BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. underscored that the provincial government continues to find ways and means to increase the benefits being extended to the province’s 145 barangays under the institutionalized Barangay Muna program to contribute in efforts to spur development in the countryside.
Lacwasan is the brainchild of the institutionalized assistance being extended by the provincial government to the barangays annually pursuant to the provisions of the Local government that empowers provinces, cities and municipalities to extend the needed financial and technical assistance to the smallest political subdivision in the bureaucracy.
“We want to sustain and even continue looking for possible means on how to improve our present programs and projects in the barangays so that our constituents will be able to feel the presence of the government in their midst. We understand the predicament of our less developed barangays that is why we have to provide them with whatever allowable assistance that will help in sustaining their growth and development,” Lacwasan stressed.
The annual assistance to barangays started during Lacwasan’s first term as president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Mountain Province chapter when it was initially pegged at P1,000 before it was increased to P2,000 and eventually ended up at p3,000 ANUALLY.
During the term of former Gov. Sario Malinias, the annual financial assistance of the provincial government to the barangays was increased to P4,000 before Lacwasan authored an ordinance institutionalizing the P5,000 annual financial assistance of the province to the barangays.
In 2010, Lacwasan made representations to the late Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen to increase the province’s annual financial assistance to barangays to P10,000 which was reportedly granted by the latter.
In 2013, he again worked out the increase of the province’s aid to the barangays to P15,000 which was again approved considering the growing needs of the barangays, especially in the provision of basic services to their constituents.
According to him, the annual financial assistance to barangays was again increased to P20,000 for every barangay in the province when he assumed as the province’s executive following the untimely demise of the late Gov. Mayaen.
Lacwasan added that for this year, he worked out the increase of the province’s assistance to the barangays to P25,000 for every barangay which was included in the province’s annual budget to help the barangays cope with the prevailing situation where the cost of services are also on the rise.
He explained that by empowering the barangays to be proactive in terms of transparent and accountable governance, the problems of the municipal and provincial governments will surely be lessened because the barangay officials are able to effectively and efficiently address many of the concerns being brought to their attention by the people wanting to be provided with the available services for whatever purpose they may use the same.