July 20, 2012
Drilon wants pensions, loans for barangay officials
Recognizing the barangay leaders' contribution to the community as front-liners of government service, Senator Franklin M. Drilon sought higher benefits for barangay officials, particularly the granting of retirement pensions and loan packages.
Drilon, who is also the Senate Committee on Finance chairman, filed Senate Bill No. 3232 which seeks to amend Presidential Decree No. 1146, as amended, to expand and increase the coverage and benefits of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to include elected and appointed barangay officials.
The inclusion of the officials of 42,027 barangays in the GSIS will give them opportunity to qualify for retirement benefits and other kinds of loans such as housing, salary, education and calamity loans, among others which the insurance agency is providing to state workers, noted Drilon.
"By recognizing them as government employees and thus part of the GSIS, barangay officials will be enjoying insurance coverage and retirement pensions, among other benefits," said Drilon.
"As the basic political unit, the barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community," said Drilon.
"Kapag may pangangailangan ang mga tao, kanino ba sila unang tumatakbo? Kapag may gulo o away sa mga barangay, sino ba ang nag-aayos? Wala ng iba kundi ang mga kapitan at kagawad," he added.
"However, despite this evident importance, the officials of the barangay have not been recognized as government employees, particularly insofar as membership in the GSIS is concerned," explained Drilon.
Drilon also noted that the allowances and benefits being given to barangay leaders do not commensurate with the quality of service and assistance they are extending to the community as well as to the government.
Under the bill, the compensation, honoraria and other emoluments being received by the barangay officials will be the basis in computing their contributions to GSIS.
The proposed measure also instructs the GSIS to work with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the league of barangay captains and officials to formulate the necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the act, noted Drilon.
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