The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance approving the merging of the city’s one hundred twenty eight barangays into thirty four barangays subject to the limitations, requisites and plebiscite requirement prescribed under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160) or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by all members of the city’s legislative body, the fund, which may be adjusted accordingly as may be required, necessary to defray the cost of the information and education campaign and the expenses for the plebiscite to ratify the merger of the city’s barangays, shall be charged against the general fund of the city’s 2022 annual budget.
Prior to the plebiscite to ratify the merger of the city’s barangays, the body stipulated that an information and education campaign and public consultations shall be conducted to encourage discussions and debates in order for the electorate to voice their opinion regarding the issues, advantages or disadvantages of the proposed merger of barangays.
Further, the public consultations shall likewise serve as the venue to determine which barangays shall be merged accordingly and to resolve the status of the incumbent barangay officials.
The council proposed the creation of a special committee to oversee, supervise, and administer the information and education campaign and the consultations for the proposed merger which shall be composed of the City Mayor as chairman, City Vice Mayor as co-chairman with the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, president of the Federasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan–Baguio City chapter, the barangay district coordinators, the City Treasurer, the City Budget Officer, City Planning and Development Coordinator, the regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and Commission on Election regional director as members.
The council tasked the special committee to recommend and submit to the City Council the final draft of the barangay merger indicating the reduced number of the 128 barangays and their corresponding names; formulate guidelines for the information and education campaign and public consultations; oversee, supervise, and administer the information and education campaign and the public consultations and perform such other functions necessary and incidental to the foregoing.
According to the proposed measure, this special committee shall ensure that the merger of the barangays shall comply with the requirements prescribed under the Local Government Code of 1991 as amended such that the division shall not reduce the income, population, or land area of the barangay concerned to less than the minimum requirements prescribed in the Code and that the income classification shall not fall below the required income classification.