Committee formed to prepare merging of 128 barangays in Baguio City

BAGUIO CITY -– Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president and Baguio City Councilor Michael Lawana will head a special committee to prepare and process the merging of identified barangays in Baguio City.

The special committee was formed by virtue of Administrative Order (AO) 24 signed by Domogan which tasks the committee to recommend and submit to the Baguio City Council, the final draft of the plan for the 128 barangays including its proposed names.

The AO states that proposed merger of the 128 barangays is in accordance with Section 386 of the Local Government Code which provides that a barangay may be created out of a contiguous territory which has a population of at least 2,000 inhabitants as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) except in cities and municipalities within Metro Manila and other metropolitan political subdivisions or in highly urbanized cities where territory shall have a certified population of least 5,000 inhabitants.

Domogan noted that the recent population survey of the PSA shows that many of the 128 barangays do not meet the minimum population requirement to substantiate their existence and to show compliance with provision of the law.

Earlier, Lawana identified the scheme as one of the league’s priorities with the year-long postponement of the barangay elections to drum up awareness to the merger plan along with its advantages and disadvantages to finally muster the needed support to the long overdue scheme.

Lawana said that under the preliminary plans, the city will reduce the number of barangays to 40 or 60 barangays by merging adjoining ones.

Domogan agreed that the resetting of the barangay polls will buy time to prepare the merger scheme and implement it come election time in October, 2017.

He said it is high time to consider the scheme to address problems on the financial and administrative stature of some barangays which fall short based on the criteria and requirements under the Local Government Code of 1991.

The merger was first proposed in 2003 but only reached the level of holding consultations.

Domogan said it will be easier for the local government unit (LGU) to manage a reduced number of barangays.

The plan, if approved and implemented, make the city compliant with the requirements of the Local Government Code in as far as the barangay set-up is concerned, Domogan added. Jojo Lamaria/