When Filipinos talk about their neighborhood, they often refer to the barangay, the Philippines’ smallest political and administrative unit.
Barangay comes from the Malay word balangay, a boat used by the Austronesian people when they migrated to the Philippines. They travel in groups like the boats at the end of the movie ‘Moana’ because like in that movie, those who traveled in the same group settled in the same place. That community formed the first barangay.
There are 42,046 barangays all over the country. The barangays are governed by their respective cities and municipalities.
In order to be a barangay, there has to be at least 2,000 inhabitants. Each barangay would have its executive, legislature, and judiciary branch. The chief executive is called the Barangay Kapitan (barangay captain). Councilors or ‘kagawad‘ form the legislative branch. The judiciary comprises a group of people called Lupon Tagapamayapa (Justice of the peace). The barangay even has its police system called tanod (neighborhood watch).
The local government empowers all barangays to provide essential services to their residents. Within a barangay hall, you would often see a health center or small clinic where people can come in for free healthcare and essential vaccines.
Voting is also done in the barangays. Small claims and disputes are mediated with the Lupon Tagapamayapa. Most barangays would also have a daycare and an elementary school.
This is why every Filipino is required to register with the barangay. It’s a big part of their day-to-day life.
The Philippines doesn’t have “background checks” like we do in the USA. But a Barangay Clearance is pretty close. It’s a government-issued document used to certify a person with good moral character and a law-abiding citizen of a certain barangay.
You can ask potential OFS for their Barangay Clearance when hiring from OnlineJobs.ph