A guide for voters in the May 14 elections
posted 19-May-2018  ·  
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This year, the national government has allocated P103 billion as the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the 42,000 barangays. Of this amount, P7 billion will go to the 3,471 barangays in the Bicol region.

Roughly, then, the 315 villages in Catanduanes will be receiving this 2018 the amount of P2 million each as their share in the taxes paid by Filipino citizens.

A huge portion of this kitty will go to the honoraria and travel expenses of the 315 barangay councils and Sangguniang Kabataan, with some barangay captains getting no less than P5,000 monthly and their kagawads P4,000 each.

Adding to this the usual commissions suppliers of construction materials and office supplies give to the council for the privilege of cornering their yearly requirements, members of the village governing council indeed has a tidy regular income for their needs. The only fly in the ointment, so to speak, is that they are expected to lead any heavy work to be done in their village, and (sometimes they are only ones showing up since residents feel their leaders are the ones being paid.

For the “discriminating” voters of this island to whom elections have become a way to exact a price for their votes, the barangay elections are usually less attractive compared to national and local elections. They have to be content with smaller bills and, for some, a pack of 3-in-1 coffee or a mere handshake and a smile from those running for one of the 16 posts at stake in the May 14 polls.

The qualifications needed are basic: candidates need only to be Filipino citizens, residents of the barangay for at least a year before election day, able to read and write, and not convicted of moral turpitude charges.

But the stakes are high, even if residents consider the village leaders far below the existing power structure in the local government. The new batch of barangay officials will be the first to be evaluated on the basis of their performance in local governance, hence, the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s insistence that candidates display their resume in barangay halls.

The DILG under officer-in-charge Eduardo Año has launched the 'Matino, Mahusay, at Maasahan' campaign for the Barangay and SK Elections as a guide for voters in choosing their rightful leaders:

MATINO - hindi "corrupt" at lumalaban sa katiwalian; lumaban at lumalaban sa iligal na droga; tapat sa serbisyo at bukas sa publiko; magaling at may disiplina; at, walang kaugnayan sa masasamang tao or grupo.

MAHUSAY - may platapormang pangkaunlaran at pangkapayapaan; huwaran at modelo ng kanyang mga kabarangay; sumusunod sa mga alituntunin ng pamahalaan at ng komunidad; maayos makitungo sa mga kabarangay; at, may patas na pagtingin sa iba’t ibang problema sa barangay.

MAAASAHAN - maalam at may kakayahan sa pagpaplano; alistong tumutulong sa panahon ng sakuna; nagmamalasakit sa kapwa; madaling malapitan sa oras ng pangangailangan; at, subok sa pagtulong sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan at kaayusan.

In the last few days before election day on May 14, 2018, the public are encouraged to reflect upon this guide as they make their choices of the leaders who would manage their barangays.

Everyone is called upon to make sure their sacred vote goes to the right candidate, as it would take three long years for voters to get the chance to remove any wrong choice. While there are no saints running on Monday, at least the electorate should make sure they elect no devils to manage their barangays.

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