DAGUPAN CITY — Several bills have been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to provide more opportunities for the barangays to grow and serve their constituents well.

This was bared by Camarines Sur’s Third District Rep. Leni Robredo, speaking during the opening program of the lst Children’s Summit on Health sponsored by the Dagupan City government, Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DOH) at CSI Stadia in Dagupan City, Tuesday.

Robredo, the Liberal Party vice presidential candidate in the coming election, said foremost of these bills is the bill institutionalizing the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) which now benefits municipalities and cities throughout the country.

Addressing her speech to barangay captains of Dagupan who also graced the Children’s Summit, Robredo said BUB, which was initiated by her late husband, Jesse Robredo when he was the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), must be institutionalized to ensure its continuity even when a new administration takes over.

In the same manner, she also filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) to ensure that the next succeeding administration will continue this novel program that now benefits the most marginalized sector of the society in the Philippines.

Robredo said that under the BUB, only municipalities and cities are getting from P15 million to P20 million projects each from the national government.

These projects were identified by the people in these localities through their respective People’s Organizations.

But in 2017, she said, all barangays throughout the country will also get P1 million worth of BUB projects each year which their people themselves will also identify.

Explaining that the barangays are close to her heart as its residents worked with her when her late husband was mayor of Naga City, Robredo said bared that a Barangay Reform Bill has been filed in Congress which she co-authored.

The bill, among others, she said, seeks to extend the term of office of barangay officials from three years to five years.

Saying that three years is too short for barangay officials and even their appointees to perform the services that they vowed to do to their constituents, Robredo assured that once this bill is passed into law, they will have two additional years to stay in their posts.

She was cheered by barangay officials led by Lino Fernandez and Bryan Kua when she said the term of office of barangay captains and councilmen need to be extended in order to bring genuine reforms in all villages throughout the country.

The congresswoman said with only three years for the new officials to rule, the barangay health workers (BHW) will have to be replaced too if another barangay captain comes in, badly affecting the health programs in the barangays.

She said she proposed in that bill that the national government be the one to bankroll the salaries of the Barangay Health Workers and other volunteer workers as well as the barangay tanod.

This will ensure, she said, that the salaries of these barangay workers will be uniform throughout the country.

Robredo also proposed that the capability building seminars for barangay officials be also shouldered by the national government and not by the village any more to conserve their limited budgets.

Robredo noted that the salaries of these workers vary in various barangays throughout the country depending on their classification and financial capabilities.

However if the bill becomes a law, there will be the same level of pay for all BHWs and other volunteers as well as the barangay tanod nationwide.

The bill, she said, in fact, institutionalizes a pension system for all barangay health workers who after completing nine years of continuous service must be entitled to a minimum pension as a reward for their dedicated services. PNA/