Bontoc, Mountain Province. The Provincial Local Government Unit of Mountain Province (PLGU-MP) was conferred the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) for its significant performance and service delivery during the 2016 SGLG and 2015 Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentive Awards (LTIA) National Awarding Ceremony which is part of the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Local Government Code of 1991 held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Pasay City on 27 October 2016.
The PLGU-MP is among the 306 out of 1, 672 (18.3%) local governments that were assessed nationwide and one among the 43 out of 81 (53.09% passing rate) provincial LGUs that made it to the national awards rung. Per DILG assessment, the Provincial Government of Mountain Province passed all the minimum parameters of the SGLG’s core components, namely: (1) Financial Administration; (2) Social Protection; and (3) Disaster Preparedness. Moreover, the Provincial Government met the measures for all of the following three essential areas: (1) Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; (2) Peace and Order; and (3) Environment Management.
It could be recalled that PLGU-MP was also a national awardee of the Bronze Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2011 and the Silver Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2012. The assessment conducted by the DILG in June 2014 also yielded positive results – the PLGU-MP being awarded the Certificate of Good Financial Housekeeping in March 2015. This, as a result of the Provincial Government’s notable advancement of the principles of accountability and transparency in local governance exemplified by its compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy of Local Budget and Finance, Bids and Public Offerings and Accountability and Auditing Standards, Rules and Regulations.
This 2016, it is also noteworthy that Mountain Province is among the six provinces in the entire Philippines that have achieved 100% Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office posting in the most recent awarding ceremony. This, as an offshoot of the creation of the Provincial Disaster Operations Center and the creation of positions for Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers who now permanently man the said center. Other topnotchers in this awards category are the provinces of Romblon, Aklan, Biliran and Dinagat Islands.
In CY 2014 and 2015, Mountain Province was also recognized among the six Gawad Kalasag awardees. Hence, the province is a consistent awardee in the last three years for her dynamic and results-oriented leadership and implementation of a comprehensive and holistic Disaster and Risk Reduction Management program in pursuit of having a safer, adaptive and resilient community.
Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., together with Mountain Province DILG Provincial Director Anthony Manolo I. Ballug and other PLGU personnel, received the PLGU’s plaque. Moreover, all PLGU awardees are to be given five million pesos (5M) each as cash incentive.
“On the whole, these awards recognize the province’s capability in internal housekeeping specifically in local legislation, development planning, resource generation, and resource allocation. They also recognize our improving delivery of services. We should all be proud of this,” Lacwasan said.
As SGLG awardee, an LGU is entitled to the following: 1) access to the Performance Challenge Fund; 2) facilitation of loan approval through the issuance of Good Financial Housekeeping Certification; 3) access to other program windows subject to specific program guidelines of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Highlights of the one-day Silver Anniversary celebration were the honoring of the Local Government Code of 1991 Principal Authors, awarding of incentives to the 2015 Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentive Awardees for their commendable performance as a mechanism in resolving conflicts in the barangays and conferment of the 2016 SGLG (Pagkilala sa Katapatan at Kahusayan ng Pamahalaang Local) to 306 provinces, cities and municipalities.
Other SGLG national awardees from CAR are the provinces of Benguet and Kalinga, the cities of Baguio and Tabuk and the 18 CAR municipalities. Among the 18 municipalities is the municipal local government of Paracelis, Mountain Province. It is the sole municipal lgu national awardee from Mountain Province.
Meanwhile, DILG Secretary Ismael D. Sueno in his speech further encouraged LGUs to continue raising the bar of excellence.
“The password of this administration is Change; let us make that Change happen. Let us continue levelling up,” Sueno said.
Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, who also graced the occasion underscored the role of LGUs in effecting change.
“Our Local Chief Executives, officials and all other personnel of LGUs and National Line Agencies, your role is important. We beg you to help in effecting change down to the barangays. Change can only come if you at the LGUs will implement what we in the Senate enact,” the senator implored.
She, too, appealed to the throng for their help in strictly implementing laws especially on the Early Warning System and the Solid Waste Management. These, as means to mitigate climate change.
“Kung wala ang Early Warning System…If LGUs do not retrofit infrastructures…If we do not strictly implement Solid Waste Management if only to lessen if not totally eliminate wastes, mas malala pa ang mga sakuna na dulot ng Climate Change. Maaring kumunti ang mga pinsala kung mas sapat and mga paalala at pangangalaga sa ating kapaligiran. Losses may be minimized, if they cannot be totally prevented,” Legarda added.
Part of the one-day celebration of the Silver Anniversary of the Local Government Code of 1991 is also the presentation of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines’ Proposed Local Governance vis-à-vis the current administration’s campaign on decentralization and local autonomy under a federalism context.//NDRA, PIO-MP