Wednesday, April 23, 2008


After the passion and emotion filled Barangay Elections, as usual the winning candidates have to sit down and start charting the courses of action they have to take in managing the affairs of the Barangay. The local honchos have lots of matters to consider.

Foremost is to name the support staffs that will be responsible in carrying out the day to day activities. Good for some who have been in the position for long, the set up is already in place. Those neophytes have to learn the nitty-gritty of the little bureaucracy. Even the Barangay have its laws and regulations to learn and to follow in the strict sense..

As we trace the evolution of the Barangay to the present,in term of political responsibility and governance Barangay officials have been empowered. They are autonomous in term of budget expenditures so to meet the basic necessities of the Barangay constituents’ . Sanggunian can enact ordinances and enforce them too, be it penal in nature of revenue generating measures..

Barangay officials are in the forefront in the maintenance of peace and order. They have to be effective in conciliation, mediation or arbitration of cases mandated by the Local Government Code to be heard by the Lupon as precondition to filing in court. Hundreds of thousands of petty cases which could otherwise clog the docket of the court had been disposed off. The efforts spare the contending parties of the expensive and unpleasant task of litigation. For the initiative, the police are no longer saddled of going to every Barangay just to attend to every little complaint. The Tanods have effectively performed its shares of responsibilities as supervised by the elective officials.

The DSWD relies so much to Barangay Officials in monitoring and supervising children in conflict with laws. Lacking as it is in support personnel and facilities, the barangay officials are the repository of many headaches of DILG. The statute (RA 9344) requires the creation in every Barangay- Barangay Child Protection Council.

RA 9262 gives the Punong Barangay likewise through the Lupon the power to issue temporary protection order in an effort to curb abuses of men against their wives former wives or sweetheart be the relationship is legitimate or illegitimate. To this includes also excesses against their children.

Empowerment is one of the principal components of effective governance. The autonomy makes the officials more dependable, independent and responsible. They rely less on the meager support of the municipal or city officials. But empowerment entails being effective, efficient and responsive in management. To be empowered means using power, discretion and prerogatives sensibly and with accountability. To the uninitiated such is a great responsibility, a heavy burden but to the personality with vested desire the awesome is the power at the disposal to wield.

The power is not there to abuse. It is there to serve the people. It should be used for effective governance. There are parameters and defined standard actions in accord with the laws. It should guide every official.

To guide the elected officials to become effective and to give true meaning to the empowerment, the first action taken by the President of the Association of the Barangay Council (ABC President) Gener B. Amante upon his assumption to office is to educate them. Education is the best medicine for knowledge deficiency.

Seminars and workshops were undertaken under the auspices of the DILG. Armed with the new found learning the Barangay Officials buckle down to work. They are more confident now and can be counted to keep our institutions running. Smoothly. (SANDY BELARMINO/7LPC)

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