MANILA, Philippines — The incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is considering enacting a law that will increase the tenure of barangay captains from three to five years, subject to three terms, one of his officials said. .
Incoming Executive Secretary Lcdo. Vic Rodríguez said that the Marcos administration is studying the enactment of a law that would modify the mandates of barangay officials, including expanding the mandate of the captain.
“We are thoroughly studying the pros and cons of spending or calling elections and nothing is definitive yet,” he said Thursday when asked if the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections set for December will go ahead.
“But we are open to all the options that are presented to us, including the possibility of passing a law and making the term of the barangay captains five years, still subject to three terms,” Rodríguez added.
Based on his experience as a former barangay captain, Rodríguez said amending the current term to five years with a three-term limit will improve barangay governance compared to the current practice of constantly extending by postponing barangay elections.
“For me, as a former barangay captain, I believe that the wisdom of mas can na gawin nating five years ‘yan kaysa extension, extension, extension, and extension because we are working against the spirit of our law, the bible of the Units of Government Local – the Local Government Code of 1992,” he said.
(I think it is wiser to make his term last five years rather than just extend them because we are working against the spirit of our law, the bible of Local Government Units: the Local Government Code 1992).
“So instead of violating the spirit of the law, we could also extend natin siguro ‘yan and provide stability in its leadership, provide stability in governance,” Rodríguez added.
In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law postponing the barangay and SK elections from May 2020 to December 2022.
The SK and barangay elections took place in May 2018 after they were twice postponed to October 2016, as previously scheduled.
Rodriguez said increasing the mandate of barangay officials would provide a greater degree of accountability, especially with the Mandanas-Garcia ruling set to be implemented this year that will infuse additional funding to local government units (LGUs) down to the barangays.
Currently, the LGU IRA comes from 40% of the national internal income taxes collected by the BIR.
According to Rodríguez, with the implementation of the Mandanas-García ruling this year, LGUs are projected to see a 27.61% increase in total IRA shares.
During the campaign, then-presidential candidate Marcos expressed his intention to include measures to modify the laws that govern the barangay in his priority bills.
The goal is to give officials enough time to finish their projects in their areas of jurisdiction.