Balangueños have a different voice in the Sangguniang Panlungsod as a new Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president takes over.
Elmer Castrence, Cupang North’s barangay captain, replaces Pedro T. Yuzon, Jr. as ABC president, starting on June 1.
Castrence is granted an ex-officio post in the Sanggunian to represent Balanga’s grassroots communities. Such a position mandates him to attend regular Sanggunian sessions, hold committee chairmanship, and participate in the hearing of resolutions.
The new ABC president has been serving Cupang North for years. In his term as barangay captain, he prioritized disaster mitigation programs like canal dredging.
He recited his oath of office before Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia in a private audience on May 31. Vice Mayor Vianca Lita Gozon and other members of the Sanggunian gave Castrence a warm welcome.
“He (Castrence) will have to serve (as ABC president) until the national government announces the election of barangay councils,” said Jeffrey Calma, secretary to the Sanggunian.
When asked about the sudden change of ABC leadership, Calma said that Yuzon resigned from his post.
Yuzon began serving as ABC president when his predecessor, Victor Baluyot, was elected as city councilor in the 2016 national election.
Brewing Projects for Barangays
As ex-officio member of the Sanggunian, Castrence will hold one crucial task, the committee chairmanship on barangay affairs.
In an interview with this correspondent, Castrence revealed his plans as he assumed his post.
“Isusulong natin na maibalik ang trust fund ng bawat barangay sa Balanga,” said the newly appointed ABC president.
Castrence was pertaining to savings that barangay councils turn over to the city government every year. The said savings are entered in a trust fund, which will be returned to the barangay after five years.
The new ABC president claimed that barangay councils have been working for the return of their trust funds since 2011.
When asked of his message to Balangueños, Castrence said that he is proud of every Balangueño, who have high regard for values like unity and shared leadership. |By: Arli Joshua Atienza