Bills filed by lawmakers seek to give barangay
officials better benefits than what they are presently
receiving. Atty. Carlo Jolette Fajardo explains the
basis for such and what it aims to achieve.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) show that as of 2018, there are 42,044 barangays in
the country. This means that there are at least half a million barangay officials rendering frontline government services to communities.
Among the services barangay officials provide are those related to health and social services, disaster
preparedness and relief; youth and senior citizens activities; sanitation and beautification; and early
What do barangay officials get in return for their services? Do they enjoy monetary and non-monetary
benefits, or do they serve for purely altruistic reasons? Read on.
WHAT IS A BARANGAY?
The barangay is the basic political unit of our society. It
plays an important role in the planning and implementation
of government policies, plans, programs, and activities in
the community, and also serves as a forum for community
members to express and discuss their ideas, and where
disputes may be resolved.
Barangay officials are the most accessible government
officials. They provide services to the people 24/7.
WHO ARE THE OFFICIALS WORKING FOR THE BARANGAY?
The barangay council is made up of the following elected officials:
a. barangay chairperson or punong barangay
b. seven councilmen or barangay kagawads
The following are appointive officials of the barangay
a. barangay treasurer
b. barangay secretary
c. barangay administrator (optional)
d. barangay tanods (around 10-20)
e. barangay health worker
WHAT ARE THE MONETARY PERKS OF SERVING THE BARANGAY COUNCIL?
According to the Local Government Code (LGC), barangay officials are entitled to monthly honoraria, in
the following minimum amounts:
a. punong barangay – Php1,000
b. kagawad – Php600
The amount of honoraria will depend on the budget of the particular barangay. The maximum allowed
honoraria is salary grade (SG) 14 or Php26,494 for the punong barangay and SG 10 or Php18,718 for
Also, the total honoraria for barangay officials should
not exceed 55% of the barangay’s total budget.
WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF THE BUDGET OF A BARANGAY?
Barangays are authorized to generate income from taxes on stores or retailers with fixed business
establishments and gross sales or receipts in the preceding year amounting to Php50,000 or less in cities
and Php30,000 or less in municipalities, at the rate not exceeding one percent (1%) on such gross sales or
A barangay can likewise exercise revenue-raising powers, as follows:
* Service fees or charges for the use of barangay property or facilities;
* Barangay clearance fees;
* Fees or charges for the commercial breeding of fighting cocks and on cockpits and cockfights;
* Fees or charges on places of recreation with admission fees;
* Fees or charges for billboards, sign boards, neon signs, and other outdoor advertisements;
* Toll fees or charges for the use of any public road, pier or wharf, waterway, bridge, ferry, or telecommunications system funded and constructed by the barangay;
* Revenues from the operation of public utilities and barangay enterprises (markets, slaughterhouses,
* Fines (not exceeding Php1,000) for the violation of barangay ordinances; and,
* Proceeds from the sale or lease of barangay property or from loans and grants secured by the barangay government.
The biggest source of finances however remains the barangay’s share in national taxes or Internal
Revenue Allocations (IRA). A barangay is entitled to a share of the following revenues:
* Real property tax (RPT) collections of the province and city;
* Community tax collections when collected by the barangay;
* Internal revenue collections;
* The development and utilization of the national wealth;
* The proceeds of tax on sand, gravel, and other quarry sources; and
* Tobacco excise tax pursuant to RA No. 7171.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER PERKS OF SERVING AS A BARANGAY OFFICIAL?
Aside from honoraria, barangay officials are also entitled to the following benefits:
* Christmas bonus in the form of cash gift at the rate authorized by law which covers the punong barangay, barangay kagawads, barangay treasurer, and barangay secretary;
* Insurance coverage under RA 6942 for the punong barangay, barangay kagawads, barangay treasurer,
barangay secretary, and barangay tanods not exceeding 20 in each barangay;
* Medical care consisting of free hospitalization in government hospitals for the punong barangay,
barangay kagawads, barangay treasurer, and barangay secretary.
* In extreme emergency, the same officials may be confined in private hospitals with expenses chargeable against barangay funds at not more than Php5,000 per official;
* Free tuition and matriculation fees in government schools in their area for punong barangay, barangay
kagawads, barangay treasurer, and barangay secretary including two of their legitimate dependent
children during their term of office only;
* Conferment of civil service eligibility based on the number of years of service in the barangay for punong barangay, barangay kagawads, barangay treasurer, and barangay secretary who have completed their term of office; and
* Preference in appointment to any government position to which they are qualified for the punong barangay and barangay kagawads after their term of office.
WHY IS IT THAT ALMOST ALL PRIVILEGES ARE ENJOYED BY ONLY THE PUNONG BARANGAY, THE BARANGAY KAGAWADS, THE BARANGAY SECRETARY, AND THE BARANGAY TREASURER?
The above-mentioned benefits are mandated by law, particularly Sec. 393 of the LGC.
Incumbent barangay officials are barred by the LGC from passing ordinances giving themselves additional benefits. The logic here is to prevent a situation where these officials might be tempted to just take all the budget of the barangay for themselves.
WHO CAN IMPROVE THE LOT OF BARANGAY OFFICIALS, ESPECIALLY THE TANODS AND HEALTH WORKERS?
Congress, as the institution wielding the power to amend the LGC, holds the power and carries the responsibility of improving the lot of barangay officials.
Considering that the bulk of social services is done at the barangay level, it is imperative that Congress act to improve the situation of barangay officials. Additional remuneration for services that they render is in order.
WHO WILL BENEFIT BY GIVING OFFICIALS BETTER BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES?
For so long, the benefits and privileges of barangay officials have taken a back seat compared to those of
other government officials. Despite this, many still choose to become barangay officials. They choose to forego other economic opportunities in order to serve their community.
By giving barangay officials salaries and benefits commensurate to the services they render, the authors
of the House and Senate bills hope that more qualified people will be enticed to serve the government at the barangay level.
In the end, the people in the barangay will benefit better from qualified and more energetic people running frontline offices.
The author is a graduate of the UP College of Law and former legal officer of Malolos City, Bulacan.
WHAT ARE THE PROPOSALS TO IMPROVE THE STATURE OF BARANGAY WORKERS?
At least four members of Congress have filed separate bills seeking to improve the compensation of barangay workers. They also sought to expand coverage to include barangay tanods and barangay health workers.
A summary of the proposals is as follows: