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Solon seeks appointment of barangay execs

Dennis Carcamo (Philstar.com) - September 25, 2015 - 7:49pm
MANILA, Philippines - A legislator has proposed a bill seeking to amend Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code, to allow municipal or city mayor to appoint the punong barangay and his or her sanggunian members. 
 
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, however, said that his House Bill 6125 which proposes to grant the power of appointment to local chief executives be limited and subject to check.
 
Evardone said the barangay elections has brought animosity among neighbors, and even among family members within the community, which erodes the strong bayanihan or community spirit and neighborliness being promoted by the Local Government Code.
 
"In some areas, the wounds of division have remained for decades. And these have gotten worse over time, as shown  by reports of certain barangay election-related acts of murder, physical injuries and violence, which could have actually been avoided had the barangay elections not been resorted to," he said.
 
"In reality, candidates for a position in the barangay would go to municipal, provincial and even national officials to solicit financial or material support, or both, in aid of election," he added. 
 
Evardone cited the 2013 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan synchronized elections. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) bared that some P5.7 billion was needed to completely answer the budgetary requirements for the October 2013 synchronized polls.
 
At that time, around 54 million were registered voters according to Evardone.
 
"This is P2.5 billion more than the 2010 barangay elections. These amounts could have been allocated and spent for other similarly important government programs, activities and projects, especially poverty-alleviation interventions at the barangay level," Evardone said.
 
Evardone's proposal provides that within 30 consecutive days from his assumption into office following his election, the city or municipal mayor shall appoint the barangay officials of every barangay in his jurisdiction.
 
The barangay officials shall refer only to the punong barangay and the members of the sangguniang barangay. No such barangay official shall be appointed unless he possesses all the qualifications of and none of the disqualifications for an elected barangay official as provided in the Local Government Code and existing laws, according to the bill.
 
The bill also makes the barangay official’s tenure coterminous with the appointing mayor, with hold-over capacity in the interest of stability of barangay governance. Such barangay officials shall enjoy the same emoluments, benefits, incentives and privileges enjoyed by barangay officials prior to the effectivity of the proposed law.
 
Unless sooner removed or suspended for cause provided under the Local Government Code and applicable existing laws, all incumbent barangay officials shall remain in office until their successors shall have been appointed pursuant to the Act within 60 days from July 1, 2019. 
 

BARANGAY BEN EVARDONE COMELEC DIV EASTERN SAMAR REP EVARDONE HOUSE BILL LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE NBSP REPUBLIC ACT SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN
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