SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appealed to fellow senators for the swift passage of his proposed measure, which seeks to provide retirement benefit for barangay officials and workers.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, aired the appeal as he sponsored on the Senate floor last week Committee Report 30, endorsing the approval of Senate Bill 12, "An Act Providing Barangay Officials, including Barangay Tanods, Members of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Day Care Workers A Retirement Benefit."

The measure provides a retirement pay of P100,000 for each qualified barangay chairman, P80,000 for each member of Sangguniang Barangay, and P50,000 each for barangay treasurer and secretary, barangay tanod, member of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, and barangay health and day care worker.

Marcos noted that while barangay officials and workers are serving in the front lines, delivering basic and other public services, they are only receiving measly benefits.

According to the data from the Department of Interior and Local government (DILG), there are 1,849,232 incumbent barangay officials nationwide.

Under the measure, a barangay official or worker must be at least 60 years old and with at least 9 years of service to be eligible to receive the retirement benefit.

Based on these criteria, the DILG's National Barangay Operations Office has determined that as June 7, 2013, some 95,616 are qualified for the benefit out of 1,849,232 total numbers of barangay officials and workers in the country.

The government needs P5.2 billion to pay for the retirement of the initial number of qualified officials and workers.

As funding source for the monetary benefit, the measure proposed the creation of the Barangay Retirement Fund, which shall be established through annual investments with an amount equivalent to one percent (1 percent) of the share of the National Government in the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment).

The DILG shall administer and ensure the appropriate disbursement of the fund. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)