Life 101 - Working as a Secretary in our Barangay
Travelman1971 as Secretary
The beginning of my public life as a secretary
It's been a year since I started my public life as a documentor in our place. It's July of 2014 to be exact.
Call it as a secretary if you want, but I feel like I'm just recording what I've heard and observed in our barangay since that's what my basic function is.
My transitory position as an appointive official is somewhat new to me, since I've been traveling as a seafarer for the past decade.
A change of atmosphere, so they say. I said to myself, it's just temporary since I'm still upgrading for new trainings in the maritime world.
As expected, my first week was an adjustment with the workplace.
Lots of paper-works were literally flooding on my desk. We only have one desktop computer and one printer and all departments were and are still relying on my output.
Really, the smallest government unit that is barangay or county is the most tiresome place I've got into.
My functions as a barangay secretary
It's not a classroom anymore where you just can jot the names of those who are absent and impose monetary punishments.
Our barangay captain (the local leader) and the council agreed that our internal rules should be strictly followed based from the local government code of the Philippines.
And so, my stint as secretary began as the first resolution of his administration was approved and implemented. That was when the reshuffling of different committee chairmanship happened.
The start of my new career:
- We have two regular sessions every month, where we discuss problems and the possible solutions through resolutions and local ordinances.
- Internal rules take note of the attendance strictly, since some of the barangay officials don't fulfill their duties promptly due to their personal tasks to fulfill as household heads (as father or mother).
- Barangay-based institutions were revived to the fullest (from tanods or sentinels, lupon members or jurors, barangay nutrition scholar, barangay health workers, fisherfolks, farmers, vegetable growers, anti-drug group, mother's class, youth group, etc.). Full documentation and postings were seen for every project and announcement that followed in order to make residents aware of their existence.
- I recorded every case in our blotter book and wrote appropriate documentation about it.
- Barangay clearances, business certifications, indigency and outgoing (for animal dispersal)certificates are some of the public documents often requested by the residents for day-to-day business in our place, the same with other counties.
- Barangay secretaries meet once a month at the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) sub-office in our town hall. the local officer discussed news from national government and require us to submit our monthly accomplishment reports, barangay registry of cases, barangay contingency plan, among others.
We have our perks, as we participate in municipal, regional and even national seminars with corresponding travel allowances.
With all the paper-works that I made during my first year as a secretary, I am also part of the project monitoring group and takes note of the master list of our barangay population (the births,deaths and transfer of residents) as it will ease the burden of our local registrar at the Civil Registry Office (CRO) whenever census is conducted for the local population and transaction of getting birth certificates.
I am part of the Bid-and-Award committee (BAC) as barangay captain's transaction to enter into business for fund utilization is always documented for local projects.
Monitoring projects are also part of my functions as an appointive official.
Taking photos of the initial and final implementation of every project are attached to the necessary documents (from canvass, small bids or pakyaw labor, financial expenses or disbursement, approval, etc.) for a more credible accountability in every business we entered into.
In the Philippine setting, publication of bidding at PhilGEPS (Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System) will start at more than Php50,000.00 +++ of government projects.
With all the 'dirty works' that I've been into, both the elected and appointive officials are also entitled for the honoraria (from personnel services fund) every month.
To keep us updated, we are obliged to attend training and seminars in order for us to serve the people better.
We have a mantra in local governance: "No services rendered, no honorarium."
Against the intrigues, honest servants will always prevail.
After a year of ups and downs, the struggles and triumphs of barangay local government unit such as Baliuag Nuevo, my barangay is up to compete with other barangays when it comes to good governance.
As our Barangay Assembly was held, each barangay-based institution (BBI) reported their accomplishments for the past year.
Small as we are, with only more than 1,000 population, we delivered the basic services that the residents should receive.
We triumphed against the natural disaster (Typhoon Glenda, July 15,2014) which devastated the whole barangay (inundated rice fields and destroyed crops, houses, school and church).
During emergency, our barangay disaster team provided food packs and medicines to the residents. Bloodletting is also campaigned for in voluntary basis as we tied up with the local general hospital for future emergency cases.
Petty crimes were limited to almost zero as the local sentinels (tanod) dutifully fulfilled their duties every night.
Gossips were lessened as they see us doing our duties faithfully everyday.
This hubber is indebted to...
- My endless thanks for those who continue believing in my kind of public service in our community.
- Ma'am Dhel F. Ragrario, our local DILG officer who inspires me to be vigilant in my role as 'eyes-and-ears' of our barangay.
- My fellow barangay appointees and the council who work hand-in-hand in order to fulfill our obligation.
- To God Almighty for giving me wisdom in every decision I make.
As I park my pen, let me share with you, The Prayer of Public Servants, for inspiration.
Almighty and eternal God, I praise and thank You for calling me to serve Your people.
Give me your anointing and help me not to seek power nor position but rather make me a vessel of Your grace to touch the lives of Your people and seek to be worthy of Your love.
Lord, mold me to Your heart. Use me as a channel of Your compassion. Help me to be worthy of Your trust that I may be an instrument of peace and hope to everyone.
Give me courage to be an agent of change, to achieve Your dream of transformation.
Finally, we ask You to heal our land and restore faith and righteousness in our nation.
This I ask in the mighty name of Jesus. (Source: thecatholiceconomistphilippines.wordpress.com)
Note: The video clip linked here is about local governance in barangay, roles and responsibilities of its officials.