Barangay captains who risk their lives as front-liners in ensuring security and rendering basic services to their communities may finally get a much-needed benefit in the form of a higher insurance coverage, if a bill by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is passed into law.
Senate Bill 254, the “Additional Barangay Captains’ Insurance Act of 2016,” seeks to give barangay captains insurance benefits other than those provided by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) under Republic Act No. 8291.
“In the conduct of these functions, especially during emergencies and calamities, barangay chief executives are the front-liners, putting their lives at risk in the service of their respective constituents,” Lacson said in his bill, adding the added insurance is “in recognition of their contribution to the community and in advancing their welfare as public servants.”
[Download: Senate Bill 254, Additional Barangay Captains’ Insurance Act of 2016]
He noted the barangay captain, as the chief executive of the village government, is mandated to exercise efficient, effective and economical governance and maintain peace and order.
The official’s roles include keeping the peace with foot patrols, arbitrating in differences between community members, assisting in elections, and facilitating evacuation if disaster strikes.
“However, the State recognizes that the mandated duties of the punong barangay are not commensurate to their meager honoraria, allowances and other emoluments. Similarly, barangay chief executives are not entitled to hazard duty pay,” Lacson said.
Under Lacson’s bill, the additional insurance benefits for barangay captains include:
– P200,000 for death due to assassination or ambush; or accidents and similar circumstances while in the discharge of their official functions
– P50,000 for burial expenses
– up to P100,000 reimbursement of medical expenses
However, benefits do not apply if death or injury is caused by habitual drunkenness or intoxication; willful intention to injure or kill oneself; notorious negligence; and unauthorized absence or abandonment of office for at least one month prior to death or accident.
The bill also mandates the GSIS to conduct within 60 days a study to determine the premiums to be paid corresponding to the benefits for barangay captains.