The barangay assembly is composed of all Filipino citizens actually residing in the barangay for at least six (6) months, (15) years old or over, and duly registered in the list of barangay assembly members. The assembly meets at least twice a year to hear and discuss the semestral report of the sangguniang barangay concerning barangay problems, activities and finances. Its meetings are held upon call of any of the following:
· Punong barangay, or
· At least four (4) members of the sangguniang barangay; or
· Upon written petition of at least (5%) of the assembly members which is submitted to, and favorably acted upon by the punong barangay (Section 397 of RA 7160).
Who shall preside over the meeting of the Barangay Assembly? The Punong Barangay is the Presiding officer of the barangay assembly. In the absence of the Punong Barangay, any of the following can take the place:
· The barangay kagawad acting as punong barangay, or
· Any assembly member chosen to serve as presiding officer during the meeting.
The barangay secretary is mandated by law to concurrently serve as the secretary of the barangay assembly. In the absence of the barangay secretary the presiding officer can designate any member of the assembly to act as secretary of the assembly.
One prerequisite for the holding of a barangay assembly is that a written notice of meeting stating the date, time, venue and purpose of the meeting should be posted in three (3) conspicuous places within the barangay at least one (1) week before the actual conduct of the meeting, except for meetings on matters concerning public safety or security, in which case, notice within a reasonable time is considered sufficient. The Punong Barangay can request the barangay secretary and/or any other barangay personnel to assist in preparation and posting of the notice of meeting.
The barangay assembly has the following powers;
· Initiate legislative processes by recommending to the sangguniang barangay the adopton of measures or ordinances for the welfare of the barangay and the city or municipality concerned
· Decide on the adoption of initiative as a legal process whereby the registered voters of the barangay may directly propose, enact, or amend any ordiances, and
· Hear and approve the semestral report of the sangguniang barangay concerning its activities and finances (Section 398 of RA7160).
To promote transparency in the operations of the Barangay Government, and to muster people’s support for the implementation and monitoring of development programs, it is advisable that the barangay’s development plan and investment program be presented and discussed also in the barangay assembly. Make sure that majority, if not all, of the members of the barangay development council are present in the barangay assembly so that they can help respond to queries concerning the barangay development plan and investment program.