The long wait is over for barangay officials. The DBM has issued Local Budget Circular No. 85, prescribing the supplemental rules and regulations on the leave benefits of barangay officials.
Said circular was issued to ease the restrictions provided in the original guidelines - Joint Circular No. 2004-1 issued by the DBM and CSC in March 2004. The joint circular which implements Section 81 of the 1991 Local Government Code on the leave privileges of barangay officials, specifically provides that the leave credits earned by barangay officials shall be cumulated up to one year only and shall be commuted yearly (Section 3.2); that payment of said leave benefits shall be subject to the 55% limitations on personal services; and that the leave credits earned for the particular year shall be paid in full within the first quarter of the immediately succeeding fiscal year (Section 6).
With the said restrictions, many barangay officials have not availed of their monetized leave credits mainly because their barangays have either exceeded the 55% PS cap and or cannot meet the prescribed payment deadline (March 31st of the following year) for lack of funds.
LBC 85 seeks to resolve this predicament by requiring instead that leave credits "earned in a particular year may be monetized within the immediately succeeding fiscal year" (Section 2.0); and that said benefits is waived from the PS limitation pursuant to Item viii of Section 85, General Provisions of RA No. 9401.
While some of the contentious issues surrounding the implementation of the leave privileges of barangay officials still remain unresolved, LBC 85 will enable barangay officials to eventually received their leave benefits.