Press Release
December 11, 2023

Senate approves on 3rd reading local bills dividing, creating barangays

The Senate on Monday, December 11, 2023, approved on third and final reading two local bills dividing a barangay in Caloocan City into six distinct barangays and creating a barangay in Surigao del Sur.

House Bill No. (HBN) 5819, which seeks to divide Barangay 176, also known as Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan City, into six separate and independent barangays to be known as Barangay 176-A, Barangay 176-B, Barangay 176-C, Barangay 176-D, Barangay 176-E, and Barangay 176-F; and, HBN 4844, or An Act Creating a Barangay in Barobo, Surigao del Sur, to be known as Barangay Guinhalinan, were unanimously approved in the plenary.

Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, chairperson of the Committee on Local Government and sponsor of both bills, stressed that the barangays play a role in achieving national development.

"Throughout the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic, our barangays served as the national government's arms, tirelessly working to guarantee the effective implementation of essential health and safety protocols within their jurisdictions. The passage of these measures will support our objectives to empower our barangays and ultimately, to promote the welfare of our constituents through the seamless provision of fundamental services," Ejercito said.

' Ejercito said the creation of Barangay Guinhalinan qualifies as a tribal barangay, with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples certifying that the Manobo indigenous people (IP) are presently inhabiting the said barangay.

The senator cited Section 386 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, which states that barangays may be created in indigenous cultural communities by an act of Congress "to enhance the delivery of basic services in such communities, notwithstanding the requirement on population in the said provision."

The passage of this measure, he said, will entitle Barangay Guinhalinan to its just share in the national wealth and will "immensely improve the delivery of basic services to our constituents, especially to the Manobo IP community in the barangay."

In dividing Barangay Bagong Silang into six separate barangays, Ejercito said this would show a renewal of the government's commitment in providing "new hope" to its constituents.

"Our primary aim is to empower these communities by providing them with greater resources and a chance to a brighter future," he said, noting that Barangay Bagong Silang (Newborn) is the largest barangay in the Philippines both in population and land area.

Based on the latest census conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2020, the barangay has a population of 261,729 accounting for 16 percent of Caloocan City's population.

Barangay Bagong Silang was officially founded during the administration of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos with a specific objective in mind - to usher in a "new hope" for the many residents who had previously resided in slum areas across Metro Manila during the 1970s. Consequently, the name of this barangay, "Bagong Silang," which translates to "newborn" in Filipino, was chosen to reflect the purpose for its establishment.

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