GOOD news as the Bacolod City Council approved on third and final reading an ordinance granting gratuity pay and burial assistance to the barangay officials during its regular session on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

Councilor Dindo Ramos, who authored the ordinance, said barangay officials are giving almost all their time, efforts and resources to ensure that the general welfare is maintained and achieved.

Despite being compensated, Ramos said, it is usually not sufficient enough to provide for the needs of their family because of the fact that barangay officials are prone to request for help, assistance or solicitations from their respective constituents.

He said part of the duties of the barangay officials are the enforcement of laws and ordinances which are applicable to their respective barangays.

Ramos added the officials are also bound to maintain peace and order within the premises of their jurisdiction and in achieving these purposes there are times that they put their safety or lives at risk.

The councilor cited Section 2 of the ordinance wherein the local government unit will provide for gratuity pay and funeral assistance to the barangay official or his nearest kin upon application.

Also, under the ordinance, those who have been validly elected or appointed pursuant to law as barangay officials include Punong Barangay, Barangay Kagawad and Sangguniang Kabataan chairman.

The gratuity pay to barangay officials on top of their existing monthly compensation will be P5,000 for those who have completed their first term of office and opted not to seek reelection or have lost in the immediately succeeding election.

For those who have completed their second term of office and opted not to seek reelection or have in the immediate succeeding election, they will receive P10,000 while P15,000 awaits those who have completed their third term of office, the ordinance added.

Ramos said those who have sought election for higher office, they shall be entitled to said gratuity pay after completing his third term of office, regardless of his position.

Meanwhile, burial assistance payable to the immediate member of the family of deceased incumbent barangay official in the amount of P15, 000 to help defray the expenses incident to the burial and funeral of the deceased barangay official.

However, for a former barangay official who died outside of his tour of duty as barangay official but had completed at least one term of office as such, an amount of P10,000 shall be granted to the immediate member of his family as burial assistance.

The benefit is payable to the members of the family of the deceased, the surviving spouse, legitimate child who spent for the funeral services or any other person who can show unquestionable proof of having borne the funeral expenses of the deceased, the ordinance further stated.