Christmas bonuses and more: Lacson bill seeks to uplift barangay tanods’ lot with added benefits

Barangay tanods, the unheralded heroes who risk their lives to keep neighborhoods safe, may finally get much-needed additional benefits in exchange for their efforts, if a bill filed by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is passed into law. 

Lacson, whose Senate Bill 255 covers tanods who rendered at least one year of service in the barangay government, noted tanods are mostly civilian volunteers who patrol villages armed not with firearms but with night sticks.

“Through the years, the plight of these Barangay Tanods (is) often neglected. Although they are given some benefits for the task they perform, it is a fact that such benefits are not commensurate with the risks they are encountering while they are on duty. Thus, this proposed measure seeks to remedy the sad plight of our Barangay Tanods,” he said.

[Read: Senate Bill 255, Benefits and Incentives of Barangay Tanod Members]

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Under the bill, barangay tanods who rendered at least one year of service are entitled to:

– Christmas bonus equivalent to at least half of what the Punong Barangay is receiving
– Insurance coverage equivalent to three-fourths of that received by the Punong Barangay
– Free legal services from government lawyers for criminal and civil cases arising from acts committed in the performance of their duties. Such legal services shall continue even after the term of the tanod so long as the subject of the cases filed against him or her arises from acts committed in the performance of his or her duties
– a 50-percent discount in tuition and matriculation fees for the tanods’ legitimate or legally adopted children attending any recognized state colleges and universities. They can continue to avail of this educational benefit even if the tanod no longer serves as such for at least two years and was not removed for cause
– preference in availing of and/or membership in barangay livelihood and development projects, whether initiated by the national government or local government units

Barangay tanods who have yet to render service for one year shall receive benefits and privileges as mandated by the Local Government Code.

Meanwhile, barangay tanods who are appointed shall not be removed or terminated, except for cause, considering the integrity, responsibility and accountability in barangay service of the barangay tanods concerned.

The decision to remove a barangay tanod for cause shall rest upon the decision of the Sangguniang Barangay concerned.

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