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Friday, May 24, 2024

Party-list lawmaker seeks GSIS coverage for barangay officials nationwide

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A PARTY-LIST legislator is seeking the mandatory Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) coverage for barangay officials.

House Bill 9638, titled the Mandatory GSIS Coverage for Barangay Officials Act filed by OFW party-iist Rep. Marissa Magsino aims to mandate the inclusion of barangay officials in the GSIS members list to ensure they receive the same benefits as other government workers.

“With over 42,000 barangays in the Philippines, these local units, led by the Punong Barangay and supported by council members, are the backbone of our decentralized local government system,”  Magsino said.

Magsino lamented that despite their crucial contributions to community development, public order, and safety, barangay officials were yet to be formally acknowledged as government employees and do not enjoy the same benefits.

“Thus I hope this bill will gain the support of our lawmakers and will become a law,”   Magsino added.

Magsino’s bill provides for the compulsory membership of barangay officials in the GSIS under Section 3 of Presidential Decree 1146, as amended by Republic Act 8291, titled the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997. The GSIS is directed to develop and administer a specialized social security program for barangay officials, considering the nature and character of their employment.

The program is envisioned to have different contributions and benefits, ensuring fairness, equity, and actuarial viability. In the case of barangay officials, they are deemed as self-employed members for computing their GSIS contribution.

Furthermore, when fixed compensation or salary is granted to them by law, the same shall be the basis for computing their contribution to the system.

In her bill, Magsino proposes that the employer’s counterpart contributions of barangay officials be charged to the regular funds of their respective barangay political units. Financial support, including subsidies from the National Government for certain municipalities and potential subsidies from provinces, cities, or municipalities, is envisioned to enhance the support structure.

“By allowing our barangay officials to enjoy the benefit of being GSIS members, we are not only acknowledging their vital role, but also strengthening the frontlines of local governance by enticing competent individuals to serve at the barangay level through this additional benefit.”

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