BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in the city to have the necessary timetable in the implementation of the merger of the city’s 128 barangays PRIOR TO THE CONDUCT of the May 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
The local chief executive underscored it is best for the existing number of barangays to be reduced, as per the acceptable merger proposal, to guarantee the maximum utilization of available resources for the development of city barangays to be at par with similarly-situated barangays in other highly urbanized cities in the country.
Currently, the ABC leadership is conducting consultations for the proposed merger of the city’s 128 barangays to a reasonable number pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code.
Under existing proposals the number of barangays in the city could be reduced to as low as 34 or up to as high as 50 barangays. The Local Government Code mandates that a barangay can exist if it has at least 5,000 inhabitants regardless of land area and income.
Domogan emphasized the need of the ABC to be able to implement the merger and the corresponding plebiscite for the merger before the scheduled election period in relation to the May 2018 Barangay and SK elections, for the LGU and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to be able to reduce their expenses for the political exercise.
According to him, the realization of the merger will help in increasing the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the merged barangays as well as guarantee full compensation of barangay officials pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Based on the pertinent provisions of the code barangay captains are entitled to a compensation of Salary Grade 12 while barangay kagawads and other appointed officials can receive compensation equivalent to Salary Grade 10.
Domogan pointed out the merger of the city’s barangays had been time and again discussed in previous years but proposals had always been shelved for still unknown reasons, although there is now a greater acceptability of the merger proposal among incumbent barangay officials.
The merger of the city’s barangays must be contained in an approved ordinance, which must be approved by the local legislative body before the schedule of the plebiscite for the qualified city residents to eventually confirm the approved number of barangays that will legally exist in the city.
The local government will allocate the required funds that will be used for the conduct of the plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed merger of the city’s barangays to a manageable number in compliance to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Domogan appealed to residents to internalize the advantages of the merger so that there will be guaranteed optimum development in the smallest political subdivisions in the city.
By Dexter A. See