Villar seeks perks for village execs, tanods

By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 18, 2010 – Sen. Manny Villar has proposed the grant of financial benefits to the punong barangay or barangay chairman and members of the sangguning barangay, including a retirement fund in recognition of their significant contribution in the delivery of basic services to the people and benefits to barangay tanods.

Villar filed two separate bills to address these needs, Senate Bills 1323 and 2578. SB 1323 seeks to provide life-time monthly retirement pension to barangay officials to a monthly retirement pension equivalent to an amount not lower than the monthly honorarium which he received during his/ her incumbency. But to qualify, a barangay official must have served three consecutive terms.

On the other hand, SB 2578 seeks to grant a P1,000 monthly allowance for all barangay tanods. The proposed allowance is separate from any other form of remuneration that the tanods might receive from their respective cities/ municipalities.

In batting for benefits to barangay officials and tanods, Villar explained that there are always in the front-line insofar as basic services are concerned. "The barangay officials are the first ones our people call for immediate help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The measly honoraria they receive are not enough. It is only proper to accord them additional benefits for their invaluable service to the community," he said.

In his twin bills, Villar suggested that for local government units which are incapable of providing the required funds to cover the said allowance due to insufficient revenues, the sanggunian of the LGU concerned shall provide for a reasonable amount to cover these benefits. (Jason de Asis)