(GSIS logo)

(GSIS logo)

MANILA, July 12 (Mabuhay) — Sen. Franklin M. Drilon has re-filed a bill seeking the inclusion of barangay officials for benefits from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

”It’s a small way of recognizing the barangay leaders’ contribution to the community as front-liners of government service,” Drilon said.

Drilon said inclusion of the officials of 42,027 barangays in the GSIS will give them opportunity to qualify for retirement benefits and other kinds of loans such as housing, salary, education and calamity loans, among others which the insurance agency is providing to state workers.

“By recognizing them as government employees and thus part of the GSIS, barangay officials will be enjoying insurance coverage and retirement pensions, among other benefits,” said Drilon.

Under Senate Bill No. 467, Drilon sought higher benefits for barangay officials, particularly the granting of retirement pensions and loan packages by amending Presidential Decree No. 1146, as amended, to expand and increase the coverage and benefits of the GSIS to include elected and appointed barangay officials

“As the basic political unit, the barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community,” said Drilon.

“However, despite this evident importance, the officials of the barangay have not been recognized as government employees, particularly insofar as membership in the GSIS is concerned,” explained Drilon.

Drilon also noted the allowances and benefits being given to barangay leaders are not commensurate to the quality of service and assistance they are extending to the community as well as to the government.

Under the Drilon bill, the compensation, honoraria and other emoluments being received by the barangay officials should be the basis in computing their contributions to GSIS.

The proposed measure also instructs the GSIS to work with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the league of barangay captains and officials to formulate the necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Act, ended Drilon. (MNS)