With the theme “Barangay: Kaagapay sa Matiwasay at Ligtas na Pamumuhay”, all 1,176 barangays in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) are reminded to conduct their first semester barangay assembly on any Saturdays and Sundays of March this year.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reiterates the responsibilities of the barangay officials to convene their residents and registered members for a meeting to discuss their respective accomplishments and financial reports from previous year, to have an avenue to plan programs and projects for 2020, and to deliberate newly enacted local policies.

It is also highlighted in the DILG memorandum circular 2020-041 that timely issues such as 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), road clearing operations, and African Swine Fever (ASF) shall be included in the agenda to be tackled during the assembly. “We should guarantee that the actions and decision taken by public officials respond to the needs of their constituents. Accountability and transparency is one of the key elements in good governance. Through these assemblies, the public is able to evaluate the effectiveness of their barangay officials if they are performing to their full potential”, DILG CAR Regional Director Engr. Marlo Iringan said firmly.

Alongside other agenda, the assembly also aims to discuss issues or concerns affecting their village such as social services, peace and order, public safety, disaster risk reduction and management, environmental management, and economic development.

In as much as the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) headed by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong noted the incidence of rape cases in certain areas of the region, Dir. Iringan enjoins barangay officials to discuss proper interventions to prevent the occurrence of rape cases.

Meanwhile, all local government units (LGUs) shall ensure the compliance and maximum participation of all the barangays, and maximize the use of tri-media to raise awareness on the said directive.

Barangay officials who fail to conduct assembly can be sued administratively by the residents, concerned citizens, and/or government and non-government entities pursuant to section 61 of the local government code.

The conduct of barangay assembly is stipulated under Section 397 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and the Proclamation No. 599 series of 2018. Second semester barangay assembly shall be held during weekends in October this year.