How to Prepare for Your October Barangay Assembly

September 10, 2022

Reader, your Barangay Assembly (BA) is scheduled to meet next month.   When, exactly, I don’t know, because former President Rodrigo Duterte, in one of his more lucid moments, expanded the  Barangay Assembly Days from one Saturday in March and October, to all Saturdays and Sundays of the same months.  Please call at your barangay hall to find out when, although you are supposed to be notified one week before the scheduled meeting.

You must understand that these are all in aid of making sure that BAs meet “at least twice a year” (Book III, Title 1, Ch. 6, Sec. 397 b, Local Government Code).   More meetings can be held at the call of the Punong Barangay (PB), or at least 4 members of the Sangguniang Barangay (SB), or upon written petition by at least 5% of the BA members.  

 I must also tell you that I am unaware of any such additional meetings being called – certainly not by the PB or the SB.  Since 1991, when the Local Government Code was passed. In any of the 42,046 (as of 2020) barangays. But the power to call additional meetings, by we, the people, is there and I don’t think we have ever exercised it either. What a waste.  


But first things first.  Who are the members of the BA?  “all persons who are actual residents of the Barangay for at least six (6) months, fifteen (15) years of age or over, citizens of the Philippines, and duly registered in the list of Barangay assembly members.”  So Reader, before anything else, make sure you are in the list of BA members.  That’s the first step you take on the road to people power in your barangay.  


Now, the next question: what are the powers of the BA? Sec. 398 lists them:

“(a) Initiate legislative processes by recommending to the Sangguniang Barangay the adoption of measures for the welfare of the Barangay and the city or municipality concerned;

“(b) Decide on the adoption of initiative as a legal process whereby the registered voters of the Barangay may directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance; and

“(c) Hear and pass upon the semestral report of the Sangguniang Barangay concerning its activities and finances.” 

See what power is in our hands, Reader? And all this time we thought we had none. Let’s start with the last power first (I think it should have been listed first, don’t you?). This implies that we should have approved the plans of the PB and the SB for our community in the first place. But we didn’t because never attended the BAs. Anyway, lets’ make sure that for the next month’s meeting, we should be provided with the report on the barangay activities and finances ahead of time. So please call the officials involved and get our copy, so we can study it. NB: they must report to us at least twice a year.


Then, if we have any ideas about measures to improve the welfare of the Barangay (and our city/municipality as well!), now is the time to propose it.  Which means we must have looked around (and studied) our barangay, because now we are in a position to influence how it is being run.  


With respect to the power of initiative, we must first ask, during the Assembly meeting, whether the BA has already adopted the means for us to exercise the power of initiative.  If not, then ask that it be adopted at the meeting.  This will provide us, and the other BA members who are registered voters, the procedure needed to propose, enact or amend any ordinance affecting our community. 


As I said in my August 6 piece on barangays, we have a very powerful, albeit non-performing body in the Barangay Assembly.  That is all about to change, we hope, starting in our next BA meeting next month.  I hope.  But let us not forget, that with great power comes great responsibility – hence the need to look around our barangays, for what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong, study reports, find out how to make our procedures more efficient. etc.


Remember, Reader.  That the PB is the head of the executive, the legislative, and even the judiciary in the barangay.  Really powerful.  His only check and balance is the BA.  That’s us.  We have to do our part, or we can be accused if being part of the problem than part of the solution.  And our PB may just end up as a tuta to trapos.


And, if at the BA next month , we find out that our PB and SB are not such good material, who knows?  Maybe some of us could see ourselves as running in the barangay elections in December.  Think on it, Reader.




1. Make sure your name is on the list of Barangay Assembly members (check with the barangay hall);


2. Have a proposal ready for initiative procedures if the previous BAs have not adopted one yet;


3. Ask for an advance copy of the PBs report to the BA on finances and activities;


4. Look around the barangay (roads, infrastructure, health and education centers, etc., how things are done) so we have basis for suggestions; and


5. Secure a copy of the list of BA members (in case).


As I See It

The Official Blog of Winnie Monsod

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