By: Louvkee Avila Fanlo
The Liga ng mga Barangay, created by virtue of Section 491 of the Local Government Code of 1991, is an organization of the almost 41, 939 barangays throughout the Philippines. It was organized primarily for the purpose of unifying the barangays into a powerful organization to serve as venue for ventilating, articulating and crystallizing issues affecting barangay government administration and finding solutions to these concerns.
Every barangay is represented in the Liga by the punong barangay or, in his absence, by a sanggunian member duly elected for that purpose. The Liga has local chapters in the municipal, city, provincial, regional and metropolitan levels. All chapters shall elect their respective chapter presidents who will sit in the sanggunian concerned as ex-officio members. The assembly of all the duly-elected presidents of the provincial, highly-urbanized city and metropolitan chapters constitute the National Directorate.
To effectively run and manage the organization, the Liga ng mga Barangay is headed by a National President and assisted by a National Executive Board whose members are elected from the National Directorate. It also has a secretariat staff, which is headed by the Executive Director, who provides the technical and administrative support and assists the Liga in formulating its programs and objectives in order to attain a common vision for the organization in particular, and the barangays, in general.
The Liga ng mga Barangay has left an imprint in history that can be traced back even the before the advent of the Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code. The roots of the Liga can be traced back to its predecessors before the advent of the Local Government Code of 1991.
Its existence began in 1958 with the organization of the Barrio Lieutenants’ Association of the Philippines (BLAP) organized through the assistance of the now-defunct Presidential Arm on Community Development. It had then a membership of around 20,000 barrio lieutenants headed by its first president, Bo. Lt. Virgilio Hilario of Forbes Park, Makati, Rizal.
Then, in 1972, Congress enacted Republic Act 3590, otherwise known as the Revised Barrio Chapter. This Act altered the title of barrio lieutenant to captain, consequently changing the organization in the Federation of Barrio Captains of the Philippines (FBCP). Following its reorganization and election of officers, Barrio Captain Juanito Madamba of Capiz was elected as president.
Over the years, the membership significantly grew in number with the creation of new barrios. Thus, in 1972, the federation boasted a membership of 33,700. In the same year, however, the federation held another election of its national officers and Barrio Captain Roque de Guzman, a lawyer from Pangasinan, was elected as its new president.
Thereafter, a few years following the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, the barrio was renamed into barangay. This paved the way for the organizational restructuring of the entire federation. Then, the former Department of Local Government and Community Development (DLGCD) issued Memorandum Circular No. 74-62 dated November 19, 1974, which mandated a change in the mode of membership of the federation. What was once a federation of only the heads of the different barrios became a federation which included the entire barrio councils. The mode of membership was no longer by individual barrio captain but by council. This tremendously increased the membership of the federation which has now reached approximately around 41,939 barangays nationwide.
Subsequently, a reorganization of the entire federation, then known as the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) from the national down to the barangay level, was effected. The chapters at the municipal and city levels were called the Municipal Association of Barangay Councils (MABC) and the City Association of Barangay Councils (CABC) while at the provincial and regional levels, they were known as the Provincial Federation of the Association of Barangay Councils (PFABC) and Regional Federation of the Association of Barangay Councils, respectively. Later, the whole confederation of the various associations at the different local levels became officially known as the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay (PKB).
On January, 1975, the first national president of the PKB was elected in the person of Mrs. Nora Z. Petines, the first woman president of an entire confederation of associations of barangay councils, who hailed from San Isidro, Northern Samar.
Her election ushered in a new leadership which was very visible and active in the political arena, with the organization having a common voice and actively participating in ventilating the interests and concerns of the barangay to the administration of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
However, with the change in administration in 1986 following the phenomenal People Power EDSA Revolution, the PKB went into a hiatus until its revival and eventual reorganization in 1989. Then, on January, 1990, the PKB elected its new set of national officers. The late Nick T. Enciso, a Barangay Captain and a veteran journalist from Tagaytay City, won the presidency. After he was felled by an assassin’s bullet in his own home in 1991, cutting short his term, Mr. Alex L. David eventually succeeded as national president.
It was during the latter’s term that the 1991 Local Government Code was enacted. The new Code modified the name Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay into what is now known as the Liga ng mga Barangay.
With its new name, the league began with the election of the 1st Liga ng mga Barangay members. It was the same Mr Alex L. David from Caloocan City who was elected National President on July 1992 and served for five years. He was succeeded by James Marty L. Lim from Gasan, Marinduque who was elected on September 1997 as National President of the 2nd and the 3rd Liga ng mga Barangay for a second term. On January 2008, Ricojudge Janvier “RJ” Echiverri from Caloocan City was elected as the National President of the 4th and the 5th Liga ng mga Barangay for a consecutive term. In 2013, Edmund Abesamis from Nueva Ecija was elected as the National President of the 6th Liga ng mga Barangay.
In 2018, Faustino “Inno” Dy was elected as the National President of the 7th Liga ng mga Barangay marking the first time in history that an entire Liga National Slate was unopposed. He stepped down from office to run for Congress in 2019 and was succeeded as President by Hon. Eden Chua – Pineda of Tacloban City by virtue of succession.
Hon. Eden Chua – Pineda is the first woman National President and the first from the Visayas to assume this post.
A network of interdependent chapters advocating principles and practices of governance that help build and nurture liveable, sustainable, productive, and economically vibrant local communities
To represent the interests and aspirations of the country’s 41, 939 barangays and enhance their capability to effectively govern and manage public affairs through the exchange of information, human resource development, and technical services.
STRATEGIC PURPOSE and VITAL ROLES
- Determine the representation of the LIGA in the Sanggunian, whether provincial, city or municipal level.
- Ventilate, articulate and crystallize issues affecting Barangay government administration.
- Secure solutions to issues proper and legal means.
POWERS and FUNCTIONS
- Support for the total development of the Barangay.
- Provide continuing education for meaningful participation in community.
- Create gainful employment through the building of entrepreneur/ investor-friendly community climate.
- Promote the welfare of barangay officials.
- Forge linkages and partnerships for the well-being of the barangays.
- Foster stronger ties between the Barangay and the citizen’s/ people’s welfare