TACLOBAN CITY – The newly-elected president of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Leyte, Martina “Ina” Larrazabal-Gimenez, disclosed that she would focus on the welfare of barangays.
Gimenez clinched the post without any opposition during the Liga’s election on Jan.12 held in Baybay City. She will serve in her position until 2025.
“I would like to appeal and advise to our barangay chairman to focus more on the work and the development of each every barangay under them,” she said during an interview.
Gimenez is the wife of Use. Mark Roa Gimenez, the Presidential Management Staff for the Visayas and sister of former elections commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.
The Liga official added that she hopes to visit all the 1,393 villages in the province to personally see the situation of the people in the community and how she could help the barangay officials in looking after the welfare of their constituents.
She also expressed her support for the proposed bill on the salary standardization of all barangay officials which is still pending in Congress.
“Having that standard pay to our barangay officials will be beneficial to them,” Gimenez said.
Under the law, barangay officials are not entitled to receive a salary instead they are receiving honoraria with no fixed rate.
The Local Government Code of the Philippines mandates that an honorarium for barangay chairmen should not be less than P1,000 and P600 for the kagawad. This compensation was adjusted through Executive Order No. 332 series of 1996.
“Currently, our barangays are dependent on the national tax allocation (NTA). If you have a small allocation, you have a small budget, (while) those with a big share have bigger budget. What I’m more focused is the small barangays with small budgets. They only have minimal honorarium that we give them that is why it is better to have a standard for everyone just like in the municipality,” Gimenez explained.
“We are all barangay officials, we are all barangay chairman, so dapat pareho lang,” she added.
Based on the 4th tranche of the modified salary schedule for local government personnel or the Department of Budget and Management Circular No. 149 issued in 2023 maximum compensation barangay officials ranges from P21, 998 to P33, 843 for barangay captains depending on the class of the municipalities or cities they are elected.
Barangay kagawad or councilor’s honoraria ranges from P15, 064 to P23, 176.
Barangay officials are also entitled to a Christmas bonus, insurance coverage, free hospitalization, free tuition, civil service eligibility based on the number of years they served in the barangay, and preference of appointment to any government position.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)