Gemma Estardo Cola is a Local Government Unit (LGU) official of the Philippines for the election year of 2018-2022 serving in the capacity of Barangay Secretary for the barangay of Balire, Barugo, Leyte, Barugo in the province of Leyte within Eastern Visayas, Philippines.
About Gemma Estardo Cola
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Accomplishments Gemma Estardo Cola while in office
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- Note: Most of the information here is public domain and is gathered from government office of the DILG.
Featured News of the Philippines
Updated: March 20, 2023
Ilocos Norte dads commend PH outstanding physician.
LAOAG CITY – The province of Ilocos Norte on Monday cited a physician from the province for his outstanding contribution to wellness and healing, notably during the height of the Covid-19 crisis. Dr. Norman Panfilo Rabago, 52, a resident of Barangay 23 San Matias here, received a resolution of commendation from members of the provincial board. He is currently the chief executive director of the Karmelli Clinic and Hospital Corporation in this city.
P7.6-M shabu seized in Lucena City drug bust
LUCENA CITY – A police buy-bust operation here on Monday morning resulted in the seizure of almost 375 grams of suspected shabu with a street value of PHP7.6 million from a vendor of used motorcycles. In a police report, Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) chief, Maj. Mendel Casao, said suspect Andrian Saludez, 34, a resident of Barangay Isabang, this city, is a high-value individual (HVI). He said Saludez was arrested after selling a sachet containing the suspected shabu to a poseur-buyer.
|NOTE: Republic Act No. 11462 Approved: 03 December 2019: That the barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections on the second Monday of May 2020 shall be postponed to December 5, 2022. The elected barangay officials as of May 14, 2018 will serve until December of 2022.|
This is the “Barangay Code of the Philippines“.
- Every Government Unit in the Philippines is within a Barangay. The municipal hall, city hall, the provincial capitol building, and even the Malacañang Palace where the president resides is within a Barangay.
The barangay has power and authority over its domain. The improvement of the barangay rests on the barangay officials. The barangay chairman, the barangay council and the local businessmen forge the prosperity of the barangay. Not the president of the Philippines, senate, nor congress. Not the governor of the province, not the mayor nor council of the municipality or city. Poor barangays stay poor because of weak and/or ignorant(uninformed) barangay leaders.
When roads or any infrastructure need to be built, improved or repaired, all the barangay officials have to do is make a resolution and present it to the city or municipality council. The resolution will force the city/municipal council or responsible government office to hear the legitimate demands. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
- Each city or municipality is represented by the “barangay association or federation”. The elected president of the Association of Barangay Council and the President of Kabataan (SK) association each have a seat in the City/Municipality council. Their powers are the same and equal to the elected city/municipality councilors. They are there to help lobby the demands of the barangays. They are not there just to collect a big salary and rub elbows with the regular elected city/municipality council, but to also represent the needs of the barangays.
- The duties of the barangay officials are specifically written in Chapter III(Punong Barangay) and Chapter IV (The Sangguniang Barangay). Read it..
Practically anything that has to do with the barangay, the barangay officials have a say on it and most likely the authority over it. The majority of the barangay officials are not aware of their duties and power. They depend on the city council or mayor. The elected barangay officials are afraid of the mayor and city/municipality’s “Sangguniang Panlungsod”. They are in fear of being ousted or removed from office. The truth is, the “Sangguniang Panlungsod” does not have the power to remove or suspend any elected barangay officials from office. Only the COURT OF LAW can do this (judicial branch of the government). Elected public officials can’t be suspended by the DILG or the office of the president unless an official complaint has been filed, there must be proof and there must be due process. Republic Act 7160 chapter 4, Section 60. Information is power. Be informed. Do not be intimidated by the president, senator, congressman, governor, mayor, vice-mayor, or councilors. Do your job.
The control of traffic is not up to the city council or chief of police. It is controlled by the barangay. If the barangay needs traffic enforcers, the barangay can make a resolution to demand it from the city or municipality council. When the electric coop or the water district do not maintain their lines, the barangay can directly demand for the maintenance from the utility companies. No need to wait for city council.
The citizens also has the power to make demands to the barangay officials. In case the officials get blinded. Simply file an official complaint with the barangay secretary naming the Punong barangay as the respondent representing the barangay.
Barangay officials are paid to serve the public. So never be afraid to ask them to do anything if it is for the benefit of entire barangay. Even the SK officials are compensated specially the SK chairman.
- If the power lines are sagging, don’t go to the power company, go to the barangay office. Ask the barangay for a DEMAND resolution against the power company.
- If the water lines are busted, don’t wait for the water company, go to the barangay office. Ask the barangay for a DEMAND resolution against the water company.
- If the potholes in the road are not fixed, don’t wait for the The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), go to the barangay office. Ask the barangay for a DEMAND resolution against the DPWH.
- Are you beginning to get the point?
Cleaning the shorelines, drainage systems, streets, rivers, and parks within your barangay is YOUR responsibility. You are accountable for this. It is not the responsibility of the City/Municipality officials. The citizens and officials of the barangay are responsible. Stop blaming others.
- BUDGET: As far as the preparation for the budget expenditures, it starts at the barangay level, then moves on to cities, municipalities, provinces and regions. The barangays need to exercise their authority. They need to put their yearly budget together for their administration and future projects. The majority of the barangays leave this job to the municipality and city. This is so wrong. Then when the budget doesn’t come or is lacking, they complain.
- The budget for the barangays does go to the City or Municipality, but simply for holding and later distribution. The city or municipality DOES NOT approve the budget. It was already approved by congress. The city or municipality simply “distributes” the approved budget.
- The bureau of internal revenue is in cahoots to subdue the barangays, municipalities and provinces. They call the rightful shares to the taxes collected as “Internal Revenue Allotment Dependency”. It is not a dependency. It is the lawful and rightful share of the LGU as specified in “TITLE III, SHARES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS IN THE PROCEEDS OF NATIONAL TAXES, CHAPTER I, Allotment of Internal Revenue Taxes, Section 284.”
- “IMPERIAL MANILA IS A MYTH!”, it does not exist anymore. The Philippine budget formulation system is not centralized. “Budgetary planning has been DECENTRALIZED since 1991”. It is the responsibility of each LGU to submit their budgetary needs for review. Failure to submit is the problem.
- DURING ELECTIONS: Where do City and Municipality politicians go to campaign? They seek the support of the Barangay officials. They plead to the barangay folks for the votes. Even the candidate for president. But after the election they ignore you. Do not ever forget the power of the barangay.
Ignorance keeps the pinoys thinking that Manila rules. Be informed, be educated and make your barangay prosper.
The Philippines is not evenly and well represented in the Senate. Luzon takes the cake and they run the show. To put a stop to this and to better democratically represent the entire Philippines a law for a “One senator per region” must be passed.
Currently (2016-2019) the senate is only represented by one(1) senator from the Visayas, and only three(3) from Mindanao. The other 20 senators are from Luzon and 15 of them are from Metro Manila. Do you call this proper representation of the people in the Philippines? And now in the 2022 election year most of the candidates are from Luzon.
We need this “One senator per region”. If you are from Davao Region, you are guaranteed one senator. If you are from the Zamboanga Peninsula region, you are guaranteed one senator. If you are from eastern Visayas region, you are guaranteed one senator. Each region must have a minimum of one senator to represent in the legislative branch of the government.