Twelve barangays (villages) in Taguig City—including the barangay that has jurisdiction over the Bonifacio Global City (BGC)—that were created in 2009 are still not getting their internal revenue allotment (IRA) up to now.
The city, since then, has had numerous representatives to Congress, but enabling laws that would have allowed these barangays to get their regular share in the IRA to fund the operation of their villages have not been passed until now.
With these, the officials and employees of Barangays San Miguel, Central Bicutan, New Lower Bicutan, North Daang-Hari, South Daang-Hari, Pinagsama, Forth Bonifacio, Central Signal, North Signal, South Signal, Katuparan and Tanyag are also not getting their regular pay in the form of honorarium.
Under Republic Act (RA) 7160, or the Local Government Code of 2991, barangays are excluded from the 20-percent IRA coming from the national government. The IRA is intended solely for the local government units (LGUs), such as the city governments and the municipal governments.
But Section 285 of RA 7160 states that “the financial requirements of barangays created by local government units…shall be the responsibility of the local government unit concerned.”
However, the LGUs could only release IRA to the barangays if there is an enabling law for that purpose. The amount of the IRA of every barangay would be based on the total income of each barangay, size of the barangay and its population.
Rep. Lino Cayetano filed 12 House bills in the previous Congress so that the additional barangays formed in 2009 would finally have their respective IRA. While 10 of these bills hurdled the House of Representatives, none made it past the Senate.
In September 2016 under the 17th Congress, Rep. Pia Cayetano, who replaced his younger brother in the House, refiled her brother’s 12 proposed measures with just minor modifications.
The House approved the proposed measures in February last year, again except the bills for the creation of Barangay Pinagsama and Fort Bonifacio.
According to a staff member of Cayetano, who asked not to be named, some important documents were not produced, thus, the bills for the creation of Barangay Pinagsama and Barangay Fort Bonifacio were junked by the Lower House. This was also the case in the previous Congress.
The 10 house bills were elevated very fast to the Senate.
Senate acts on Pia’s copied bills
Records at the Senate showed that the Joint Senate Committees on Local Government headed by Sen. Juan Edgardo M. Angara Jr. and Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation headed by Sen. Francis N. Pangilinan have already tackled Cayetano’s bills in May 2017.
With this development, Barangay San Miguel Chairman Vicente Espital and other barangay officials and employees of the concerned barangays in Taguig City are hoping that the Senate will finally approve the measures for their creation so they will finally get their respective IRA.
They are hoping that the senators belonging to the two committees headed by Angara and Pangilinan would make good use of the remaining months for them to finalize the proposed laws on barangay creation before the 17th Congress ends in June 2019.
By the middle of this year, Angara will be busy for the midyear polls already, as he will be seeking a reelection.
But Angara did not make a promise this time, unlike in 2016, when he vowed to end the problem, according to Espital.
In case the proposals would finally become laws, the barangay officials and employees will still have to wait until 2019 to get their monthly honorarium, as the Department of Budget and Management would be able to include their allocations in the General Appropriations Act only after the enabling laws for the creation of their barangays have been enacted.