Presidential Decree No. 431




M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 431 April 8, 1974


WHEREAS, on many instances in the past grave problems and crises of the nation have been surmounted and/or controlled due to the effective and civic-spirited action of barangays, their leaders and members alike, thereby proclaiming to all the world that indeed the barangays have become a vital force in the political, economic, social and cultural development and evolution of the nation;

WHEREAS, in the light of the referendum held so far during which the members of the barangays were called upon to express their views on important local and national issues, it is now an established reality that barangay democracy at its best is a system that merits to be strengthened, sustained and supported;

WHEREAS, considering the number of persons every month who reach the qualifying age of fifteen, it is imperative that a continuing system be provided for their immediate registration as members of the barangay; and

WHEREAS, a permanent list of barangay members, based on past registrations made up-to-date through a continuous process of registration of those who reach the qualifying age, is of tremendous value not only for statistical purposes, but also for use at any time in any referendum is committed to undertake periodically;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order;

Section 1. Permanent list of barangay members. There shall a permanent list of barangay members in every barangay consisting of all the registered members thereof.

Sec. 2. Use of the permanent. The permanent list of registered barangay members, with such additions, cancellations and corrections as may be proper under this decree and under the implementing rules and regulations of the Commission on Elections, hereinafter referred to as the COMELEC, shall be used in and shall be conclusive as to the persons entitled to participate in any local or national referendum and/or consultation that may hereafter be called by competent authority and expressly to fall under the supervision and control of the COMELEC: Provided, however, That upon request of any barangay council and with previous authority of the COMELEC, any list may be used for the same purpose in cases where purely local matters are discussed and decided upon by the barangay, whenever such use we will insure the orderly holding thereof.

Sec. 3. Barangays. For purposes of this Decree, any barrio recognized under Republic Act 3590, otherwise known as the "Barrio Charter Law", as amended, including those that were subsequently created in accordance with said law, shall henceforth be called "Barangay."

The following terms used under the Barrio Charter Law shall likewise be changed as indicated:

a) "Barrio Council" to "Barangay Council;"

b) "Barrio Assembly" to "Barangay Assembly;"

c) "Barrio Captain" to "Barangay Captain;"

d) "Barrio Councilman to "Barangay Councilor."

Sec. 4. Who may be registered in the permanent list of barangay members. Every person, literate or not, fifteen years of age or over, who has resided in the barangay for at least six months and who is a Filipino citizen shall register with any of the registration officers of the barangay where he resides.

Sec. 5. Barangay registration officers. The barangay head and barangay councilors shall be the ex-officio registration officers in their respective barangays and shall take charge of the registration of the members thereof without prejudice to the power of the COMELEC to deputize public school teachers and such other officials or employees whenever the need therefor arises.

Sec. 6. Registration of barangay members. On any date after having acquired the qualification of a barangay member but not later than sixty days thereafter, a qualified barangay member shall personally appear before any registration officer of the barangay where he resides and file a sworn application for registration in duplicate.

It shall be the continuing duty of all registration officers to inform the residents in their respective barangays of their duty to register in accordance with this provision.

Sec. 7. Application for registration. The sworn application for registration shall contain or state the following:

a) Name, surname and middle and/or maternal surname;

b) Place of birth;

c) Civil status; if married, the name of the spouse;

d) Profession, occupation or work;

e) Exact address with the name of the street, the house number or in case there be none, a brief description of the locality and place;

f) The signature of the applicant, if literate;

g) The print of the left and the right thumbmark; Space shall be provided upon the face of the application for the notation of such other information or data which the COMELEC may require.

In case the applicant is illiterate or cannot by himself accomplish the application for registration, the registration officer shall accomplish the same and in behalf of the applicant who shall thereafter be required to affix his thumbmarks in the presence of two witnesses who shall also sign their names thereon.

The registration officer shall administer the oath required in the application for registration: Provided, however, That the same may also be authenticated by any notary public.

