Palace declares March, October weekends as barangay assembly days

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MANILA — Malacañang has issued a proclamation declaring the Saturdays and Sundays of March and October of every year as barangay assembly days.

The proclamation was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday (Oct. 9) but was released to the media on Thursday (Oct. 11).

Proclamation No. 599 recognizes the need to provide flexibility in the scheduling of barangay assembly days to allow wider participation of barangay constituents and thereby promote greater transparency and accountability of public officials at the barangay level.

“Now, therefore, I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby, declare the Saturdays and Sundays of March and October every year as Barangay Assembly Days,” the proclamation read.

“Accordingly, all barangays are enjoined to hold their respective barangay assemblies for each semester on any of the aforesaid days in accordance with Section 397 of RA No. 7160 with the aim of ensuring the widest participation of their constituencies,” it added.

Section 397 of Republic Act No. 7160 requires that there shall be a barangay assembly composed of all persons who are actual residents of the barangay for at least six months, 15 years of age or over, citizens of the Philippines, and duly registered in the list of barangay assembly members, which shall meet at least twice a year to hear and discuss the semestral report of the Sangguniang Barangay (village council) concerning its activities and finances as well as problems affecting the barangay.

Based on the report of the National Barangay Operations Office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), several barangays hold their respective barangay assemblies on dates other than those specifically provided under Proclamation No. 342, as amended for various compelling reasons.

The dates of the barangay assemblies during the first semester of years 2013 and 2016 coincided with the observance of Black Saturday which significantly reduced the number of the assembly attendees while the Barangay Assembly Day scheduled on March 31 for the first semester of year 2018 also fell on Black Saturday, which was a special non-working day.-PNA

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