GISING BARANGAY MOVEMENT
Office of the President and National Convenor
Questions on the Barangay Assembly
Question: Can we demand an explanation for the postponement of the Barangay Assembly?
Definitely. Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution: “Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice and lead modest lives.”
Section 4(a) of RA 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees: “Public officials and employees shall always uphold the public interest over and above personal interest”.
Section 4 (e) of RA 6713 provides: “Public officials and employees shall extend prompt, courteous, and adequate service to the public. Unless otherwise provided by law or when required by the public interest, public officials and employees shall provide information of their policies and procedures in clear and understandable language, ensure openness of information, public consultations and hearings whenever appropriate, encourage suggestions, simplify and systematize policy, rules and procedures, avoid red tape and develop an understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.”
Memorandum Circular 2017-123, issued by DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy on September 20, 2017, enjoined all Punong Barangays to undertake specific activities on October 8, 2017, in accordance with Section 397(b) of RA 7160, The Local Government Code, and Proclamation 260 of the President, issued on September 11, 2011, which declares the last Saturday of March and the second Sunday of October as Barangay Assembly Days.
In that Memorandum Circular, barangay officials were also directed to “….undertake appropriate activities to create public awareness on, and generate participation in, the Barangay Assembly, such as but not limited to medical or dental mission, cultural presentations, etc.”
The same Memorandum Circular specified:
“Corresponding administrative complaints against barangay officials who fail to conduct a barangay assembly may be filed by any resident of the barangay, concerned citizen, governmental or
non-governmental entity before the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned pursuant to Section 61 of the Local Government Code or to the Office of the Ombudsman pursuant to Administrative Order No. 07 or the “Rules of Procedures of the Office of the Ombudsman”, dated April 10, 1990
All these have been reiterated in previous Memorandum Circulars from the Secretary of the DILG on the subject of the Barangay Assembly, since 2007.
If the Punong Barangay is unable to attend on that day, that should not be a hindrance, with 7 Kagawads of the Sangguniang Barangay who can preside on behalf of the Punong Barangay (see also discussion below on Question No. 2, Who can preside over the Barangay Assembly) .
Question: Who can convene the Barangay Assembly?
Section 397 (b) of RA 7160, The Local Government Code, prescribes:
The barangay assembly shall meet at least twice a year to hear and discuss the semestral report of the sangguniang barangay concerning its activities and finances as well as problems affecting the barangay. Its meetings shall be held upon call of the punong barangay or of at least four (4) members of the sangguniang barangay, or upon written petition of at least five percent (5%) of the assembly members.
Meetings of the Barangay Assembly shall be held upon call of:
The Punong Barangay, or
At least four (4) members of the Sangguniang Barangay, or
Upon written petition of at least five percent (5 %) of the members of the Barangay Assembly.
In accordance with Proclamation 260 of the President, issued on September 11, 2011, the last Saturday of March and the second Sunday of October of 2011 and every year thereafter were declared Barangay Assembly Days.
The Barangay Assembly is not limited to meet twice a year. It can convene whenever it wants to.
Who can preside over the Barangay Assembly?
What not many people realize is that the presence of barangay officials is not necessary at all to conduct a valid meeting of the Barangay Assembly.
Section 397 (c ) of RA 7160, The Local Government Code, prescribes:
No meeting of the barangay assembly shall take place unless a written notice is given one (1) week prior to the meeting except on matters involving public safety or security, in which case notice within a reasonable time shall be sufficient. The punong barangay, or in his absence, the sangguniang barangay member acting as punong barangay, or any assembly member selected during the meeting, shall act as presiding officer in all the meetings of the assembly. The barangay secretary, or in his absence, any member designated by the presiding officer to act as secretary, shall discharge the duties of secretary of the barangay assembly.
In the absence of officials of the Barangay, any member of the Barangay Assembly selected or elected during the Barangay Assembly can validly preside over the Barangay Assembly.
This same member of the Barangay Assembly who is acting as presiding officer can also validly appoint any member of the Barangay Assembly to act as secretary and discharge the duties of secretary of the Barangay Assembly.
Unless the Barangay Assembly resolves differently under its own rules, whoever is present at the Barangay Assembly constitutes the quorum of the Barangay Assembly, in accordance with parliamentary procedure for a mass meeting. There is no minimum requirement under RA 7160, The Local Government Code.
Who is a member of the Barangay Assembly?
Chapter VI, Section 397 (a) of Republic Act 7160, The Local Government Code, provides:
Section 397. Composition; Meetings. –
(a) There shall be a barangay assembly composed of all persons who are actual residents of the barangay for at least six (6) months, fifteen (15) years of age or over, citizens of the Philippines, and duly registered in the list of barangay assembly members.
You do not need to be a registered voter to be a member of the Barangay Assembly.
