5-year term for barangay execs? Marcos admin 'open' to it, says Rodriguez

The camp of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is studying the possibility of enacting a law that would increase the term of barangay officials from the current three years to five years.

Executive Secretary-designate Vic Rodriguez (Screenshot from Facebook live)

A statement from Press Secretary-designate Trixie Cruz-Angeles Friday, June 24, said that Executive Secretary-designate Vic Rodriguez made this revelation after the latter was cited by Quezon City’s 142 barangays for his achievements as a public servant.

During the event, Rodriguez was asked if the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections slated for December would push through.

“We are studying thoroughly the plus and the minuses of spending or calling for elections and there is nothing definite yet," he said.

"But we are open to all options that are being presented to us including the possibility of passing a law and making the term of barangay captains to five years, still subject to three terms,” the incoming executive secretary added.

The country is still fresh from the May 9 national elections, where Marcos and his running mate, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte won a rare majority mandate from the people.

Rodriguez said that, as a former barangay captain, amending the current term to five years with a limit of three terms would improve barangay governance as opposed to the current practice of constant extension of terms due to the postponement of the barangay elections.

“For me as a former barangay captain, I think mas may wisdom na gawin nating five years ‘yan kesa (There is more wisdom in creating a five-year term instead of doing an) extension, extension, extension, and extension because we are working against the spirit of our law, the bible of the Local Government Units - the 1992 Local Government Code. So instead of violating the spirit of the law, we might as well extend natin siguro ‘yan and provide stability in your leadership, provide stability in governance,” he said.

In 2019, President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11462, which effectively postponed the May 2020 Barangay and SK polls to December 2022.

The last Barangay and SK elections were held in May 2018, which was also postponed twice. The polls were supposed to be held back in October 2016, just four months after Duterte assumed the Palace seat.

Rodriguez also noted that the proposal would provide a higher degree of accountability to village officials, especially with the Mandanas-Garcia ruling set for implementation this year.

The ruling would infuse additional funds to the local government units (LGUs) down to the barangays. At present, LGUs' internal revenue allotment (IRA) comes from 40 percent of the national internal revenue taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling in effect, it is projected that LGUs will have a 27.61 percent increase in the total IRA shares.

During the campaign period, Marcos expressed his intention to include in his administration's priority bills measures to amend laws governing the barangay such as his proposal when he was senator to extend the terms of village officials from three to five years.

The objective is to give the officials sufficient time to finish their projects in their areas of jurisdiction.