KumpaS Barangay brings residents’ concerns to the government

BACOLOD CITY(PIA6)-The first ever barangay interaction program of the Duterte administration, "KumpaS Barangay," was recently held at Brgy. Singcang-Airport as barangay folks aired their appeals and concerns to President Rodrigo Duterte through Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar.

Through the "KumpaS Barangay," the PCOO hopes to provide a venue for discussion and for a PCOO that builds an informed and empowered citizenry. Sec. Andanar stressed to the barangay residents that as head of the PCOO, his work is to be the messenger of the people to the President and of the President to the people.

Barangay Singcang, the site of the pilot KumpaS Barangay is one of the biggest barangays of Bacolod city with a total of 32 puroks and 4 zones.

Five main concerns

Five main concerns from the different sectors of the barangay were brought to the attention of the President: livelihood for those who quit drugs; shift to the federal form of government; better salaries for teachers and lesser taxes; social pension for all indigent senior citizens; and the end of contractualization.

On livelihood opportunities for drug surrenderers, Sec. Andanar shared to Brgy. Tanod Joenick Francisco the available programs from the government, from the LGUs to various national agencies such as DSWD. The National Drug Rehabilitation Program also offers livelihood for drug dependents who want to reform their lives.

A Department of Trade and Industry official present also invited the surrenderers and the audience to take part in their entrepreneurship course if they want to jumpstart a business.

On another matter, Sec. Andanar also told Albert Posel from the youth sector that the shift to the federal form of government would depend on congressional action.

On the query of Noemi Canja, a school principal, regarding the increased salary of teachers and payment of lesser taxes, the Secretary said that the entry pay of public school teachers is now around P19,000 plus emergency cost of living allowance while a Master Teacher IV receives P43,000 plus bonuses, productivity allowance, cash allowance, clothing allowance, among others. However, he noted that there is a pending bill in Congress which will review the current tax system and its tax rates so that the taxpayers would get a higher take-home pay.

For the senior citizen sector, Felipa Esmena asked if all indigent senior citizens could avail of the social pension. Sec. Andanar said senior citizens could receive social pension under the DSWD program but subject to certain conditions. A DSWD representative clarified that not all senior citizens would be able to receive the social pension due to the limited budget. Thus, the agency has to prioritize the poorest of the poor and those who need it most.

Priscilla Goco from the labor sector, asked what the solution of the President was on ending contractualization. According to Sec. Andanar, the solution is to do it one step at a time and cautioned against rushing the process. This process includes a thorough study on the matter - identifying who among the workers could qualify for it and eventually crafting a labor law on the matter.

Reactions

According to PIA Deputy Director-General Angelo Villar, the PCOO secretary was very happy with the result of the pilot "KumpaS."

A resident summed up the dialogue as "unexpected but most welcome."

During the activity, the Secretary was joined by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Brgy. Capt. Rosinie Distrito and heads of the different attached agencies of the PCOO.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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