February 6, 2023

The technical working group tasked to come up with a cost-benefit analysis on the impact of the proposed downsizing of barangays from 128 to 33 asked for more time to resolve issues as they crop up.
During the recent meeting of the TWG on barangay amalgamation last Jan. 19, City Assessor Ma. Almaya Addawe said one barangay in the proposed 33 clustered units failed to meet the minimum 5,000 inhabitants as required by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Addawe said the TWG has to restudy the composition of clustered barangays, especially those in the central business district so it will be able to meet the requirements of the Local Government Code.
The location of public facilities will also be considered in the merging of barangays to ensure accessibility of services, Addawe added.
Another issue discussed was the probable decrease in the National Tax Allotment (NTA) of the clustered barangays following national budgeting rules on tax shares as a result of the decrease in the number of barangays.
Supervising Administrative Officer Faye Almazan of the City Budget Office said the 128 barangays of the city received a total of P624 million NTA for 2022 divided in percentages set by the Department of Budget and Management per population count.
However, Almazan said the barangay NTA is projected to decrease by 29.16 percent or P442M if the merging pushes through following DBM rules.
Almazan said the decrease in barangay NTA will also result in the decrease in the development fund and barangay disaster risk reduction and management fund.
The TWG also agreed to study further the cost-benefit impact of barangay merging on personal services with the reduction in the number of officials to be elected while considering other funding sources towards the goal of achieving smart barangays.
The city government is pursuing the merger with the goal of improving local governance. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan