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More bonus for barangay volunteer workers; more years for tanods

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/NSA (The Freeman) - February 16, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Fifty-six-year-old Cecilia Lapitin receives P1,500 monthly as honorarium on top of the incentives from the Naga City government amounting to P2,500 given every three months.

She has been working as barangay health worker for 30 years. With the income she receives, she was able to help his two children finish college.

She was among the barangay volunteer workers who received incentives from the Capitol yesterday.

"Dako na g’yud kaayo ni nga tabang," she said.

Lapitin is expected to receive a larger amount next year.

This after Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III vowed to increase the incentives of all barangay volunteer workers in the province if he gets re-elected come May 9 elections.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who leads the province's legislative body, is also eyeing to push for the expansion of the retirement age of barangay tanods, from 60 years old to 65, next year.

The two Capitol officials made this assurance to over 2,000 barangay health workers (BHWs), tanods, day care workers, animal health aides, and nutrition scholars during the distribution of incentives in the City of Naga, San Fernando and Minglanilla yesterday.

Each of the BHWs, day care workers, and nutrition scholars received P2,400, while the tanods and animal health aides got P1,500 each.

The Capitol also distributed yellow polo shirts with the name of the workers' organizations printed on it.

The Capitol set aside P50 million this year for the subsidy to volunteer frontline workers in the province based on the records from the Provincial Budget Office.

In his speech, Davide stressed that the annual distribution of incentives is intended to recognize the barangay workers for being "heroes" and for their great contribution in social services.

"Gamay ra kaayo ning among gihatag ninyo... Pinaagi sa inyong pagbulig namo ni Vice Gov nga makabalik sa Kapitolyo puhon, karong Disyembre among pun-an ang incentives nga inyong nadawat mata'g tuig," he said, drawing loud applause from the barangay volunteers.

The barangay tanods' faces also lit up with glee after Magpale assured them to extend the retirement age for tanods.

She disclosed that a number of tanods in their retirement stage lamented that they are mandated to retire at the age of 60 yet most are still able to perform their duties.

Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong, for his part, thanked the Capitol for extending incentives to his constituents, saying that they owe a lot to Davide and Magpale.

He assured the two, as well as Mar Roxas, of his city's full support come May elections. He believes that more benefits will cascade to the city once Roxas becomes the country's President.

"Kita diri sa Naga, utangan ta nila ni Gov ug ni Vice Gov," Chiong told the barangay volunteers in his speech.

Those who failed to attend the distribution yesterday can still claim their incentives at the Capitol's treasurer's office from February 18 to 22. Beneficiaries will have to present their identification cards. —  (FREEMAN)

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