Sec. 8. Approval or disapproval of application. Within three days from receipt of the sworn application for registration officer shall render his decision thereon, annotating the same on the proper space in the application. If he approves the application the registration officer shall submit the original copy to the barangay head to be compiled in the book of barangay members as hereinafter provided. The duplicate copy shall be submitted to the election registrar of the city, municipality or municipal district who shall likewise include the same in the second set of the book of barangay members as provided herein.

If he disapproves the application, he shall notify in writing the applicant accordingly. An application may appeal within five days from receipt of the disapproval of his application by appearing personally before the election registrar of the city, municipality or municipal district encompassing the barangay, stating the reasons and/or presenting evidence showing that he is entitled to registration. The election registrar may summon the registration officer concerned to shed light why he denied the application for registration. The election registrar shall render his decision on the appeal which shall, in no case, be later than five days from the date the appeal was made. The decision of the election registrar shall be final.

The election registrar shall immediately notify the registration officer concerned of his decision and if the same is for the registration of the applicant, said notice shall contain an order directing that the application be included in the book of barangay members.

Sec. 9. Preparation of book barangay members and custody members and custody thereof. The barangay head shall prepare a book of barangay members consisting of the original copies of all approved applications arranged alphabetically in a suitable binder or device. Unless otherwise provided by the COMELEC, safekeeping of the barangay head and upon expiration or termination for any cause of his term of office as such, it shall be his duty and responsibility to turn over custody thereof to his successor in office.

Section 10. Registration card of barangay members. Based on the barangay book of members in his possession, the election registrar of city, municipality or municipal district shall issue a registration card to each barangay member duly registered: Provided, however, That any member whose registration is challenged during any referendum and/or consultation shall not be precluded from participating therein even if he fails to produce his registration card as long as his identity and registration are satisfactorily established through some other means.

Each registration card shall bear the name of the member, the barangay where the is registered, age, sex, civil status, occupation, thumbmark, and in case of a literate member, his signature and the signature of the election registrar issuing the same.

No fees shall be collected for the issuance of the identification card of a member.

In case of loss, any barangay member may apply for the issuance of another registration card: Provided, however, That no substitute registration card shall be issued except upon sufficient and satisfactory proof of loss.

The application for substitution may be made either in writing or by personally appearing before the election registrar of the city, municipality or municipal district where he is registered.

Section 11. Cancellation of registration. Any registered barangay member who acquires residence in another barangay and is registered therein shall notify the barangay head of his former residence of his new registration. Upon receipt of the notice, the barangay head and election registrar concerned shall remove the cancelled application from the book of barangay members in their respective custody and file in the inactive file.

The registration of members who have since died shall also be cancelled accordingly.

Section 12. Annulment of registry list. Any book of barangay members not prepared in accordance with the provisions of this decree, or the preparation of which is affected with fraud, forgery, intimidation, force, or any other similar irregularity may, after due notice and hearing be annulled by the COMELEC.

Section 13. Penal Provisions. The following acts shall be punishable by imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than six months;

(a) Making a false statement as to a material fact in an application for registration;

(b) Maliciously causing delay or obstructing any applicant from registering or hindering him from taking any of the steps leading thereto;

(c) Placing, inserting or otherwise including, as approved in the book of barangay members the application or any fictitious member or any application that has not been approved; or removing or otherwise taking out of the book of barangay members any application duly approved, except upon lawful order of a competent authority;

(d) Approving knowingly the application for registration of a person who does not possess all the qualifications prescribed by law for members of a barangay; or knowingly disapproving the application of a person who possesses all such qualifications;

(e) Issuing or causing the issuance of a registration card or a substitute thereof to a member, or cancelling or causing the cancellation thereof in violation of the provisions of this decree; and

(f) Willful refusal or failure of any person charged with functions and duties under this decree to perform or discharge any of said functions and duties.

Section 14. Jurisdiction of Court. The municipal or city of court as the case may be shall have jurisdiction over all the offenses punishable under this decree, subject to appeal to the Court of First Instance and other appellate courts.

Section 15. Prosecution of offenses. The COMELEC shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable by this Decree and to prosecute the same.

