Inquiry on the implementation of R.A. 6942-A A +A
By Nerie Bayan
Thursday, January 17, 2013
LIGA President and City Councilor Hon. Joel Alangsab authored a proposed resolution entitled “Inquiring from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the status of the implementation of Republic Act 6942, otherwise known as “An Act Increasing the Insurance Benefits of Local Government Officials and Providing Funds Therefor.” enacted on April 4, 1990.
Based from the provisions of Republic Act 6942, the coverage of the act are the punong barangays, sangguniang barangay members, chairman of the kabataan barangay member, chairman of the kabataang barangay, barangay secretary and barangay treasurer, and every member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, and sangguniang bayan, duly elected or appointed, and duly qualified, who does not receive a fixed salary during his incumbency.
The resolution states that it is a policy of the State to enhance the capabilities of local officials in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, promote their efficiency and protect their general welfare. Pursuant to this policy, Republic Act No. 4898, entitled: “An Act Providing Insurance Coverage to Barrio Captains, Councilmen, Barrio Treasurers and Barrio Secretaries and Authorizing the Appropriation of Funds for the Purpose” enacted on June 1967; soon thereafter followed by PD No. 1147 in May 31, 1977 “Extending Insurance Coverage provided under Republic Act No. 4898, as amended, to the members of all Sangguniang Bayan authorizing the appropriation of funds therefor and for other purposes”, and finally, the enactment of Republic Act No. 6942. Such enacted laws made it the responsibility of the National Government to appropriate annually in the General Appropriations Act the total annual premiums based on the actual number of local officials covered.
The resolution further discusses that the Local Government Code of 1991, Section 522 provides: The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) shall establish and administer an appropriate system under which the punong barangay, the members of the sangguniang barangay, the barangay secretary, the barangay treasurer, and the members of the barangay tanod shall enjoy insurance coverage as provided in this Code and other pertinent law. For this purpose, the GSIS is hereby directed to undertake an actuarial study, issue rules and regulations, determine the premiums payable, and recommend to Congress the amount of appropriations needed to support the system. The amount needed for the implementation of the said insurance system shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act”.
Republic Act 6942 not only provides for death or burial benefits for the incumbent officials, but likewise provides for benefits in case of total and permanent incapacity or disability, or due to injuries resulting from accidents.
Although a mere resolution and an inquiry, the matter is still to be discussed and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Hon. Alangsab expressed that although it is a mere inquiry, it is hoped that such inquiry will get a hold of the attention of the concerned government agencies for them to look into these existing laws; anyhow, these laws have been enacted by the Congress itself and have been there in the directory of laws for sometime, awaiting review or implementation if such is not the case. Or if such is presently implemented, and that such premiums are indeed appropriated annually, for the concerned barangay officials to utilize such privilege of being elected as a barangay officials, or at the end of their term, to take necessary procedures so as to carry on with such insurance coverage, if such is applicable.
In Baguio City, there are barangay officials in the early 2000s, covered under the “Gabay sa Barangay” Insurance Fund. During the first term of Hon. Joel Alangsab as Liga President covering the term 2007-2010, the barangay officials were covered by an insurance package under Prudential Guaranty, but such insurance packages were paid for under the fund of then congressman now city mayor Hon. Mauricio Domogan.
There was an overwhelming attendance of the punong barangays, barangay treasurers, and barangay kagawads during the orientation meeting held last January 10, 2013 (Thursday) at the City Hall Multi-purpose Hall, Baguio City, to discuss COA Circular 2012-005. Hon. Joel Alangsab, Liga President, immediately called out the meeting with the local COA officials and the Accounting Office to address the queries and concerns of the barangays with respect to the implementation of the COA Circular.
I would like to correct that the CAO Circular for implementation that concerns the barangays is COA Circular 2012-005 with the subject: Revocation of COA Circular No. 2009-08 dated November 9, 2009, and Prescribing the Use of Punong Barangays (PBC) and COA Auditor’s Advice (CAA), and not COA Memorandum No. 2012-005 dated April 20, 2012 as earlier mentioned in the previous article.
During the January 14, 2013 Regular Council Session, the council unanimously approved the proposed resolution authored by Hon. Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda entitled “Urging the Depository Banks of the Barangays Funds of Baguio City to provide Free Notarial Services, for Compliance with the Commission on Audit (COA) Circular No. 2012-005 dated December 7, 2012. Hon. Joel Alangsab informed the body that the Philippine Veterans Bank has addressed the concern and will be hiring the services of a counsel to perform the notarial services for the barangays. Presiding Officer and Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas, acknowledging that the new COA procedure is truly burdensome on the part of the barangays, encouraged the lawyer members of the city council to extend their services for free to the barangays with respect to this concern.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 17, 2013.