BAGUIO CITY – Twenty-two of the eighty-three local governments in the Cordillera were recipients of the coveted Seal of Good Local governance (SGLG) after they were able to hurdle the stringent criteria of the seal last year.
Benguet, Mountain Province and Kalinga were able to reap the SGLG for the province category while the chartered City of Baguio and the component City of Tabuk were able to hurdle the stringent requirements for the seal in the city category.
There are 75 municipalities, 2 cities and 6 provinces comprising the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) which were assessed for their respective compliance to the upgraded criteria for the SGLG.
The six towns in Abra that were able to qualify for the coveted seal include Bucay, La Paz, Dolores, Peñarrubia, San Juan and Tayum while the recipients of the SGLG in Apayao are Luna, Pudtol, and Sta. Marcela.
In Benguet, the four municipalities that were given the SGLG by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Mike Sueno and Senator Juan Edgardo Angara were La Trinidad, Itogon, Tublay, and Kapangan.
Banaue and Lamut were the two towns in Ifugao which are the recipients of the SGLG while Paracelis in Mountain Province and Balbalan in Kalinga were also awarded their respective seals during the awarding ceremonies held in Pasay City last October 27, 2016.
Of the 1,607 local governments comprising 1,446 municipalities, 145 cities and 81 provinces, only 306 local governments composed of 212 municipalities, 51 provinces and 43 cities were able to qualify for the SGLG for 2015.
Based on data obtained from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the recipients of the SGLG passed all the minimum parameters of the core components, namely, financial administration, social protection, and disaster preparedness.
Further, the awardees were able to meet the measures for two of the three essential areas, specifically business friendliness and competitiveness, peace and order and environmental management.
For being able to qualify for the SGLG award, the recipients will be entitled to various opportunities, specifically access to the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) amounting to P7 million for the provinces, P5 million for cities and P3 million for municipalities; facilitation of loan approval through the issuance of good financial housekeeping certification; and other program windows subject to specific program guidelines.
Last year, there were only 8 of the 83 local governments in the region that were able to receive the SGLG during the first year of the implementation of the upgraded criteria for the seal.
The evaluation of the compliance of local governments to the prescribed criteria of the SGLG is done from March to September of every year wherein validation teams from the central and regional offices of the DILG go around every region to check the compliance of all local governments to the upgraded criteria.
By Dexter A. See