The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance appropriating the amount of P4 million to be incorporated in the 2023 budget of the city government for the conduct of a massive information drive and public hearings as well as the budget for the conduct of the required information campaign for the proposed barangay rationalization in the city.
The ordinance authored by councilors Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. and Michael Lawana states that efforts are being undertaken by the local government to rationalize the number of barangays in the city to ensure their compliance to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
Under Section 385 of the Local Government Code, a barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, by law or by an ordinance of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Sangguniang Panlungsod, subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Commission on Election (COMELEC).
Pending before the City Council is a proposed ordinance rationalizing the number of barangays in the city with the objective of conforming and complying with the provision of Section 386 of RA 7160 which provides that a barangay in highly urbanized cities shall have a certified population of at least 5,000 inhabitants; enhance development in the barangays, professionalize governance, administration and service to the barangays including their financial and administrative stature; increase in aid by the local government to the barangays from the present P30,000 per barangay to at least P500,000 per barangay or even more aside from the other assistance provided by the city in terms of projects and programs; standardization of salaries of barangay officials that will translate to the benefit of the residents and make it easier on the part of the local government to manage the barangays and would help the local government with the requirements of the law on the set up of barangays and in order to present a permanent solution to the boundary disputes and other problems involving the barangays proposed to be merged.
The ordinance underscores the need for a massive information drive and public hearings for all the city’s 128 barangays, as well as for all concerned, to extensively deliberate and thresh out all issues and concerns affecting the proposed merging of barangays.
The proposal to merge the city’s barangays to a manageable number has been pending over the past 2 decades as this encountered stiff opposition from the barangay officials and the residents.