OUT of the 1,682 Local Government Units assessed nationwide, five out of the 16 cities in the National Capital Region were recently awarded the 2018 Seal of Good Governance (SGLG) by the Department of Interior and Local Government; one of which was the City of Pasay.
Formerly called the “Seal of Good Housekeeping”, this award given by the DILG seeks to: (1) Sustain the practice of transparency and accountability in the use of public funds; (2) Prepare for challenges posed by disasters; (3) Demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society; (4) Encourage investments and employment; (5) Protect constituents from threats to life and security; and (6) Safeguard the integrity of the environment.
Introduced by the late and former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in 2011, the SGLG monitors and awards LGUs with good performance in internal housekeeping specifically in the areas of local legislation, development planning, resource generation, and resource allocation.
SGLG’s predecessor, the Seal of Good Housekeeping, only measured the levels of compliance to the Department’s Full Disclosure Policy, particularly in the areas of budget, revenues and procurement, among others, having no adverse COA findings, as well as meeting the requirements of Anti-Red Tape Act.
Incumbent Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the big decrease in the number of awardees could be attributed to the stricter criteria. However, he acknowledged the steady rise of SGLG recipients in ARMM, given the harder route towards it, “for the past years, the number of awardees have grown even with SGLG’s parameter upgrades. Understandably, the awardees decreased this year with the scaled-up assessment criteria from ‘4+1’ to ‘all-in”.
“Congratulations to the 2018 awardees for besting the ‘all-in’ assessment criteria of SGLG. This is a testimony that LGUs in our country are continuously striving to improve the quality of service to the people,” DILG Secretary Año said.
The SGLG awardees will receive an incentive fund called Performance Challenge Fund, and will be able to access other DILG projects. Passing the test of good governance means having complied with all the requirements of the following core areas: (1) Financial administration; (2) Disaster preparedness and social protection; (3) Business-friendliness and competitiveness; (4) Peace and order; and (5) Environmental management.
The best way to encourage openness was to reward it. Their push for good local governance incentivizes the two pillars of strong, responsive government – good performance and good housekeeping – and makes the award process open and transparent. The Seal and the Performance Challenge Fund have had notable benefits – increasing transparency in local government budgets and plans by incentivizing compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy, instilling prudence and discipline in local fund management and providing an initial benchmark for good local governance by identifying concrete assessment criteria.
“The SGLG bestowed upon the City of Pasay is not just a recognition of the efforts we have done as a local government unit but a continuing challenge as well for us to do better in the succeeding years. We owe it to the People of Pasay to be public servants vis-à-vis the mandate they have given us when we are elected into office,” expressed by Mayor Antonino G. Calixto in relation to this award.
The City Government of Pasay has once again met the test posed by Authentic and Responsible Public Service as it received the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) 2018 for the third consecutive year since 2016. Pasay City, as an SGLG recipient, will be conferred with the 2018 SGLG marker; the eligibility to the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance its local development initiatives; and, access to other programs and capacity development assistance from the DILG.
In conclusion, allow me to share with you some excerpts from the keynote speech of Sen. Loren Legarda during Awarding Ceremony of the 2018 Seal of Good Local Governance: “Delivering well on these core areas of governance is a legacy that you could certainly be proud of. As government leaders, we all have the moral responsibility to achieve genuine development for our country and our communities. But being closer to the people, local leaders are expected to translate national policies, plans and programs into concrete and visible actions. We need to bring government closer to the people. Our citizens must feel the presence of the national government through actual programs that benefit them. This is the very crucial role of local government. While the Seal of Good Local Governance is a mark of a job well done, it is merely recognition that would eventually be long-forgotten. What holds greater value is the indelible mark you will leave in the lives of the people you have truly served”.
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