By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento is proposing to reduce the total number of barangay councilors from seven to three to allow barangays to allocate more resources to frontline services.
He said his proposal is in line with the administration’s push towards rationalization of government.
“The Local Government Code has vested barangays with executive and legislative functions to allow barangays flexibility in managing their own affairs. However, experience reveals that the legislative functions have rarely been effectively exercised by barangays, ” Sarmiento said.
“Ordinances by the Sangguniang Barangay often are derivative of or rendered redundant by acts of higher Sanggunians. Compliance with barangay ordinances is also rarely enforced. Barangay councilors themselves often focus more on public service delivery rather than legislation, ” he said.
Sarmiento is seeking the passage of House Bill 3907 to reduce the barangay sangguniang members and to restructure the election system.
He said under his proposed Barangay Rationalization Act, both barangay captains and barangay councilors shall be elected together to ensure popular representation of the barangay.
“Through this Act, barangays are allowed to focus more on public service delivery and ensures greater coordination for the projects of the barangay, ” he said.
“The bill shall reduce the unnecessary salaries being spent on barangay councilors and allow barangays to allocate more resources to frontline services, ” Sarmiento said.
Under House Bill (H.B.) 3907, the barangay captain and barangay councilors shall serve a term of three years.
On the day of the election, each voter shall be allowed to vote for up to four names in the list of candidates for regular barangay official. The candidate who receives the most number of votes in the barangay election shall serve as barangay captain. The candidates with the second, third and fourth most votes shall serve as barangay councilors.
H.B. 3907 tasks the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to formulate the necessary guidelines and promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.
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