When was the last time you visited your barangay hall? Do you know your new barangay officials? Have you ever attended a Barangay Assembly in your community?
These are questions posed by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año to the public in a bid to increase people’s participation in the forthcoming Barangay Assembly nationwide this coming Sunday, October 14.
“Karapatan ng mamamayan na malaman ang estado ng pamamahala sa kanilang barangay, kung magkano ang pondo ng barangay at saan ito ginamit at gagamitin, kung ano ang mga programa’t ordinansa sa komunidad, at iba pang isyung nakakaapekto sa kanila,” he says.
“Pero hindi ito malalaman ng mamamayan kung hindi sila dadalo sa Barangay Assembly o bibisita sa kanilang barangay hall,” he adds.
A barangay assembly is conducted twice a year, in March and October, as mandated by Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code. Section 397 (b) of the Code states that “the barangay assembly shall meet at least twice a year to hear and discuss the semestral report of the barangay concerning its activities and finances as well as problems affecting the barangay.”
The DILG Chief issued Memorandum Circular 2018-151 as guidance to all barangay officials on the activities to be undertaken during the Barangay Assembly Day.
Barangay captains are enjoined to deliver the State of Barangay Address (SOBA) highlighting the accomplishments and financial report for the first semester of the year and updates on barangay programs and projects.
Año urges barangay officials to discuss the barangay’s compliance with national laws and issuances such as DILG-Dangerous Drugs Board Joint Memorandum Circular 2018-01 regarding the creation or reorganization of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and establishment of Barangay Rehabilitation Referral Desk with a designated desk officer.
“Marami pong pambarangay na polisiya at programa na dapat ay alam ng mga tao at kanilang binabantayan katulad na lang ng Barangay Full Disclosure Policy na nag-uutos na ipaskil sa barangay hall ang impormasyon tungkol sa barangay budget,” he says.
“Dapat ding iulat sa Barangay Assembly ang detalye ng mga ari-arian at pondo ng barangay na nai-turn over ng dating barangay officials sa mga bagong halal na mga opisyal ng barangay,” he adds.
DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya also reminds barangay officials to encourage their residents to comply with RA 10361 or the Batas Kasambahay which requires employers to register all domestic workers under their employment in the Registry of Domestic Workers in the barangay.
Malaya said that barangays are also expected to report during the Barangay Assembly the organization of barangay-based institutions such as Barangay Development Council (BDC), Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee (BDRRMC), Lupong Tagapamayapa, Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC), Violence against Women (VAW) Desk, and Barangay Ecological and Solid Management Committee (BESWMC).
“Marami pong panlipunang isyu sa nasyunal na lebel. Pero mas marami pong magagawa ang mga mamamayan sa kanilang mismong komunidad. We are foremost citizens of our communities where we can directly participate in governance,” he says.
Malaya calls on barangay officials to ensure the conduct of Barangay Assembly and maximum participation of their constituents. Failure to call for the Barangay Assembly may expose barangay officials to administrative charges.
The law provides that a case may be filed by any resident of the barangay, concerned citizen, governmental or non-governmental entity before the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned or with the Office of the Ombudsman. The complaints may also be forwarded to the DILG.
The theme of this year’s second semester Barangay Assembly is “Nagkakaisang komunidad tungo sa Mapayapa, Maunlad at Matiwasay na Barangay!”