By: LGOO VII Ray Gregory F. Jaranilla

Butuan City – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region XIII announced on February 20, 2015 that there are 73 out of 78 local government units (LGUs) in the region that passed the assessment of the CY 2014 Good Financial Housekeeping (GFH) under the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).

The GFH, a component of the SGLG, is formerly known as the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) which the Department initiated in 2010. GFH and SGH apply the same minimum criteria, namely: Unqualified or Qualified COA Opinion and Compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy (FDP).

For an LGU to be a recipient of the SGLG, it should pass all three core assessments namely GFH, Disaster Preparedness and Social Protection. It should also pass one of the three essential assessments namely Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, Environmental Protection and Law & Order and Public Safety.

DILG 13 Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion said that the assessment was conducted on July to August 2014 through cross-posting method by the Regional Assessment Teams (RATs) composed of DILG Field Officers, representatives from the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and National Government Agencies (NGAs). The DILG field officers together with the members of the assessment teams were assigned in other LGUs to avoid biases during the assessment. After the assessment, it was calibrated by the DILG Provincial and Regional Directors before submitted to the DILG Central Office for national calibration.

The assessment is finally completed and the list of passers can be accessed in the DILG Central Office website www.dilg.gov.ph and DILG 13 website www.caraga.dilg.gov.ph. Such will be the basis for the issuance of the GFH Certification for loan purposes and accessing other national program windows, subject to specific guidelines.

“The GFH Certification is a requirement for local governments in accessing loans pursuant to Local Finance Circular No. 1-2012, and in accessing national program windows like the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) Program and the SALINTUBIG Program pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2013-066.” Famacion said when asked on the importance of the GFH.

LGUs that failed to pass the GFH should not lose hope. If a failure is due to FDP, they have the opportunity to comply with the FDP and avail of the “After Assessment Compliance” pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2014-13 dated February 6, 2014 to secure the GFH Certification without waiting for the next assessment period. However, if failure is due to COA Opinion, the LGU has to coordinate with COA to settle the negative findings in order to secure either Unqualified or Qualified COA Opinion for the next COA Audit Report.

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