MANILA – 28 provinces, 61 cities and 359 municipalities out of all the local government units assessed nationwide were accorded the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) during the 2017 SGLG Awarding Ceremony for North Luzon Cluster held at the Manila Hotel, Tent City, Manila last November 27, 2017.
Mountain Province and Kalinga Local Government Units (LGUs) are the two national SGLG passers from CAR under the Provincial Government category.
Also, among the 21 Municipal Government category are: Bucay, Dolores, La Paz, San Juan, Tubo and Peñarrubia of Abra; Conner, Kabugao, Luna, Pudtol and Sta. Marcela of Apayao; Buguias, Itogon, La Trinidad and Tublay of Benguet; Asipulo, Banaue and Lamut of Ifugao; Bauko, Bontoc and Paracelis of Mountain Province.
The awarding ceremony came with a theme, “Gobyernong may malasakit, tungo sa pagbabago at patuloy na pag-unlad.” It aimed to recognize the significant performance and commendable service delivery of LGUs. According to the Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG), the awarding ceremony was also a culmination of the three-year journey of the SGLG in transforming LGUs into proactive partners in governance.
Per DILG data, there is a significant increase in the number of awardees since the SGLG program started in 2014 which bespeaks of the drive for reform and the commitment to uphold the principles of transparency, integrity and quality service delivery at the local level.
The SGLG is the scaled up version of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) conceptualized and introduced by then DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in 2011 which recognized LGUs with good performance in internal housekeeping, particularly in the areas of local legislation, development planning, resource generation, resource allocation and utilization, customer service, and human resource management and development; consequently, valuing the fundamental of good governance.
To qualify for the SGLG, an LGU must pass all the minimum parameters which include the core components, namely: Financial Administration; Social Protection; Disaster Preparedness; Peace and Order. Moreover, an LGU must meet the measures for the following essential areas: Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; Tourism, Culture and the Arts; and Environment Management.
This year, the 4+1 assessment criteria was followed where LGUs must pass the four core areas and at least one essential area. This is the scaled-up version of the 3+1 assessment criteria (i.e., three core assessment areas – Good Financial Housekeeping, Social protection and Disaster Preparedness and at least one from the essential assessment areas – Business Friendliness and competitiveness; Peace and Order and Environmental Protection) that has been used from 2014-2016.
As incentive for SGLG qualifiers, each awardee is entitled access to the Performance Challenge Fund for development projects ranging from Two Million to Three Million pesos.
The Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) is an incentive fund for Local Government Units in the form of counterpart funding to high-impact capital investment projects in the Annual Investment Program (AIP) and funded out of the 20% Local Development Fund consistent with national goals and priorities.
The PCF aims to: 1. Recognize good governance performance particularly in the adoption of “good housekeeping” along the areas of governance and link with incentives and grants; 2. Encourage alignment of local development investments program with national development goals and priorities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), boost local economic development and comply with Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and Climate Change Adaptation Act of 2009; and 3. Assist poor LGU in developing and implementing project for local economic development and poverty reduction.
The PC Fund can be availed of by any province, city and municipality awarded with the Seal of Good Local Governance and provided that the LGU concerned can allocate its counterpart fund to ensure the full implementation of projects.
Requisites involved for accessing PCF are as follows: 1. Assessment of LGU compliance to SGLG which include Assessment and Conferment of the seal; 2. Grant Application and compliance to the following requirements like presence of Project Design and existence of a Sanggunian Resolution authorizing the Local Chief Executive (LCE) to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the PCF grant; approving allocation of LGU funds as counterpart to the PCF grant and certifying that the project is included in the 2011 Annual Investment Program; and Certification from Municipal Treasurer that the project has a budget allocation from the 20% Development Fund to at least 20% of the total project cost.
Meanwhile, Secretary Francis N. Tolentino of the Office of the Political Adviser was Guest of Honor and Speaker. He anchored his message on an adage by Alexander the Great which states, “An army of deer led by a lion is to be feared more than an army of lion led by a deer.”
Tolentino likened an LCE to the lion-leader and his/ her ability to lead an LGU. The essence of being an SGLG qualifier, he said, is quality leadership. He further commended the various LCEs for being able to perform despite the failures, frustrations and hardships that beset any government.
“The reason you are here is because DILG found out that you are the best leaders. You were able to qualify because of your exemplary leadership; and because of your humility, you were able to perform,” Sec. Tolentino said.
“Leaders being awarded here today are good examples of Servant Leadership. Servant leadership is leadership beyond oneself. Servant leadership is service to others. Servant leadership will not happen without humility,” he added.
Furthermore, the Secretary inspired his audience to foster and advocate creativity to be able to sustain the economic development in their own towns/ provinces. For Northern Luzon, he cited the case of Baguio City after the 1990 Killer Earthquake as an example – that should Baguio just had depended on its strawberry industry, it would not be at its current state.
“Baguio was able to rise from the ashes and survived the aftermath of the 1990 earthquake because of the creativity of the artisans. I, therefore, urge you to innovate. Sustain the One-Town-One-Product but by all means innovate,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino also pointed out the fact that LCEs make a lot of sacrifices as they are daily approached by their constituents for help, donations, financial assistance to fund school fees and to pay medical bills among others but that despite the many award-making bodies, no LCE has ever been recognized for shelling out of his/ her own pocket just to help ease financial constraints among his/ her people.
“The true test of leadership is sacrifice.
Let us not pray that all of our problems in our municipalities and in our Kapitolyos will be resolved either by ourselves or by the national government. But let us continue to pray that we will have the stamina, the health and intellect and with God’s grace we will continue to work, to solve all the problems that the future will throw upon us and all of you,” Tolentino said.
In closing, Tolentino challenged his audience to continue raising the bar of excellence despite the natural hazards that exist in Northern Luzon. He expressed his conviction that people in the Cordilleras will be able to hurdle difficulties because Cordillerans are by nature industrious and united.
Noteworthy is that Mountain Province LGU has been a consistent SGLG awardee since 2011. Last year, Mountain Province LGU was conferred the Seal of Good Local Governance during the 2016 SGLG and 2015 Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentive Awards (LTIA) National Awarding Ceremony held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Pasay City on October 27, 2016.
Also, MPLGU has been awarded the Bronze Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2011 and the Silver Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2012. It has also been awarded the Seal of Good Financial housekeeping in March 2015.