March 24, 2023

The city council passed a resolution requesting the Local Finance Committee of the city to source funds to subsidize the hazard pay of barangay officials and other workers identified as barangay frontliners for their efforts in the Covid-19 crisis.

During its regular session on March 30, the city council also passed a resolution supporting the use of available funds of the barangays for the grant of hazard pay to their qualified employees pursuant to the provisions of Department of Budget and Management Circular 2020-1 or the guidelines on the grant of Covid-19 hazard pay.

City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias said barangay officials/workers are entitled to receive hazard pay pursuant to the circular, but he said it does not stipulate whether the hazard pay of barangay officials and other workers will be drawn from the barangay funds or the city funds. He said under “regular circumstances,” it should be charged against the barangay funds.

The city council advised the Local Finance Committee to look into the prospect of appropriating a certain amount from the city funds to augment the funds of the barangays for the provision of the hazard pay.

Punong Barangay Ignacio Gallente, Liga ng mga Barangay vice president, said some barangays might not have sufficient funds to provide hazard pay to their frontliners as their respective barangay budgets have already been allocated and exhausted for their operations in the Covid-19 crisis and other essential projects.

In line with the request to source funds to subsidize the hazard pay of barangay officials and workers, the city council further proposed for the formulation of guidelines that will determine and standardize the amount to be granted as hazard pay to each official/worker in the barangay level.

“We might have a problem if one barangay will give a hazard pay of P100 a day and another barangay will give P500 a day, so we are proposing a uniform rate for barangay officials and another uniform rate for volunteers,” Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said.

The Local Finance Committee said it will prepare the proposed guidelines. – Jordan G. Habbiling