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



While Congress Hounds Supreme Court, Local Governments are off the Hook
by Tess Bacalla

Even as Congress continues to assert its power to examine disbursements from the Supreme Courtís Judicial Development Fund, both Houses have not demanded a similar scrutiny of the way local governments have been spending public monies. Our two-part investigation reveals how local governments are scandalously wasting public funds, including the purchase of everything from pencils to hospital beds overpriced by 1,000 percent. READ ON

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