BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants the long overdue proposal for the merger of the city’s one hundred twenty-eight barangays to guarantee the maximum utilization of available resources for the development of the smallest political subdivision in the current bureaucracy.
The local chief executive said the merger of the existing number of the city’s barangays to a lean and mean number upon proper consultations with the concerned sectors will definitely help in the much-awaited progress and development of the city.
“We have to make sure that our barangays will comply with the provisions of the Local Government Code so that they will have the available resources to spur the desired growth and development in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” Domogan stressed.
Under the provisions of the Local Government Code (LGC), a barangay should have at least 5,000 inhabitants in order to legally exist as the smallest political subdivision.
The city mayor clarified that the merger of the city’s barangays will only be pursued after thorough consultations to gather the sentiments of the local residents on the desired merger in compliance with the provisions of the LGC and other related laws, rules, and regulations.
According to him, there are many barangays under the current situation that cannot actually comply with the provisions of the LGC in terms of population thus the need for the local government to revisit the existing number of barangays to comply with the minimum number of inhabitants required for a barangay to independently exist.
However, he admitted that there had been strong opposition to the proposed merger when it as earlier proposed in the early 2000s because there are barangay officials who fear that they might be displaced from their current positions once merged with their neighboring barangays which are bigger in population, among others.
Domogan claimed the ideal number of city’s barangays is 42, but depending on the result of consultations aimed getting inputs from stakeholders, it could be increased.
He added among the benefits included in the merger of barangays are increased internal revenue allotment (IRA) for the implementation of development projects and improved delivery of basic services, guaranteed salary for barangay officials, the hiring of enough number of workforce that will help in the effective and efficient delivery of services to constituents.
Domogan appealed to concerned stakeholders in the barangays to share their views on the planned merger by actively participating the projected consultations with the knowledge that the merger of the city’s barangays will only take effect after the completion of the term of barangay officials who will be elected this October 2016.
By Dexter A. See