The barangay is the basic political unit in the Philippines. It serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community, and as a forum wherein the collective views of the people may be expressed, crystallized and considered, and where disputes may be amicably settled.
A barangay may be created out of a contiguous territory which has a population of at least 2,000, except in cities and municipalities within Metro Manila and other metropolitan political subdivisions or in highly urbanized cities where such territory shall have a certified population of at least 5,000. To enhance the delivery of basic services in the indigenous cultural communities, Congress may create a barangay in these communities.
Every barangay has a punong barangay, seven Sangguniang Barangay members, the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson, a barangay secretary, and a barangay treasurer.
The Sangguniang Barangay, the legislative body of the barangay, is composed of the punong barangay as presiding officer, and the seven regular Sangguniang Barangay members elected at large and Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson as members.
A barangay also has a Lupong Tagapamayapa, which consists of 10 to 20 members and exercises administrative supervision over conciliation panels to effect speedy resolution of disputes.
Who may be elected punong barangay or member of the sangguniang barangay?
- A citizen of the Philippines
- At least 18 years old on election day
- A registered voter and a resident for at least one year immediately before election in the barangay where he or she is running
- Able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect
What happens if a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the punong barangay?
- The highest ranking sangguniang barangay member or, in case of his or her permanent inability, becomes the punong barangay.
- A tie between or among the highest ranking sanggunian members will be resolved by the drawing of lots.
- The successor will serve the unexpired term of his or her predecessor.
What a punong barangay can do
- Enforce all laws and ordinances applicable within the barangay
- Negotiate, enter into, and sign contracts for and in behalf of the Barangay, upon authorization of the Sangguniang Barangay
- Maintain public order in the barangay and assist the city or municipal mayor and the sanggunian members in the performance of their duties and functions
- Call and preside over the sessions of the Sangguniang Barangay and the Barangay assembly, and vote only to break a tie
- Upon approval by a majority of all the members of the Sangguniang Barangay, appoint or replace the barangay treasurer, the barangay secretary, and other appointive barangay officials
- Organize and lead an emergency group whenever the same may be necessary for the maintenance of peace and order or on occasions of emergency or calamity within the Barangay
- In coordination with the Barangay development council, prepare the annual executive and supplemental budgets of the barangay
- Approve vouchers relating to the disbursement of barangay funds
- Enforce laws and regulations relating to pollution control and protection of the environment
- Administer the operation of the Katarungang Pambarangay
- Exercise general supervision over the activities of the Sangguniang Kabataan
- Ensure the delivery of basic services
- Conduct an annual palarong barangay which will feature traditional sports and disciplines included in national and international games, in coordination with the Department of Education
- Promote the general welfare of the barangay
- Possess and carry the necessary firearm within his territorial jurisdiction, subject to appropriate rules and regulations
What the Sangguniang Barangay can do
- Enact ordinances necessary to discharge the responsibilities conferred upon it by law or ordinance and to promote the general welfare of inhabitants
- Enact tax and revenue ordinances, subject to the limitations imposed in the Local Government Code
- Enact annual and supplemental budgets
- Provide for the construction and maintenance of barangay facilities and other public works projects chargeable to the general fund of the barangay or such other funds actually available for the purpose
- Submit to the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan such suggestions or recommendations as it may see fit for the improvement of the barangay or for the welfare of its inhabitants
- Assist in the establishment, organization, and promotion of cooperative enterprises that will improve the economic condition and well-being of residents
- Regulate the use of multipurpose halls, multipurpose pavements, grain or copra dryers, patios and other post-harvest facilities, barangay waterworks, barangay markets, parking areas or other similar facilities constructed with government funds within the jurisdiction of the barangay and charge reasonable fees for their use
- Solicit or accept monies, materials, and voluntary labor for specific public works and cooperative enterprises of the barangay from residents, land owners, producers, and merchants in the Barangay, provided that monies or properties donated by private agencies and individuals for specific purposes shall accrue to the barangay as trust fund
- Provide compensation, reasonable allowances, or per diems as well as travel expenses for Sangguniang Barangay members and other Barangay officials, subject to budgetary and other limitations
- Hold fund-raising activities for barangay projects without the need of securing permits from any national or local office or agency, but not within a period of 60 days immediately preceding and after a national or local election, recall, referendum, or plebiscite
- Authorize the punong barangay to enter into contracts on behalf of the barangay
- Authorize the barangay treasurer to make direct purchases in an amount not exceeding P1,000 at any one time for the ordinary and essential administrative needs of the barangay
- Prescribe fines in amounts not exceeding P1,000 for violation of barangay ordinances
What disputes can be brought to the Lupong Tagapamayapa for amicable settlement?
The Lupong Tagapamayapa of each barangay has authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the same city or municipality for amicable settlement of all disputes except:
- Where one party is the government, or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof
- Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to the performance of his official functions
- Offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year or a fine exceeding P5,000
- Offenses where there is no private offended party
- Where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities or municipalities unless the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate lupon
- Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities, except where such barangay units adjoin each other and the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate lupon
The Sangguniang Kabataan is composed of a chairperson, seven members, a secretary, and a treasurer.
Who may be elected to the Sangguniang Kabataan?
- A citizen of the Philippines
- At least 15 years but not more than 21 years of age on election day
- A qualified voter of the katipunan ng kabataan (The katipunan ng kabataan is composed of all citizens of the Philippines actually residing in a barangay for at least six months, who are 15 but not more than 21 years of age, and who are duly registered in the list of the Sangguniang Kabataan or in the official barangay list in the custody of the barangay secretary)
- A resident of the barangay for at least one year immediately before election
- " Able to read and write Filipino, English, or the local dialect
What happens if a permanent vacancy occurs in the Sangguniang Kabataan?
- A Sangguniang Kabataan official who, during his or her term of office, passes the age of 21 years is allowed to serve the remaining portion of the term for which he or she was elected.
- In case a Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson refuses to assume office, fails to qualify, is convicted of a felony, voluntarily resigns, dies, is permanently incapacitated, is removed from office, or has been absent without leave for more than three consecutive months, the Sangguniang Kabataan member who obtained the next highest number of votes in the election immediately preceding will assume the office of the chairperson for the unexpired portion of the term. Where two or more Sangguniang Kabataan members obtained the same next highest number of votes, the other Sangguniang Kabataan members will conduct an election to choose the successor to the chairperson from among the said members.
- After the vacancy has been filled, the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson will call a special election to complete the membership of said sanggunian. Such Sangguniang Kabataan member will hold office for the unexpired portion of the term of the vacant seat.
What the Sangguniang Kabataan can do
- Promulgate resolutions necessary to carry out the objectives of the youth in the barangay
- Initiate programs designed to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical development of the members
- Hold fund-raising activities, the proceeds of which shall be tax-exempt and shall accrue to the general fund of the Sangguniang Kabataan
- Create such bodies or committees as it may deem necessary to effectively carry out its programs and activities
- Consult and coordinate with all youth organizations in the barangay for policy formulation and program implementation
- Coordinate with the appropriate national agency for the implementation of youth development projects and programs at the national level