DILG: 700 barangay officials are senior citizens

By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 02 2013 09:23 AM | Updated as of Dec 02 2013 05:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Over 700 barangay officials nationwide, including 89 village chiefs, are already senior citizens aged 71 years and older, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

The DILG National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO) prepared the profile of barangay officials, who are on first and third term to establish the demography of village chiefs, who assumed office last Nov. 30.

The profiling was also apparently an effort to check on barangay chairmen serving more than three terms, which is a clear violation of the law.

In 2010, the DILG informed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that a total of 4,410 of 42,028 barangay chairpersons served their third or even fourth terms, without being prevented by the poll body.

The DILG checked on the records of barangay officials for the Oct. 28, 2013 barangay elections.

The barangay is the smallest form of government and a barangay chairman and his kagawad (councilmen) will serve a term of three years. Under the law, barangay officials could serve for only three consecutive terms.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II has instructed outgoing and incoming officials to ensure a smooth transition as the barangay chairman will have the final word on where to spend the barangay’s share of over P59.165 billion in Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) this year.

In a report dated Nov. 21, NBOO chief Leocadio Trovela reported that some barangay officials are senior citizens.

Records showed there are 654 barangay captains with ages ranging from 60 years old to 70 while 89 village chiefs are 71 or older.

The report said there are 5,458 barangay chairmen on their third term while 7,263 barangay captains are on their first term.

The records showed that 27 barangay chairmen have postgraduate degrees, while 2,890 others have college degrees, while the rest finished elementary, high school, and vocational courses.

In a memorandum circular obtained by The STAR, Roxas said barangay officials must properly account for government funds and property at barangay offices.

“All mayors are hereby enjoined to ensure that there is smooth and orderly turnover of responsibilities for the proper use and care of government funds and property,” read the circular.