Barangay merging on the way

BAGUIO CITY – The revived call for barangay merging of the 128 barangays in the city of Baguio is thoroughly being reviewed and evaluated by the city government here.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan disclosed that the various meetings, consultations and forum with the punong barangays in the city concerning the proposed barangay merging resulted to a positive feedback from the different barangays.

He stressed that the merging of the 128 barangays must be in accordance with Section 386 of the Local Government Code which states that a barangay maybe created out of a contigious territory which has a population of at least 2,000 inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office except in cities and municipalities within Metro manila and other metropolitan political subdivisions or in highly urbanized cities where territory shall have a certified population of at least 5,000 inhabitants.

The recently formed special committee to take in the preparatory phase and process for the said proposed merging of the 128 barangays will be coming up with a proposed division of barangays taking into consideration the closeness of barangays, population, income, existence of public services such as schools, centers, among others.

Said committee will come up with a conceptual merging and they are scheduled to convene on April 11 for the revision of the proposed division. The moment the committee will come up with a reasonable and sensible division, they will conduct a general assembly to all barangays and the moment a sensible division will be agreed upon, the same will be forwarded to the city council for the passage of an ordinance, explained Domogan.

The city will reduce the number of barangays from 128 to just 40 barangays, more or less, by merging adjoining barangays. Barangays merged should be divided into puroks and each purok will have a representation in the barangay council as kagawads.
That way, all puroks will be represented and only the punong barangay will be elected at large, added Domogan.

According to ABC president councilor Michael Lawana, they will take advantage of the one-year extension in the rule of incumbent barangays officials to mobilize awareness to the merger plan along with its advantages and disadvantages to gather support to the long overdue plan.

Barangay merging will address concerns and issues pertaining to barangay boundary disputes, seeming bias allocation of funds for various projects for larger barangays vis-à-vis barangays with lesser area and population as well as inadequate honorarium of barangay officials.

“The implementation of the merging scheme will be in time in the coming October 2017 election,” ended Domogan./Jho Arranz#