Section 16. Transitory Provisions. (A) The registration officers of each barangay shall accomplish in duplicate, in a form that shall be provided for the purpose, the registration record of each of the persons registered in their barangay as of the July 27-28, 1973, referendum. They shall indicate on the proper spaces therein the name and address of the registered member and such other personal data which may be available from existing registration records. For this purpose, the election registrar concerned shall make available all pertinent records. The accomplished registration form shall be authenticated with the signature of the barangay head and the annotation of the manner he was registered. The original copy shall be included by the barangay head in the book of barangay members; the duplicate copy shall be sent to the election registrar for inclusion in the city/municipal municipal district file of registered barangay members. Any registered member of barangay whose record is not complete shall furnish, upon being notified to do so, other personal data so that the same may be entered in his registration form. All proceedings in connection herewith shall be under the supervision of the election registrar.

To facilitate the preparation of the forms required in the preceding paragraph, the election register, after due consultation with the division supervisor and other heads of offices having jurisdiction, may deputize as may public school teachers and other government employees to assist in said preparation as may be necessary.

(B) Barangay members included in the list prepare in accordance with the preceding sub-section shall be entitled to the issuance of the corresponding barangay registration card providing in section 10 of this Decree.

(C) In the case of any person who was a registered voter in 1971, whose name also appeared in the list of barangay members who voted in the January 10-15, 1973, referendum, and who also registered for the July 27-28, 1973, referendum as a transient in accordance with section 6 of Presidential Decree 210, his registration as a voter in 1971 shall prevail and all other registrations shall be cancelled without prejudice to his right to transfer his registration if he so desires.

Any person with multiple registration as contemplated in the preceding paragraph shall so notify within sixty days from the date of effectivity of this decree the election registrar of the city, municipality or municipal district where he was registered as a voter in 1971, indicating the other places where he was registered in order that his registration may be cancelled in accordance herewith. The election registrar shall immediately, upon receipt of said notice, notify the barangay head and the election registrar concerned and the latter shall accordingly cancel the corresponding registration.

Any person who registered in two different places for the January 1973 referendum and for the July 27-28, 1973, referendum but who not a registered voter under the provisions of the Election Code of 1971 shall notify within the period above specified the corresponding to be cancelled. Said barangay head shall forthwith effect the corresponding cancellation with notice thereof to the election registrar concerned.

(D) In cities where there were no barrios at the time city mayors were empowered to appoint barangay chairman and barangay leaders in accordance with Sec. 5 of Presidential Decree No. 210, the following procedure shall be observed in defining the area for each barangay:

(1) The city council shall divide into barangays the area within its jurisdiction not otherwise previously included in any barrio legally established under the Barrio Charter Law, complying as much as practicable with the criteria provided under the Barrio Charter Law for the creation of barrios and taking into account the density of population, the topography and lay-out of streets, buildings, bills, creeks, rivers and other similar features.

(2) The city council cause the preparation of a map showing the boundaries of the area of each barangay.

(3) The division into barangays as reflected in the map referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be approved by the city council through a resolution in the manner provided by law.

(4) The resolution of the city of council approving the division referred to herein shall become final upon confirmation by the Department of Local Government and Community Development.

In the case of the municipal or municipal district poblacions or other areas therein where there are no barrios, the procedure for the creation of barrios under the Barrio Charter Law shall be observed in the establishment of any barangay: Provided, however, That any poblacion or area that lacks the necessary number of people required under said law shall be considered as a barangay for purposes of this Decree.

The officials of any barangay created in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall be elected at a special election to be called for that purpose by the Commission on Elections within three months but not earlier than two months from the time the barangay is created.

Section 17. Supervision of the Commission on Elections. The COMELEC shall, in addition to the powers and functions conferred upon it by the Constitution, have direct supervision and control in the implementation of this Decree and shall issue such rules and regulations and prescribe such forms as may needed in implementation hereof.

Section 18. Repealing Clause. All laws, executive orders, decrees, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 19. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of April, in the of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

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