Who maintains this list of barangay assembly members?
This is a responsibility of the Barangay Secretary, under Section 394 (d) of RA 7160:
The barangay secretary shall:
Keep custody of all records of the sangguniang barangay and the barangay assembly meetings;
Prepare and keep the minutes of all meetings of the sangguniang barangay and the barangay assembly;
Prepare a list of members of the barangay assembly, and have the same posted in conspicuous places within the barangay;
Assist in the preparation of all necessary forms for the conduct of barangay elections, initiatives, referenda or plebiscites, in coordination with the COMELEC;
Assist the municipal civil registrar in the registration of births, deaths, and marriages;
Keep an updated record of all inhabitants of the barangay containing the following items of information: name, address, place and date of birth, sex, civil status, citizenship, occupation, and such other items of information as may be prescribed by law or ordinance;
Submit a report on the actual number of barangay residents as often as may be required by the sangguniang barangay; and
Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
Question: Can we compel assistance from the barangay office?
Memorandum Circular 2016-124, issued by DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno on September 14, 2016 enjoined Governors and Mayors to “Ensure compliance and maximum participation of all barangays,” and “Actively get involved in the activities to be undertaken,” and “Support the barangays under your jurisdiction and ensure the successful conduct of the said activity.”
Chapter IV, Sections 34 – 36 of RA 7160, Local Government Code, provides:
Section 34. Role of People’s and Non-governmental Organizations. – Local government units shall promote the establishment and operation of people’s and non-governmental organizations to become active partners in the pursuit of local autonomy.
Section 35. Linkages with People’s and Non-governmental Organizations. – Local government units may enter into joint ventures and such other cooperative arrangements with people’s and non-governmental organizations to engage in the delivery of certain basic services, capability-building and livelihood projects, and to develop local enterprises designed to improve productivity and income, diversity agriculture, spur rural industrialization, promote ecological balance, and enhance the economic and social well-being of the people.
Section 36. Assistance to People’s and Non-governmental Organizations. – A local government unit may, through its local chief executive and with the concurrence of the sanggunian concerned, provide assistance, financial or otherwise, to such people’s and non-governmental organizations for economic, socially-oriented, environmental, or cultural projects to be implemented within its territorial jurisdiction.
Section 109 (b) of RA 7160, Local Government Code, provides:
The barangay development council shall exercise the following functions:
Mobilize people’s participation in local development efforts;
Prepare barangay development plans based on local requirements;
Monitor and evaluate the implementation of national or local programs and projects; and
Perform such other functions as may be provided by law or competent authority.
The Barangay Development Council is composed of the following:
Section 107. Composition of Local Development Councils. – The composition of the local development council shall be as follows:
Members of the sangguniang barangay;
Representatives of non-governmental organizations operating in the barangay who shall constitute not less than one fourth (¼) of the members of the fully organized council;
A representative of the congressman.
Question: Can constituents invite outsiders to observe?
This question was answered in DILG Opinion No. 9, Series of 2011. Atty Jesus Doque, Director IV of the DILG Legal Service wrote:
“As to the issue on the right of any person attending the Barangay Assembly to record, videotape or photograph the proceedings, we are of the view that the same is allowed, unless prohibited to do so by the Barangay Assembly, by reason of security, decency, morality and the like. Recording, videotaping and taking pictures during the proceedings are encouraged to ensure transparency in the proceedings of the Barangay Assembly.
“Along this line. we would like to remind you that though any person may attend the Barangay Assembly, not all persons present thereat may take part and participate in its proceedings. Section 397 of the Local Government Code is clear that the barangay assembly shall be composed of all persons who are actual residents of the barangay for at least six (6) months, fifteen (15) years of age or over, citizens of the Philippines, and duly registered in the list of barangay assembly members.
This list of barangay assembly members is prepared by the barangay secretary pursuant to Section 494 (c)(3) of the Local Government Code of 1991. Those not registered in the list may attend the Barangay Assembly only as observers thereat.”
Proclamation 260, Series of 2011
Republic Act 6713: Code of Conduct of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees
Republic Act 7160, The Local Government Code of 1991, as amended (See Sec. 397-398):
RA 7160 Implementing Rules and Regulations: http://lga.gov.ph/media/uploads/2/Transparency@Work/LGC%20of%201991/IRR%20of%20the%20% 20Local%20Government%20Code%20of%201991.pdf
Republic Act 9485, Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007:
RA 9485 Implementing Rules and Regulations:
Executive Order No. 2, Series 2016, Duterte FOI EO
DILG Memorandum Circular 2016-124, Barangay Assembly by SILG Sueno http://dilg.gov.ph/issuances/mc/Conduct-of-Barangay-Assembly-for-the-Second-2ndSemester-of-CY- 2016/2375
DILG Legal Opinion No. 9, Series 2011