The tricycle ban on national highways and the government's precautionary measures against the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) will be among the top issues to be discussed during the Barangay Assembly 2020 this month.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that questions about the tricycle ban and measures being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community would be answered in the Barangay Assembly.
“Inaasahan nating maipapaunawa sa mga residente ng barangay na kadalasang sumasakay sa mga tricycle na kaligtasan ng mga drayber, ng mga pasahero at ng publiko ang mahalaga kung bakit kailangang ipatupad ang ban na ito," Año said.
“Mahalaga rin na maipaliwanag sa kanila ang mga pag-iingat na kailangan gawin para makaiwas sa COVID-19 upang hindi ito kumalat sa kanilang barangay,” he added.
Barangay Assembly is a biannual meeting held on any Saturday and Sunday of March and October as mandated by Section 397 of the Local Government Code of 1991.
Barangay officials hold barangay assemblies to promote accountability, transparency, and interaction among barangay officials and residents. This year's theme is "Barangay: Kaagapay sa Matiwasay at Ligtas na Pamumuhay".
Residents of the barangay for at least six months to 15 years of age or over, citizens of the Philippines, and duly registered in the list of barangay assembly members can attend the assembly.
The DILG Chief said that an urgent discussion of community issues such as the Road-Clearing 2.0, the trike ban, and COVID-19 would be timely "so that residents are not left in the dark and are aware of the government's countermeasures."
"Aside from the usual reporting of their accomplishments and plans, we encourage barangay leaders to stress the government's measures on COVID-19 and Road-Clearing 2.0 and how people can be better informed and aid in the implementation of these efforts," Año said.
The latest DOH data indicated that nearly 89,000 people around the world are currently afflicted with coronavirus.
On the other hand, the second phase of the road-clearing operation targeting local roads commenced last month, this time with barangays playing a pivotal role.
In DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-041, Año urged the discussion of DILG policies on African Swine Fever; the functionality of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils; observance of weekly conduct of Manila Bay Clean-up in barangays near the watershed area; and posting of barangay budget, Statement of Income and Expenditures and other barangay financial transactions and Annual Procurement Plan.
National policies such as RA 9003 and the creation of Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee; Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018; Executive Order No. 70 series 2018 institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creation of the NTF-ELCAC, and directing the adoption of the National Peace Framework; and the Batas Kasambahay or RA 10361 must also be tackled, he said.
State of Barangay Address
In the same memorandum, Año ordered barangay leaders to deliver the State-of-the Barangay Address highlighting the accomplishments and financial report for the 2nd Semester of CY 2019; plans, programs, and projects for CY 2020; and newly-enacted barangay ordinances.
He urged people to voice out their opinions on various issues affecting their locality, such as social services; peace and order and public safety; disaster risk reduction management; environmental management; and economic development, among others.
The DILG Chief said that inputs gathered can be utilized by the barangay in crafting barangay ordinances and resolutions and in the formulation of plans, programs, projects, and activities.
"Huwag po sanang mahiya o matakot ang ating mga kababayan sa pakikiisa at pagbabahagi ng kanilang opinyon sa Barangay Assembly sapagkat makatutulong po ito sa pagpapabuti ng paglilingkod sa mga mamamayan," the Secretary said.
Año said that Barangay leaders are expected to gather support for the Constitutional Reforms (CORE) through a signature campaign after tackling the proposals of the Inter-agency Task Force on CORE.
He also encourages residents to register to the barangays for the maintenance and updating of the registry of barangay inhabitants (RBIs).
"We also urge our barangay leaders to advocate the protection of women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly; and the government's anti-corruption campaign," Año said.