng halalan, national elections, mid-term elections, merong SK elections, at merong pang barangay elections, kada taon”, he pointed out.
“Alam naman natin na kapag puro eleksyon ang ating ginagawa ay hindi natin matatapos ang gusto nating tapusin na trabaho. Palitan na lang natin ang term ng mga barangay officials at gawin na nating five years, two terms,” Marcos was quoted as saying during the campaign.